COVID, omicron force pause on fans

Stanford is throwing its attendance policy back to 2021.

The university announced Tuesday that it will pause fan attendance at all indoor winter sporting events indefinitely, thanks to a spike in coronavirus cases in the Bay Area and beyond fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.

Only family members of student-athletes will be allowed to attend games for the time being. The school did not give an end date to the pause.

Stanford appears to be the first Power Five school to return to a no-fan policy during this academic year. Harvard and Yale have announced similar policies over the last week, but each of those policies included expected end dates.

“[A]fter thorough consultation with medical advisors and University leadership, it became very clear that implementing these measures is the right thing to do to protect our community at this time,” athletics director Bernard Muir said in a statement.

Stanford’s second-ranked women’s basketball team will host Oregon on Friday night and Oregon State on Sunday. The Cardinal played at Washington State on Sunday, winning without several key contributors who missed the game because of the virus, either from testing positive or contact tracing.

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