UAB Doctor Still Recommends No Fans In Stadiums
College football season is officially upon us. As of this Saturday, Aug. 28th, there are regular season FBS games being played live on television. For millions of fans, this is one of the happiest times of the year. Especially with a 2020 season largely impacted by COVID, hopes were high for a mostly normal year of college football. Along with canceled games, the absence or limit of fans in stadiums was one of the strangest things to adjust to last year.
While most schools nationwide have announced that they will have full capacity games this season, UAB's Infectious Disease Expert is warning against this resumption.
Dr. Michael Saag said in an update from the Medical Association of Alabama, "I would not advise anyone to go to a live game right now." Dr. Saag elaborated, saying "Half the people in those stands are going to be unvaccinated. If we want to get back to life as normal where we can go to those things in a safer fashion, we need better control of the epidemic and the way to do that is to get vaccinated."
The University of Alabama has certainly pushed for vaccination not only amongst their athletes, but students and fans as well. Students are being rewarded with $40 in Bama Cash for submitting proof of vaccination, as well as being entered into a raffle with prizes such as free parking passes.
In the locker room, vaccination efforts have been extremely successful, with Athletic Director Greg Byrne announcing that over 90% of student athletes have been vaccinated. Even more impressively, Coach Nick Saban announced a couple of weeks ago in an ESPN interview that "all but one" of the Tide football players are vaccinated.
With LSU announcing a stadium policy that requires proof of vaccination or a recent negative test for the upcoming season, it wouldn't be unlikely to see similar measures enacted amongst all SEC teams, and possibly nationwide. Regardless, at least football season will be back in full force, and thousands of fans will be able to rejoin the chaos that makes game days special.