Ohio State requiring COVID vaccines for students, staff but not fans to attend football games

·2 min read

With a little more than two weeks until the first Ohio State football home game on the 2021 schedule, the university announced that students and faculty members must be vaccinated.

The mandates comes a day after the Pfizer vaccine was given full approval by the FDA.

The first Ohio State football home game is scheduled for Sept. 11 against Oregon. The school is planning to be operating at full capacity. But will Buckeye fans need to be vaccinated to attend the game?

Well, it's clear the Ohio State students and employees will need to be, but the average fan? No. Not yet, at least.

Current policies do not bar unvaccinated fans from attending Ohio State football games.

Ohio State announced in June that it was planning for full capacity at Ohio Stadium this year. At the time, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in a news release: “Our hope is that we are at full capacity for our football games.”

Tickets for the Ohio State spring game at Ohio Stadium cost $5, and a public sale of approximately 4,500 seats will begin at 11 a.m. Monday.
Tickets for the Ohio State spring game at Ohio Stadium cost $5, and a public sale of approximately 4,500 seats will begin at 11 a.m. Monday.

There are seven Ohio State home football games this season. In June, Ohio State said it was working with local health officials and was encouraging fans to get vaccinated.

"You’ll continue to hear that message of support for vaccinations a lot from our department, the university and Columbus Public Health because it is a key component to having a full stadium in the fall," Smith added in his statement.

Single-game tickets go sale this week. Ohio Stadium has a capacity of nearly 105,000.

A public service announcement from Buckeyes coach Ryan Day was included as a part of June's announcement.

"It's been a long year. It’s been hard for a lot of us," Day said in a video message. "We're looking forward to getting back to the ‘Shoe. We're very excited to have a full stadium and a big part of that is getting vaccinated."

Day said earlier this month that more than 90% of the team had been vaccinated and updated the figure on Monday, noting about only 10 players remained unvaccinated.

A day before Ohio State issued its student and staff vaccine mandate, the Big Ten announced that teams unable to play due to COVID-19 would forfeit the game.

Forfeiting teams would be assigned a loss in the conference standings and their opponent would receive a win. If both teams were unable to play, the game would be declared a no contest. Games will not be rescheduled.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State football: Vaccine required for students, staff but not fans