Minnesota United FC has announced increased cautionary measures to prevent the spread ahead of COVID-19 ahead of Sunday’s home opener.
In a press release Wednesday, the team announced the game would be played as scheduled – with fans allowed to attend, though sanitation measures at Allianz Field will ramp up ahead of time. This includes “deep cleanings" at touch points, additional hand sanitizer stations and increased staff training.
The decision to push ahead with the game was announced before the NBA suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the virus.
The Loons' statement notes that any possible changes will be communicated as they arise. COVID-19 has become an increasing concern for the state in recent weeks, with the number of confirmed cases up to five.
“We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely, partnering with Major League Soccer and our local health officials, adhering to the Centers for Disease Control guidance, and communicating with other sports organizations in our area to help ensure a safe environment in our stadium at our home opener…” the release reads.
While the game may still be scheduled as normal, other large sporting events have already been impacted by the outbreak.
The NCAA announced Wednesday fans would largely be prohibited from attending tournaments, which includes wrestling at U.S. Bank Stadium. In Europe, soccer games have either been played in front of empty stadiums or have been canceled altogether.
It comes amid a trending campaign, #CancelEverything, which is aimed at shutting down major gatherings until the coronavirus outbreak is under control, and to ensure there are enough hospital beds available.
State officials have also taken action to help prevent the spread of the virus, with Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill Tuesday that would appropriate $21 million to the state’s public health response, bringing the total dollar amount in available funds to $25 million.