ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – The 6,772 people who have tickets to Saturday’s Wild Card game between the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts will need to pass a COVID-19 test on Wednesday or Thursday.
A spokesperson for BioReference, the firm which is conducting the testing, tells News 4 the testing will take place between 6:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. on both days. The testing will take place in Lot 4 of the Bills Stadium parking lot, where temporary structures are being constructed. All fans must pass a BioReference test and show proof at the gate Saturday to get into Bills Stadium. On Monday, emails which include a link to pre-register for a test are being sent to ticket holders.
“There will be 30 lanes of traffic in the parking lot,” said Dr. Jon Cohen, BioReference’s executive chairman. “I suspect it should take approximately five minutes once you get in to get tested.”
On their FAQ page, the Bills are recommending ticket holders secure the earliest testing slot possible.
For those who will not see the game in person, options to see it are limited due to the coronavirus crisis. Indoor dining in bars and restaurants is still banned in the large portion of Erie County which is under ‘orange zone’ restrictions, despite data released by the state in December which showed of 46,000 data points statewide, 73.84% of COVID spread between September and November of 2020 occurred in private household gatherings. Bars and restaurants were the source of exposure in 1.43% of cases.
“We are very concerned about people gathering,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said of Saturday’s Bills game.
Poloncarz added he was hopeful Governor Andrew Cuomo would downgrade the ‘orange zone’ across most of the county on Monday. That didn’t happen.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.