Fans React To New UMD Proof Of Vaccine To Attend Games

DULUTH, Minn. — Fans have gotten used to wearing masks here at Amsoil arena, but in a few weeks, they’re going to have to bring one extra thing to allow them to come support the Bulldogs.

Friday, the President of the University Of Minnesota System announced a new temporary change across their 5 campuses — proof of vaccination or a negative test 72 hours prior in order to attend indoor events with more than 200 people.

It will impact campus events or gatherings, leased space for events, and here in Duluth, UMD Bulldog hockey games at Amsoil.

“So this is just one more opportunity for the university to stay true to our commitment, to do everything we can do to keep our campus community and also our guests as safe as possible, and do our part in everything that we can do to slow the spread of covid, I’m not sure what the public response will be I’m sure there will be a mixture just like we’ve seen throughout the pandemic,” Lynne Williams, Director Of University Marketing And Public Relations said.

The public spoke out Saturday as crowds gathered in the Amsoil lobby to attend the women’s game versus Bemidji. Some were for the change, and others not so much.

“I have a ton of autoimmune diseases I have 5 to be specific so to be out in the public is a really scary thing and I only want to be around people who are taking covid as seriously as I am,” Katie Lund, UMD Hockey Fan said.

“We’ve been living with covid without proof of vaccinations for 3 years now in our area and I don’t see why we just all of a sudden have to start it. Like I said we have to respect the people that are not vaccinated, it’s their choice and this is a free country we should be able to do what we want without having to be controlled,” Dustin Carlson, UMD Hockey Fan said.

According to university officials, students, faculty, and staff need to only show a “ucard” as proof of compliance with this policy to get into events.

Anyone else five and older, must show proof of vaccination or the negative test.

With the omicron variant surging through the community, Katie Lund explained how this new change might enhance the fan experience for those who might have been nervous venturing out anywhere.

“I just think everyone is going to generally be able to let loose a little more and let their guard down a little bit. These times are really hard right and we all have these super high guards up and so it’s really nice to just like breathe and decompress a little bit because right now we don’t really have an opportunity to do that,” she said.

But for Dustin Carlson, it’s beginning to bring other questions into view.

“Covid is very unfortunate there’s a lot of people getting sick and it’s kind of peaking right now again unfortunately but the proof of vaccination, are the vaccines actually working? That’s the true question because I was vaccinated and I got covid,” he said.

While the virus is infecting both the vaccinated and unvaccinated, health officials with Mayo Clinic say if you are fully vaccinated, you’re at a much lower risk of hospitalization and death due to covid than unvaccinated people with similar risk factors.

So far this is only a temporary change starting Wednesday, January 26th and lasting through February 9th.  There are no plans to extend that timeline yet.

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