While the novel coronavirus continues to ramp up its spread across the United States over the past few weeks, the Green Bay Packers have made a tough decision, at least for the immediate future. On Wednesday afternoon, the team announced that there will be no fans in Lambeau Field for the next home game, scheduled for a week from Sunday.
That contest is scheduled for November 15th, with the Jacksonville Jaguars as the visiting opponent. An excerpt from the Packers’ statement below notes that the rate of community transmission in Wisconsin and the Green Bay area is a primary reason for the decision
In order to host fans, the area will need to see a significant improvement in the rate of hospitalizations, as well as in the community infection and positivity rates. This is based on recommendations from community healthcare and public health officials.
The Packers themselves experienced their first positive COVID-19 tests of the regular season this week, when A.J. Dillon landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list after reportedly testing positive. Fellow running back Jamaal Williams was placed on the list as well on Tuesday after being designated as a high-risk close contact with Dillon, and both players will miss Thursday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. That game will also be played in front of an empty stadium due to orders from Santa Clara County.
After the home game against Jacksonville, the Packers will play the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium before returning to Lambeau Field for a date with the Chicago Bears on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. The team has not yet announced whether it will allow fans for the Bears game, but expect the stadium to remain empty if case numbers in Wisconsin do not drop significantly in the next few weeks.