In the middle of August, as the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus surged through our country, the Las Vegas Raiders became the first team in the NFL to announce that anyone attending Raiders football games this season would be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. The announcement included the caveat that with vaccinations, masks would not be required in the stadium. Raiders owner Mark Davis released a statement saying, “After consultation with Governor Sisolak and other community leaders, this policy ensures that we will be able to operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season.” Children under 12, who cannot yet receive a COVID-19 vaccine, are allowed to attend but must wear a mask.
To that end, the Raiders’ season opener on Monday night, Sept. 13, included onsite vaccination sites. According to the team, almost 300 fans received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at the stadium on Monday, while more than 6,000 people made sure to get their first dose on game day before showing up at the stadium. According to 8 News Now, more than 10,000 people got shots within three days of attending Monday night’s game.
The announcement that vaccinations would be required during the season prompted around 1,800 season ticket holders to opt for a refund, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. But after moving into a brand new stadium and finally having a chance to watch football in person, most football fans got over their hesitancy and got the shot.
Face mask required still during college games
While the NFL did not explicitly mandate that teams and players be vaccinated before the start of the season, they have a created quite a monetary incentive for teams to enact strict COVID-19 policies. In July the NFL sent a memo to NFL owners explaining that if any of their games were canceled due to COVID-19 outbreaks among “unvaccinated players or staff” and the game was not able to be rescheduled, the teams would suffer a loss and be “responsible for financial losses and subject to potential discipline from the commissioner.”
Rescheduling NFL games is virtually impossible in the first place, but to make sure ownership understood how much more improbable it would be this season, the commissioner wrote that “We do not anticipate adding a ’19th week’ to accommodate games that cannot be rescheduled within the current 18 weeks of the regular season.” The memo also outlined considerably stricter rules in quarantining of unvaccinated vs. vaccinated players who test positive. NFL Network host Tom Pelissero wrote: “Vaccinated individuals who test positive and are asymptomatic can return to duty after two negative tests 24 hours apart. Unvaccinated individuals still subject to mandatory 10-day isolation period.”
This week, the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres announced that anyone planning on seeing games at Highmark Stadium and KeyBank Center, where the two teams play, respectively, will be required to show proof of vaccination or proof that they will be fully vaccinated by the end of October. The Bills next home game is Sept. 26 and KeyBank will begin the mandate on Sept. 25 for those attending a concert. Many teams are still offering up proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within a certain time span of the game being attended.
The Raiders’ plan is a safer one.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.