RPI hockey says it will face Harvard without fans
TROY, N.Y. (AP) — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute says it will play host to an ECAC men’s hockey quarterfinal series this coming weekend without fans in response to two confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New York’s Capital Region.
RPI will play host to Harvard on Friday and Saturday, with the deciding game of the best-of-three next Sunday if necessary. All three games will be conducted without spectators.
“Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has immediately enacted social distancing protocols to prevent the spread of the virus within our community,” the university said in a statement on Sunday.
Those protocols, according to the university, include the “cancellation of all public events with 50 or more attendees, with outside participation” because the confirmed cases were found within a 25-mile radius of its campus in Troy, New York, near Albany.
Some NCAA Division III men’s basketball games at Johns Hopkins University were played without fans this weekend, also in response to concerns about the virus. The NBA has told its teams to prepare for the contingency of playing without fans if necessary.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that 105 cases have now been confirmed in the state, the vast majority of those in the Westchester County area — roughly 150 miles south RPI. But two cases in Saratoga County are within RPI’s 25-mile radius for taking action, and prompted the school to decide to play this weekend in an empty arena.
Cuomo has already declared a state of emergency in New York in response to the virus and the rising number of cases.