The Notre Dame football program has laid out its rules for attending home games, and here is what you need to know.
Notre Dame, which is requiring its student body to be vaccinated for this school year, will not have a vaccine requirement to watch the Notre Dame football team inside Notre Dame Stadium this fall. Furthermore, unlike several other schools, masks, and a negative COVID-19 test won’t be required either.
Despite this, there is an expectation, not a requirement, that anyone unvaccinated will wear a mask.
Notre Dame football lays out the rules for home games
In an email sent to the campus, athletic director Jack Swarbrick wrote, “With more than 93 percent of Notre Dame students, faculty and staff vaccinated, our campus is one of the most protected places in the country.”
This comes during one of the worst waves of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, as the Delta variant has proven to be incredibly contagious. In Indiana, there have been well over 800,000 cases of COVID-19, including more than 14,000 deaths. The current wave has created major issues around the United States, including ICU’s reaching capacity, and even the city of Orlando is out of clean drinking water due to the amount of oxygen needed in their hospitals.
As an issue, masks and the vaccine have been highly politicized, despite the objective facts behind their effectiveness. This political nature has made many schools and athletic departments nervous to set hard rules enforcing them on campus or in stadiums.
Boston College and LSU are both schools that have set rules around this, while Georgia has decided against doing so.
It’s impossible to get away from the political nature of this, especially at public schools. Higher education is funded by people who like to take shots at them, either due to the cost or content of what is being taught. So, picking fights with governors or state legislatures who are trying to win political fights in a pandemic may not be financially wise at all times.
Notre Dame, of course, doesn’t have these same concerns of a public school, but they also want to stay away from being a part of a political fight over masks as much as possible.
The Notre Dame football team is relying on Isaiah Foskey in a big way in 2021, and he has all the tools to put on a show as the starting Vyper.
This decision is, of course, subject to change. However, for now, you don’t need a mask or vaccine to see Notre Dame play in a full stadium. So, it should at least feel like a normal year during the games themselves.