Modified: December 23, 2020 1:59pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz issued the following statement today pursuant to NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo’s mention of a potential “demonstration project” that would allow 6,700 fans into Bills Stadium for an upcoming playoff game:
“My administration and the Erie County Health Department have not been a part of any discussions regarding the ‘demonstration project’ announced by Governor Cuomo to allow 6,700 fans into Bills Stadium to see a football game and we have no information to add on the proposal. Despite being on several calls with NYS officials for a variety of matters related to the COVID-19 Pandemic over the past few days, no such proposal was brought up and additionally, my recent conversations with staff from the Buffalo Bills indicated to me that while the Bills submitted numerous plans to return fans to the stadium in past months they were unsure whether any of the plans were being actively considered by the state.
Furthermore, a decision to allow fans into the stadium must be made no later than the middle of next week in order to properly prepare for a game in two weeks, including the sale and distribution of tickets to fans and the activation of appropriate support staff for such an event. Therefore, a decision must be made by the middle of next week to properly prepare for such a game.
Finally, it must be noted Erie County does not have the capacity to do rapid testing on 6,700 individuals in either a pre-game or prior day setting – the county performs on average 1,450 COVID-19 tests per week for all tests (Abbot ID Now Rapid Tests, Abbot Binax Now Rapid Tests, and traditional PCR Tests) – and that NYS or the Buffalo Bills organization would have to conduct both these tests and the related contact tracing. While we will work with NYS if needed on this proposal, Erie County has not been a part of its formulation and we have no details on how or if it will occur.”
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