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Gonzaga Basketball

Citing emergence of Omicron variant, Gonzaga to suspend concessions at home athletic events

Gonzaga fans enjoy food and drink before the start of the Mississippi Valley State game, Dec. 1, 2016, in the McCarthey Athletic Center.  (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

As a preventative measure to slow the spread and transmission of omicron COVID-19 cases, Gonzaga is temporarily suspending the sale of food and beverages at home athletic events, the school announced Thursday.

Gonzaga’s news release cited the effectiveness of mask-wearing as the primary reason for halting concession sales, a decision that was made under recommendations from Spokane Regional Health District.

“Mask-wearing has been scientifically demonstrated to reduce transmission in congregate settings, and opportunities to reduce mask-wearing create greater opportunity for viral transmission,” the release read.

The new guidelines apply to all in-venue concessions at McCarthey Athletic Center, the Herak Club, Karen Gaffney Champions Room and ’63 Court hospitality spaces which will be closed during the suspension.

Water fountains will still be operational and fans can still purchase bottled water at select spaces on the McCarthey concourse.

Those attending home athletic events are still not permitted to bring food or beverage into facilities. According to the release, “the University, in coordination with the Spokane Regional Health District, will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and communicate service adjustments.”

Per a state mandate, all attending home Gonzaga games must still wear masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status. Prior to entry, fans must also show proof of vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test taken within the 72 hours prior to the event.

The news release also reaffirmed the school’s stance toward booster shots, stating “Gonzaga University is encouraging eligible individuals to be fully vaccinated with boosters and follow all mandatory safety protocols to keep fans in The Kennel.”

The No. 4 Gonzaga men are on track to end a three-game COVID-19 pause Saturday when the Bulldogs host Pepperdine at 6 p.m.

The Bulldogs women are next scheduled to play at home on Jan. 15 against Pacific.