COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Blue Jackets announced Thursday morning that they have received approval from local health officials to allow fans back at games at Nationwide Arena and hope to receive state approval soon.

In a statement, the team said it is seeking to allow up to 10% of arena capacity for home games, or 1,953 fans. The team has played its home games this season without fans as they worked on the plan.

Approval has come from Columbus Public Health. Next is seeking a variance request from the state Department of Health.

Here is the statement from the team:

The Columbus Blue Jackets are very pleased that the plan we presented, in conjunction with Columbus Arena Sports & Entertainment, has been approved by Columbus Public Health to allow 10 percent of Nationwide Arena’s capacity, or 1,953 fans, to attend games at our facility. Our understanding is that Columbus Public Health will share its recommendations and submit this variance request to the Ohio Department of Health for final approval.

We have spent a great deal of time and effort to provide a framework for fans to safely return to Nationwide Arena this season and appreciate the work of our local health officials throughout this process to date. We are excited about the possibility of welcoming The 5th Line back to Nationwide Arena and look forward to hearing from state officials in the near future. Should final approval be granted, we anticipate final preparations to welcome fans back to the arena to take at least one week.