UK students cautiously optimistic ahead of football season

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 10:08 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We’re 10 days from kickoff, and SEC schools are starting to announce their mask and vaccine requirements for fans.

LSU became the first to require fans 12 years of age and older to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test to go to football games in Tiger Stadium.

Louisiana is one of the least vaccinated states in the country, with 40% of the population fully vaccinated.

A requirement aimed at slowing the spread of COVID, LSU’s president said as the flagship school in the state, they have a responsibility to ensure the safety of students and the entire community. LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward said 99.1% of his team are vaccinated.

UK announced Wednesday masks will be required when fans are in any indoor areas at Kroger Field, but not in any of the outdoor areas.

“As long as we’re in person, certain stuff like mask mandates, won’t matter. There’s still a decent amount of students trying to get vaccinated as I see in the student center and other testing centers,” UK student Dorian Cleveland said.

Students seem to agree the mask requirements have gone well on campus so far, but following the newly announced policies, they remain cautiously optimistic ahead of the season.

“I hope we can keep it pretty consistent the whole year. I wouldn’t want to see everybody crowded in at once and then we have a spike and it ruins it for the rest of the year. So consistency is what I hope for,” UK student Joshua Hales said.

UK said they will not require proof of vaccination from fans.

As of July 20, Kentucky had not yet met the SEC commissioner’s threshold of an 80% vaccinated team. When asked about the team’s vaccination status on Media Day three weeks ago, UK Head Coach Mark Stoops said the team was in a good, strong position. He said he believed the team would reach the goal in time for the season.

UK will open up the season against Louisiana Monroe.

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