Boys State Basketball Will Continue With Immediate Family Members Only Allowed To Attend, NSAA Officials Return To Finalize Logistics

LINCOLN – A recommendation from the public health department has been accepted by the NSAA to go on with the boys state basketball tournament but only with immediate family members to attend.

After case number five of COVID-19 was revealed Tuesday, state education officials met with city and state officials in Lincoln Wednesday morning to make a decision for the upcoming basketball tournament.

The briefing took place Wednesday afternoon in Lincoln.

There were no known community acquired cases of COVID-19 in Lincoln or Lancaster County as of Wednesday afternoon.

NSAA executive director, Jay Bellar said they were going back to their office.

“We have a board meeting that was in progress that we halted that we’re going to go back into,” said Bellar. “And try to figure out to the best of our ability the logistics of what this tournament is going to look like. We are very saddened that it can’t go on with all of the fans there, but we do realize that this is the best thing to do.”

The 2020 NSAA boys state basketball tournament is scheduled for Thursday, March 12 – Saturday, March 14 in Lincoln.

Members of the immediate family are being defined as parents, guardians, spouse, children, siblings, grandparents or anyone living in the household. School administrators will need to compile the list. Also, NSAA officials did decide to honor all of its media credentials for working media only. Radio broadcast coverage on KTCH/KCTY will go on as planned.

Bellar stated that the NSAA will defer to school officials on who are the immediate family members.

Interim health director of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, Pat Lopez recommends those with higher risk of severe illness to stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible.

“Those most at risk include the following,” Lopez added. “Those over age 60; those with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease or diabetes; those with weaken immune system and women who are pregnant.”

If you’re not ill, avoid visiting hospitals, long-term care facilities or nursing homes.

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird of Lincoln mentioned there is no vaccine to the Coronavirus and no one is immune as there are also no vaccine or antiviral treatments yet available but health officials are working on that.

“By delaying the spread of the virus, we protect our healthcare system,” Mayor Baird mentioned. “We want to continue to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to keep the healthcare system from becoming overburdened by a sudden spike in cases.”

City officials haven’t made a decision about other events including a concert taking place in Lincoln Wednesday evening. Each event will be looked at based on what the risk is in the community and to those attending.

More details to be posted once available.