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Buffalo Bills games will be at 100% capacity in the fall

Encouraging trends led the county to lift planned restrictions.

UPDATE:

The Buffalo Bills announced Monday that the stadium would be at 100% capacity during the 2021 season. Unvaccinated fans will need to wear a mask. Opening weekend is going to blow the doors off the place.

ORIGINAL STORY:

In a change of plans, Erie County has rescinded a planned vaccination requirement for attendance to Buffalo Bills games, according to County Executive Mark Poloncarz. Earlier in the spring, the county had announced that it would require all attendees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. That stance put them at odds with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who mused that the county didn’t have the authority to set such a requirement.

It seems that the legal argument is moot, at least for the time being. As Poloncarz remarked in his latest briefing, the current state of coronavirus in Western NY is encouraging: four confirmed cases out of thousands of tests in the last few days. With low hospitalization counts, solid vaccination rates, and low community spread, the county seems to be in good shape for the moment, which is why Poloncarz updated the policy.

In his announcement, Poloncarz did reserve the right to change the policy if the COVID-19 situation were to change for the worse into the fall. Though the current metrics are encouraging, there is concern that a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus could still sweep through the unvaccinated population and put the county back into dangerous territory. Ultimately, that’s a hypothetical situation for the current state of affairs. And legal challenges, like Cuomo mentioned in April, could still come into play if the county levied new restrictions during the season.

The important info, as far as Bills fans should be concerned, is this: Erie County is confident with the current level of coronavirus transmission, to the point where they’ve lifted restrictions on full attendance at Bills games. And that’s awesome news.