Fans returned to the TD Garden in the spring to cheer on the Boston Celtics, but with COVID-19 cases spiking again, Steve Pagliuca, one of the team's owners, sounded less than 100% about fans in the stands when the team holds its first home game of the 2021-2022 season on Friday, Oct. 22.
During an interview Tuesday morning on 93.7 WEEI, Pagliuca said the team's approach to the fluid situation involves "monitoring it day by day and then being responsive to what happens out there."
"So far it looks like we're going to have a season and there will be fans in the stands and there will be precautions taken," Pagliuca said in a statement that co-owner Wyc Grousbeck quipped was "very Belichikian."
In a report that covered three days’ worth of data, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Monday afternoon reported 3,335 new COVID-19 infections, a seven-day test positivity rate of 2.59%, 530 patients hospitalized with the virus, and four new deaths.
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Vaccines have helped curb deaths and hospitalizations, but many people eligible to receive vaccinations have not done so and campaigns to boost vaccination rates are continuing, with some employers playing bigger roles by implementing vaccine mandates or requiring unvaccinated employees to undergo regular testing.
In one of the more significant statewide responses to the surge in infections, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday gave Education Commissioner Jeff Riley the authority to require mask-wearing among all K-12 students and employees through September. At the State House, legislative leaders have yet to detail the specifics around plans to bring more workers back into the building, which remains closed to the public.