Wake Forest, Duke announce new fan attendance protocols

Fans at Joel Coliseum must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to attend games while concessions will no longer be available to attendees at Cameron Indoor Stadium

Duke fans reach out while Georgia Tech guard Kyle Sturdivant prepares to inbound the ball during Tuesday's basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium (Gerry Broome / AP Photo)

With COVID cases once again soaring because of the Omicron variant and sports events being postponed or canceled at venues across the country, including North Carolina, several state colleges have instituted new protocols for fans attending upcoming home basketball games.

Campbell has taken the most drastic action by announcing that all on-campus athletic events will be closed to spectators at least through January 19.

Wake Forest and Davidson will continue to allow fans in the stands, but anyone above the age of 12 attending games at those two schools must provide proof of a COVID vaccination or a negative test result in order to enter their arenas. 

Proof of vaccination can be either a vaccination card or a digital/photo image with name and dosage history. Negative PCR or rapid tests must be taken within 48 hours of the event.

 “We are all working together to persevere through this recent surge in COVID cases, especially in consideration of the pressure faced by our healthcare system and workers,” Wake Forest athletic director John Currie said Friday in a statement announcing the new guideline. “This additional step for Wake Forest indoor athletic events is consistent with the updated protocols for the spring semester outlined by provost Rogan Kersh and executive vice-president Hof Milam’s recent message to the University community on Dec. 29.”

Beginning with the Deacons’ home basketball game against Duke on Wednesday, January 12, spectators must show either their vaccination card.

Individuals who can not provide either proof of vaccination or a valid negative COVID test will be denied entry. Face coverings are required and must be worn during all indoor athletic events at Wake. 

They are permitted to be lowered from the face and nose only when fans are consuming food and drinks in their seats and other designated areas.

Duke, on the other hand, has announced that concession stands will be closed and that food and beverage options will be suspended in all hospitality areas, consistent with the university’s policy on indoor dining across campus to reduce the risk of COVID transmission.

Club Blue Devil will not open for Saturday’s basketball game against Miami, but outdoor options are being evaluated for future home dates, depending on the weather. Mask mandates remain in effect at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

North Carolina, NC State and other state athletic departments also have mask mandates in place, but have not announced any additional protocols in response to the pandemic.