Boston College Athletics announced on Tuesday that it will require COVID-19 vaccines for all fans ages 12 and over attending men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s hockey games in Conte Forum. A negative PCR test will no longer grant fans access into Conte Forum for public events.
The requirement, in accordance with the city of Boston’s “B Together” plan, requires fans 12 and older to have received one complete dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 15 and have received their second dose by Feb. 15. Children ages 5–11 must show proof of one dose of the vaccine by March 1.
Conte Forum’s mask requirement for all fans over the age of 2 will remain in place.
BC Athletics’ announcement detailed that guests will be able to show proof of vaccination through their physical vaccine card, a digital image, any official record showing immunization, or through any vaccine verification apps, including CrowdPass and any city of Boston–designated apps.
The vaccine requirement comes amid a growing number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts and a surge of the Omicron variant in the state and across the country. Twelve of Massachusetts’ 14 counties reported more cases from Dec. 12 to Dec. 25 than they had in the previous two-week period.
The mandate also comes after a number of postponements and cancellations of BC sporting events. BC men’s basketball returned to play Sunday after a 19-day layoff due to finals and a COVID-19 outbreak, and BC men’s hockey underwent an 18-day break due to COVID-19 precautions earlier this season.
In his postgame press conference Sunday, men’s basketball head coach Earl Grant said that all players and coaches on the team, except one, tested positive for COVID-19 during BC’s hiatus.
BC women’s basketball’s Jan. 2 game against Pittsburgh and Monday’s women’s hockey’s game against Providence were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. The 2021 Military Bowl between BC football and East Carolina scheduled for Dec. 27 was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within BC’s program.
In the fall, BC Athletics required all guests at Alumni Stadium and other athletic events to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test administered within the previous 72 hours. The requirement went into effect on Sept. 4, the day of BC football’s home opener against Colgate.
The University required all members of the BC community on campus—except those with a University-approved religious or medical exemption—to be fully vaccinated for the fall semester. BC announced that it would require all students, faculty, and staff, except those who previously obtained a religious or medical exemption and have not since been fully vaccinated, to receive a COVID-19 booster shot for the spring semester by Feb. 9.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Senior Staff