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IOWA CITY — With the University of Iowa resuming in-person Hawkeye football this fall, campus administrators are promoting COVID precautions and general good fan behavior.
“Like many of you, we are excited for the 2021 football season to begin Saturday,” according to the campus message from administrators like Athletics Director Gary Barta and Dean of Students Angie Reams. “Students play a valuable role in the Hawkeye football tradition, both as players on the field and fans in the stadium.”
Included in their message was a “do” and “don’t” list for the 2021 football season.
- Arrive before kickoff and stay for the full game.
- Show respect toward other fans, visiting teams, officials, and marching band members.
- Remember COVID remains present and fans are “strongly” encouraged to get vaccinated and wear a mask, “even if you are outdoors, as you will be in close proximity to others.”
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Limit tailgating to designated campus locations during the allotted hours.
- Recycle (or use garbage cans for trash).
- Stay hydrated.
- Underage drinking.
- Carrying open beer, wine, or hard liquor on public sidewalks and roads — as it's against Iowa City's open container ordinance.
- Use tobacco products on UI’s tobacco-free campus, including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco.
- And going on the field — “for your own safety, as well as the safety of players, coaches, and other fans.”
The university also warned fans gathering to watch the game — including those not planning to visit Kinnick Stadium — to “be mindful of the size of your group and please consider wearing a face mask.”
“Even if your residence or gathering place is off campus, everyone still must do their part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” according to the campus message.
UI President Barbara Wilson on Thursday thanked her campus for taking COVID precautions and indicated “new vaccination incentives” developed by student leaders will be announced soon.
She also said COVID metrics in Johnson County remain “relatively stable,” with a seven-day rolling average of positive tests as of Tuesday at 49, up from 30 a week ago and 159 this time last year. The UI seven-day rolling average as of Tuesday was six, compared with seven a week ago and 120 last year.
UI Hospitals and Clinics as of Thursday had 36 adult COVID inpatients and five pediatric COVID inpatients. The majority of those patients are unvaccinated — 80 percent — and from outside Johnson County — 90 percent.
Wilson also reported weekly monitoring of wastewater from UI residence halls has produced no evidence of any COVID outbreaks to date.
Hy-Vee, in partnership with the UI, will host a COVID-19 and flu vaccination clinic before the game. The walk-up vaccination clinic — no appointments necessary — will be from 9 a.m. to -2 p.m. Saturday. Staff will be at the Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobile near the West Campus Transportation Center on the northwest corner of Kinnick Stadium across from Gate H. Each vaccine recipient must stay in the observation area for 15 minutes after they receive their vaccine.
Individuals will have the option to receive the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna vaccine or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Pfizer is available down to age 12.
Vanessa Miller covers higher education for The Gazette.
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