CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – As fans packed into the Dean Smith Center Tuesday evening to see the North Carolina men’s basketball team take on Appalachian State, they did so under stricter COVID-19 protocols.

According to ESPN, about 21,750 fans attended the game. UNC promised stricter enforcement of mask-wearing as cases of COVID-19 – including the omicron variant – have spiked in North Carolina and across the country.

CBS 17’s crew inside the Dean Smith Center observed the majority of fans complying and heard numerous reminders about masking over the public address system during the game.

Tuesday night’s game came at a time when numerous other sporting events across the country have gotten postponed. The NHL announced a pause on the league schedule for a few days after recent cases.

Despite the continued concerns over the virus, most fans CBS 17 spoke to felt confident about being at the game – citing protective measures they had taken.

“I’m fully vaccinated. Boosted up, too,” UNC fan Bill Gavalier said. “I’ve got my mask on.”

“I’m not really nervous about it,” UNC fan Daniel Bulluck added. “It’s just time to have a full capacity game this year.”