LSU Drops Vaccine Mandate For Football Games Despite Louisiana’s High Covid Risk

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imageTopline LSU announced Friday it’s dropping the requirement for fans to either show proof of Covid vaccination or a recent negative test result to attend games at the university’s 102,321-seat football stadium, bucking a national trend of businesses and public entities enacting stricter mandates with stronger enforcement.

Key Facts LSU was by far the most powerful college football program with a mandate for fans, but its enforcement during the team’s three home games so far this season was spotty at best.

In a statement, LSU cited a decline in Covid spread across Louisiana in recent weeks, noting the testing positivity rate is now below 5% and hospitalizations have declined by 80% over the past seven weeks.

According to the CDC , the state is still considered in the highest category for risk of Covid transmission, with 62 of its 64 parishes having either “high” or “substantial” spread.

The mask mandate for outdoor areas of the stadium, including seats, has also been lifted.

LSU’s next home game will be against the University of Florida on October 16.

Crucial Quote: “The game is not over.This virus will surge again, and Louisiana must be prepared before it arrives yet again by getting vaccinated,” Dr.Catherine O’Neal, chief medical officer at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said in a statement.

Big Number 46%.That’s how much of the Louisiana population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the Mayo Clinic .That’s the sixth-lowest rate of any state in the country.

Key Background The move by LSU is in the complete opposite direction of a national trend for more mandates and stronger enforcement.Numerous businesses, like United Airlines, UPS and Walgreens recently put vaccine mandates in place for at least some employees, with many more businesses set to start enforcing mandates over the coming weeks and months.LSU was an early adopter of a vaccine mandate for fans when it announced the requirement on August 24, but it has become more common in the sports world.

At least four NFL teams, including the nearby New Orleans Saints, are requiring fans to show proof of vaccination or negative test results.For the upcoming NBA season, mandates will be in place for at least half of the league’s arenas.

What To Watch For President Joe Biden announced last month that the federal government plans to create guidelines requiring employees of all businesses with more than 100 workers be vaccinated against Covid-19 or submit to weekly testing.The new rules will impact about 80 million private sector workers.Vaccine mandates that have been put in place so far have been met with overwhelming compliance , with most businesses and government bodies reporting vaccination rates among workers surged to well over 90% ahead of mandates being enforced.

Further Reading Half Of NBA Teams Require Covid-19 Vaccines Or Tests For Fans To Attend Games—See Full List (Forbes)

LSU Requiring Proof Of Covid Vaccination Or Negative Test For Football Games (Forbes)

Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates Are Working—Here’s The Proof (Forbes)

Sweeping new vaccine mandates for 100 million Americans (The Associated Press)

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

Nicholas Reimann

I’m a New Orleans-based news reporter for Forbes covering the U.S.South and breaking news.Previously, I wrote for The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate covering

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I’m a New Orleans-based news reporter for Forbes covering the U.S.South and breaking news.

Previously, I wrote for The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate covering local government..

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