Off campus here at OU people partying for game day, no masks in site nor is there any social distancing despite warnings from the university. pic.twitter.com/1VQWJwc6nh— Reese Gorman (@reeseg_3) September 12, 2020
NORMAN — While tighter restrictions were imposed Saturday on bars for the first game day of the pandemic season, some people were drawn to off-campus parties.
Campus Corner was sparsely populated compared to busy game days in previous years. On Sept. 8, the City Council tightened restrictions to the popular game day spot and to bars as well.
These safety restrictions made bars and restaurants limit capacity to 75% on game days as well as require customers to wear masks when not seated at tables. Employees were required to wear one at all times.
In addition to restrictions set on Campus Corner, other game day hotspots and traditions were put on hold due to the pandemic.
The University of Oklahoma stated in a press release on Aug. 25 that tailgating would be prohibited on campus for the entire season.
“In past years, a typical game day in Norman draws over 100,000 people to campus,” said OU Vice President for University Operations Eric Conrad in a release. "While we realize these decisions will be disappointing to many, it is imperative that the university does its part to slow the spread of the virus on campus and in our community so we can protect each other."
The university has not implemented any rules or regulations pertaining to off-campus events, though students are asked to use discretion.
“Although OU does not have authority over off-campus tailgates, the university encourages individuals to wear face masks in public and to avoid congregating in large groups that impede social distancing,” university spokesperson Kesha Keith said in a press release.
On game day, students threw outside, off-campus parties that drew crowds of over 200 people without regard for COVID-19. No masks were worn and people were huddled together in large groups.
City of Norman spokesperson Annahlyse Meyer said that parties must adhere to all local ordinances.
The City of Norman COVID-19 ordinance states that masks must be worn in “any public setting wherein social or physical distancing cannot be maintained … ”
Cleveland County went into the Orange Risk zone on Friday, according to the State Health Department Color Coded Map. As of Saturday, 899 Oklahomans have died of COVID-19, including 35 in Norman.
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