You’re welcome to theorize as to what the main reason for this might have been, but you no longer have to show a vaxx card to get in to Tiger Stadium for the next LSU home football game.
With the consistent and significant decline in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations across the state of Louisiana and in the Baton Rouge area, LSU will lift its COVID-19 entrance protocols for football games in Tiger Stadium, beginning with the Tigers’ Oct. 16 game against Florida.
In accordance with state and campus guidelines, all guests will still be required to wear masks in the indoor areas of the stadium.
“The COVID-19 rates in Louisiana have dropped dramatically across the state over the last couple of weeks, and today, the state has a positivity rate below five percent,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal, Chief Medical Officer at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge and a member of the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force. “Because of this success, we are able to lift the vaccine and testing requirements for entry into Tiger Stadium. By balancing mitigation efforts and risk in the ongoing fight to end the pandemic, we can protect our community and safely celebrate the traditions that bring us together.”
Beginning Oct. 16, guests will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test upon entrance to Tiger Stadium. Gameday testing, fast pass preverification, and all other entrance-related procedures will no longer be in place, and masks will no longer be required in outdoor locations of the stadium for guests under 12 years of age.
“We cannot thank our fans enough for stepping up to help stop the spread while still supporting the Tigers,” LSU Athletics Director Scott Woodward said. “Their commitment to protecting our community and supporting our student-athletes has never wavered. We remain fully committed to providing a gameday experience that is as safe and as enjoyable as possible for all guests, and we will continue to work with University leadership and rely on medical expertise to ensure we are taking reasonable and necessary precautions to protect the health of our community.”
COVID-19 in Louisiana has consistently and continually declined in recent weeks. Hospitalizations have decreased by 80 percent over the past seven weeks, and the state’s percent positivity is less than five percent, well below its August peak near 16 percent. Since August 1, the state’s vaccination rate has increased by 23 percent, with now more than 2.1 million Louisianans fully vaccinated.
“This is amazing progress,” Dr. O’Neal said. “But the game is not over. This virus will surge again, and Louisiana must be prepared before it arrives yet again by getting vaccinated. The vaccines we have are safe and effective, and getting vaccinated is our best shot at defeating COVID-19.”
Catherine O’Neal is the lunatic who said a few weeks ago that people could choose the vaccine or else they’d be choosing death, which is an unbelievably unscientific statement so absolutely beyond the pale of responsible public rhetoric that in a sane world she would have been relieved of duty on the spot, and she’s now crawfished from that point to now letting people live their lives a little.
It’s a good little window into the fact none of this stuff was driven by science. After all, the COVID numbers in Louisiana are dropping, yes, but they’re also dropping in all those other places around the south where nobody was dumb enough to impose a vaxx mandate on their fans. LSU was the only school in the SEC doing that.
And a fairly empty Tiger Stadium was the reward for such bold idiocy. The stadium was somewhat full for the Auburn game, though it cleared out almost immediately.
And with this year’s team doing a good job of firing the coach, the prospect of a full stadium for the rest of the year is a pretty empty one. Social distancing in Tiger Stadium is likely to be pretty easy when nobody is coming to the games.
You’re entitled to believe Woodward started screaming about attendance and the lack of necessity behind making his job harder this fall, and that those complaints began to hit paydirt – not with O’Neal or LSU president William Tate, but with the governor. John Bel Edwards might have extended his clownish mask mandate through October, but he isn’t going to go down with the vaxx-passport ship at LSU.
You’re also entitled to believe that the people in charge of this state are clueless, that they stupidly went out on a limb with the vaxx passport stupidity thinking they’d be politically rewarded for it, and when not only did that not happen but Louisiana and LSU became a laughingstock when the rest of the country had full stadiums chanting variations of “Let’s Go, Brandon,” it was time to crawfish back to the pack.
Either way, it’s nice to see freedom win out once in a while. It’s too bad the football inside the stadium is unwatchable; we otherwise might consider taking in a game.