JAKOB LUCAS, Sports Editor—Ohio has seen overwhelmingly positive trends for COVID-19 as of late. So positive in fact, that approximately two weeks ago, Governor Mike DeWine announced that entertainment venues could begin to host spectators once again. The capacity is obviously still quite limited due to COVID. However, the improving numbers have allowed for Governor DeWine to open these spaces up.
Among these entertainment venues, includes the Nationwide Arena, home to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets have been permitted to host up to 4,521 fans, equivalent to 23.1% of the arena’s capacity. Moreover, rumors have it that those numbers could increase and more fans could soon fill the seats if COVID-19 trends hold.
Denison has continuously reported lower rates of COVID-19 than the entire state of Ohio. We’ve had few confirmed campus on campus as well as low quarantine numbers so far this semester. Additionally, Denison has done an excellent job with containment and prevention However, Denison has yet to address this idea on the Hill.
With all these positive trends, one might expect Denison to begin slowly and slightly relaxing their rules. While this has been the case with in-room gatherings and large-capacity events, which have been allowed since the first few weeks of returning, spectators have been a different story. Even with all trends heading in a positive direction, Denison has let students begin filling the seats.
The main argument against doing so is that if sports were opened to spectators even at a severely limited capacity, it would present an increased opportunity for transmission. However, parties and other campus events have seen high turnout with minimal social distancing and plenty of breaking of the mask protocol.
If Denison is fine hosting events with high-turnout and allowing people to host parties in the Moonies, then why aren’t spectators permitted? Allowing spectators on a limited basis in a more controlled environment, such as the athletic spaces, would likely present a lower-risk of transmission than many other everyday activities going-on during the weekend.
I believe that the campus should at least be given an update on the situation.
So the question remains, when will spectators be allowed to return?