Here’s what health officials say about a Masters with limited patrons

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:31 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A historic Masters pushed to November, with no patrons allowed for the first time since World War II. But this April, Augusta National Golf Club is letting in limited patrons.

“This gives us a ray of hope knowing that there’s the possibility of at least some expanded attendance at the Masters compared to November,” Bennish Brown with the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau said.

The bureau says it’s a small step in the right direction.

“We’d be excited to begin to see this tournament make its steps to get back to what we consider normal,” Brown said.

Still, local health officials are cautious with surging COVID-19 numbers, though they say there are simple steps everyone can take to make sure it’s safe.

“Plan ahead, limit number of people, keep patrons and players socially distanced, and emphasize mask use and mandate mask use and encourage as many people as possible to get the vaccine a month or more in advance of the Masters,” Dr. Rodger MacArthur, an infectious disease expert at Augusta University, said.

In a statement, Augusta National says they will have similar guidelines as the November tournament, with temperature checks, social distancing, and of course, mask-wearing.

With the event being held outside and with vaccines on the way, it makes it easier to have patrons this time around.

“We’re not all that concerned we hope of course by then that many of these individuals especially older individuals will have been vaccinated,” MacArthur said.

For local businesses, they say they’re anxiously waiting to see what an April Masters will bring.

“This is at least some very exciting news on the front end and we’ll just be eagerly watching to see how this moves along,” Brown said.

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