School health officials: First home football game safe as possible

Most Wanted Sept 3

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Aajene Robinson

The University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences dean said he’s feeling optimistic about this year’s football season.

Dr. Richard Friend said school health officials are seeing an increase in faculty, staff and students getting vaccinated, meaning many fans gathering in the stadium this weekend will be at least somewhat protected against COVID-19.

“About 75% of our faculty and staff have been vaccinated that we can confirm, and for our students that number is right around 60%,” Friend said. “Both those numbers are great, especially compared to the state average, so I feel confident going into the game that we are going to be OK for the first home football game.”

Friend said fans can’t be too careful, so he still encourages wearing a mask in areas where you’ll be near others in an enclosed space.

“I know in the stadium, any indoor spaces, any air-conditioned spaces they are all going to have masked requirements,” Friend said. “I think outside in the seating bowl there will not be mask requirements, but we know that outside is safer than inside.”

Masks are still encouraged outside, Friend said, but they won’t be mandatory.

University Medical Center and the Student Health Center offer free vaccinations, and more pop-up vaccination clinics are happening soon.

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