Oregon, Oregon State to require vaccinations or negative COVID-19 test to attend games

All fans over the age of 12 must show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours in order to attend Oregon and Oregon State football games this fall, the schools announced on Friday.

The move makes the Ducks and the Beavers the first power five schools to make such a requirement.

The Ducks, who opened at No. 11 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll, will host Fresno State on Sept. 4 to kick off their season. Oregon State will open the year on the road at Purdue, but will host Hawaii on Sept. 11.

Oregon is one of several Pac-12 schools that is requiring all students and employees be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee required earlier this week that all state employees working in an educational role get vaccinated, which included Washington State coach Nick Rolovich — who has been against receiving a vaccine thus far. He even missed the Pac-12 media day in July, as he was the only coach in the conference who wasn’t vaccinated. Rolovich has said that he will comply with the ruling.

Oregon is averaging just more than 2,000 new cases of the coronavirus as of Friday night, according to The New York Times, which is a nearly 75% increase over the past two weeks. 57% of the state is fully vaccinated, the 12th best in the country.

Will other power five schools follow?

It’s too soon to tell how many other power five schools will follow the two Oregon schools’ lead, but it certainly seems like the sport is headed in that direction.

Tulane University became the first FBS school last week to require a vaccination or a negative test in order to attend games this fall, something that came after a New Orleans requirement that restricts indoor and outdoor events. The Saints followed suit soon after, which made them the first NFL team to do so.

Hawaii announced on Friday that no fans will be allowed at “season-opening” events due to the pandemic, too.

With multiple Pac-12 schools on board with the vaccine plan, it’s safe to assume that at least a few more in the conference will follow. Whether that trend spreads east — especially down into the SEC, which has four of the five least vaccinated states in the country — remains to be seen.

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