UPDATED (Wednesday, March 11, 6:10 PM ET)
The Columbus Blue Jackets announced on Wednesday evening that all remaining home games for the foreseeable future will have a spectator ban.
This statement from the club follows a Wednesday afternoon press conference from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who made his own statement on the potential ban of mass gatherings (i.e. sports games) coming soon, in response to the Coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak.
Shortly, we will be issuing rules in regard to mass gatherings in #Ohio. Every expert has told us that there is a risk in any kind of mass gathering - the closer you are to other people, the bigger the risk. You must ask yourself if going to a large gathering is necessary.— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 11, 2020
The Blue Jackets issued a statement on Tuesday that they would be proceeding with home game attendance allowance as normal, after Governor DeWine tweeted out a message recommending, not enforcing, that all in-arena sports contests would continue without spectators.
At a minimum, what we said yesterday about mass gatherings will become an order. #COVID19— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 11, 2020
The Blue Jackets have made this banning ahead of the official order from the Governor, after being "in contact with the National Hockey League regarding this matter" and have chosen to "abide by the state's mandate."
Ohio currently has four confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to State Dept. of Health director Amy Acton, and 15 people are currently under investigation. To date, 14 people have tested negative for the virus.
We'll have more on this story as it develops, including any comment from the Blue Jackets.
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