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The Buffalo Bills, winners of the AFC East for the first time since 1995, will have 6,700 fans in attendance as part of a pilot program when they host their first playoff game, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed Wednesday.
Buffalo will allow fans who have masks and test negative for COVID-19 prior to the game. Cuomo said there also will be contact tracing after the game, so that large events like football games and concerts, as well as other businesses, can reopen safely.
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"A football playoff game is outdoors, which is a much better situation from COVID spread," Cuomo said. "We believe we are the first state in the nation to run this kind of pilot. We think it can be very instructive to us going forward."
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Cuomo added that fans should take measures seriously. "The numbers are down. We want to keep them down," he said.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen also put out a message directed to fans who plan on attending.
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"Bills Mafia! I am excited to let you guys know we are going to be allowed some fans for our first playoff game. We are super excited for it. I want to thank all the parties involved – the Pegulas, Governor Cuomo and everybody else involved. Thank you so much," he said in a video posted to Twitter.
Allen added: "Please follow guidelines and wear your masks in the stands so we can have you guys there for the rest of the way. Go, Bills!"
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