Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced on Wednesday afternoon that Capital One Arena will remain open to the public and events will go on as scheduled. The Washington Capitals will release a statement later on.
The DC Department of Health recommended “those non-essential mass gatherings, including conferences and conventions, be postponed or canceled,” earlier in the day.
The Capitals open a three-game homestand against the Detroit Red Wings (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington) on Thursday with games on Saturday and Monday to follow.
Monumental Sports requests that individuals who are feeling ill or have been diagnosed with the virus consider staying home and that if you are starting to do so at the event to consider leaving the event.
The health and safety of our employees, players and guests is paramount. We have formed a cross-functional Coronavirus task force and are monitoring updates and following guidance from the CDC, WHO and local governmental authorities. We are undertaking additional cleanings in high traffic areas across all of our properties and encourage all to follow the recommended CDC guidelines on personal hygiene and wellness. We are participating in local government task forces and working closely with the leagues and will continue to watch the situation closely, assessing additional measures as they may become necessary.
The major professional leagues, including the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL), have jointly issued additional guidelines, which the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals will follow, limiting access to all team locker rooms to essential personnel. Following League guidance, team and player appearances at community events will be cancelled.
Today, the DC Department of Health recommended “that non-essential mass gatherings, including conferences and conventions, be postponed or cancelled.” Per DC Health, mass gatherings are defined as events where 1,000 or more people are congregating in a specific location.
At the current direction of the NBA and NHL, our games will go on as scheduled and be open to spectators. We are in constant contact with both leagues and should they update their guidance, we will update the public accordingly.
Similarly, all concerts and events being hosted at Capital One Arena are currently planned to go on as scheduled at the direction of their respective promoters. We are in contact with event organizers and should they update their status, we will update the public accordingly.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment encourages fans to follow the recommendations of the CDC and their state or local health authorities (e.g., DC, Virginia and Maryland) including staying home if they are feeling sick (except to get medical care), regardless of their symptoms. Based on guidance from the CDC, individuals in vulnerable populations should avoid crowds as much as possible. For fans attending events, we remind you to follow good hygiene and healthy habits recommended by the CDC including:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Dispensers are placed around Capital One Arena in convenient locations.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and clean your hands.
• If you begin to feel ill, including with fever, cough or shortness of breath, you should leave the event. If you are not able to leave the event, you should seek assistance from guest services.
In addition, we ask that individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are otherwise at risk due to potential exposure to COVID-19 follow CDC guidelines by refraining from attendance at community events. In addition, we ask that Individuals who are elderly and at-risk consider staying home.
We will provide additional information as we learn more on this evolving issue. Please continue to check http://www.monumentalsports.com/news for the latest updates.
By Harrison Brown