ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend at Highmark Stadium with fans in attendance as New York State continues to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Any fans looking to attend the game are being advised to bring a mask.
The Erie County Department of Health had previously announced last month that any fans, staff, and/or vendors at Highmark Stadium are required to wear a mask at the stadium, regardless of their vaccination status.
The Buffalo Bills issued a statement, citing health department guidance, saying that "masks or facial coverings will be required for all fans, staff, and vendors regardless of vaccination status when visiting the indoor settings at Highmark Stadium.
"This includes all indoor areas, indoor club levels, concourses, suites, restrooms, and other enclosed spaces. If you are fully vaccinated, masks will not be required in the outdoor areas of the stadium."
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the county will be monitoring masking at the home opener and will "make a decision that's appropriate for future games."
"We will be monitoring it and I'll be showing up at the game myself in all likelihood, just to see how it is, and get the reaction from the fans," Poloncarz said. "I do believe that the vast majority of the people who will be going to the football game are vaccinated, but we're gonna - we're gonna check it out and see if people are really following it. When you have 70,000 fans, you can't have 70,000 observers."
Poloncarz says fans who don't follow the rules are subject to violation of the code of conduct, which would result in removal from the game.