In his weekly update to the OU community on the COVID-19 pandemic, OU Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler said the preparations for OU’s first home football game should keep attendees safe.
The stadium will only be at 25 percent capacity with staggered seating, and everyone will be required to wear a mask from the moment they step on campus, Bratzler said. In addition, entering the stadium will be touchless and physical distancing will be required in all areas.
“So they've done everything they possibly can, I think, to keep people separated, keep them safe,” Bratzler said.
With the Norman City Council’s decision to keep restaurants and bars at 75 percent capacity on home game days, Bratzler said recent studies show people who visit bars report contracting COVID-19 at a higher rate than those who don’t.
“Fans, just remember (when) you’re in an indoor setting in a place where people don't have their mask on, you increase the risk of transmission and getting the virus,” Bratzler said.
In Oklahoma, 942 new cases were confirmed Friday, Bratzler said, bringing the state total to 67,642 cases and 888 deaths. There were 5,600 new cases confirmed in the last week, which Bratzler said is an increase, but the number of deaths decreased with 44 deaths reported in the last week.
OU’s new cases have hovered just above 20 per day since Sept. 1, with the most recent dashboard update showing 24 new positive cases on Sept. 8 and 21 new positive cases on Sept. 9.
In a study from Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers of Disease Control, Bratzler said 41 percent of adults had delayed or avoided routine medical care because of COVID-19. This could result in increased cases of cancer, strokes and heart attacks due to people avoiding screenings and preventative care.
“It's very important that people remember that most healthcare settings now are very safe,” Bratzler said. “Healthcare systems have put into place all of the procedures to keep people safe. And please don't avoid medical care that's necessary.”
Bratzler also reminded viewers to get their flu shot, citing a Brazil study that showed people who received the flu shot and got COVID-19 had less severe symptoms.