By Kelsey Kushner

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After just one home game with some fans in the stands this season, the Baltimore Ravens will be back to playing in an empty stadium come Sunday when the Tennessee Titans come to town, the team announced Monday.

The announcement came after the team spoke with Gov. Larry Hogan, Mayor Jack Young and public health officials including MedStar Health.

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They cite the rise of Maryland’s COVID-19 infection rate and increased hospitalizations. On Monday, the state reported 1,726 new coronavirus cases and seven more deaths. The state’s positivity rate remains above 6%.

In giving the matter careful consideration, and with the rise of Maryland’s COVID-19 infection rate and increased hospitalizations, the Ravens believe this decision is the correct one in helping protect the well-being and safety of our community,” the Ravens said in a statement. 

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: 

Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young had previously approved a plan allowing the team to have thousands of fans at M&T Bank Stadium for the team’s rivalry match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Fans called it a disappointing decision but one that makes sense given the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

“I actually think it’s a good thing,” season ticketholder Howard Spigel said. “I think with the surge and the virus it’s not worth it, it really isn’t.”

Baltimore resident Nathan Yueh agreed.

“I think it’s sad but I can understand,” he said.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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Kelsey Kushner