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Harvard Closes Sporting Events to Public as Covid Cases Soar

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Attendance at Harvard athletic events will temporarily be allowed by invitation only.

Harvard announced Tuesday that home sporting events will be closed to the general public until Jan. 24 due to rapidly-rising Covid-19 case rates.

The announcement comes as universities around the country are scrambling to adjust to the worsening state of the pandemic. Some schools have delayed the start of spring classes, while others have moved instruction online to start the term.

Harvard announced earlier this month that it would move to remote operations during winter break, but it has not made any spring semester changes so far.

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The University will hold sporting events as scheduled, but games will be closed to the general public though Jan. 23. Attendance will be limited to guests of student athletes and coaches who are put on a “pass list.”

The school did not specify how many spectators will be allowed. Attendees will be required to show proof of full vaccination and wear masks, according to the Athletic Department’s announcement.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, fans and the broader Harvard community is our top priority,” Harvard Athletics Director Erin McDermott said in a statement. “In coordination with University leadership and medical experts, we continue to adjust as circumstances develop, while remaining committed to preserving competitive opportunities for Harvard student-athletes.”

The duration of the new restrictions align with Harvard’s move to remote operations during the first three weeks of January.

Covid case rates have continued to rise on Harvard’s campus, even with most students home for winter break. Harvard’s on-campus seven-day test positivity rate was 2.53 percent as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the school’s Covid-19 testing dashboard. Harvard saw its largest-ever Covid surge in the final weeks of the fall semester.

—Staff writer Justin Lee can be reached at justin.lee@thecrimson.com.

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