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Utah State’s Craig Smith tests positive for COVID-19, will not coach game against BYU; limited fans will be allowed in

Utah State Aggies head coach Craig Smith calls out during a Mountain West Conference Tournament quarterfinal game against the New Mexico Lobos at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 14, 2019.
Utah State Aggies head coach Craig Smith calls out during a Mountain West Conference Tournament quarterfinal game against the New Mexico Lobos at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 14, 2019.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Three days before its in-state matchup against BYU, the Utah State basketball program announced on Wednesday that head coach Craig Smith has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be on the sideline at the Spectrum in Logan.

Just minutes later, Utah State announced that up to 1,628 fans will be allowed in the arena for the game, which comes out to 6.3% of normal capacity, which will be the team’s first home contest this season.

“It will be difficult watching from a distance, but I know our team is in great hands with our coaching staff. Our program has always been led by our student-athletes. This doesn’t change a thing,” Smith said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to returning to the sidelines when our protocols deem it safe for everyone involved. I am pumped for our home opener on Saturday night!”

Tickets will be sold in pods of one to six, with fans limited to one pod purchase per transaction and one transaction per account. Season-ticket holders will get first dibs on Thursday, and any remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday at 10 a.m. MST.

There will be no concessions at the game and face coverings will be required inside the Spectrum. Fans will be required to stay within their pod at all times outside of using the restroom.

Utah State has a 1-2 record after beating Northern Iowa last Friday following two losses to open the season. BYU is 4-1 after it beat St. John’s on Wednesday afternoon.