Blue Jackets games open to fans amid governor’s COVID-19 recommendation

Nationwide Arena. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

The Columbus Blue Jackets say they will continue to host scheduled games and leave them open to fans despite a recommendation from the state’s governor to not have spectators at indoor events due to the coronavirus.

Governor Mike DeWine tweeted Tuesday afternoon that indoor events should only be hosted and attended by athletes, parents and essential staff.

The Blue Jackets say given the facts in front of them, a decision was made to keep games as scheduled. That includes matchups on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Saturday against the Nashville Predators at Nationwide Arena.

The NHL has limited access to locker-rooms for non-essential staff, including media, although no other formal league wide mandates have been set out. It has been reported the league is looking at a contingency plan should further steps be required such as limiting fans’ access to games.

Columbus says it will continue to monitor the situation along with the NHL and Nationwide Arena staff.

The coronavirus has killed three people in Ohio while another 15 are currently under investigation as of Tuesday.

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