If you caught the podcast this morning you know that college basketball has 121 teams impacted by Covid this season, 60 not even able to practice, and 150+ games already canceled. You could be forgiven for thinking that the news probably wouldn’t get much worse than that, but it is.
Effective immediately and continuing until at least January 31st, fans entering the Cintas must provide either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative Covid test within the last three days. All fans, regardless of vaccination or testing status, must wear a mask for the entirety of the game. As the official statement (see below) mentions, these are the same protocols in place across the rest of Xavier’s campus.
There is no mention of how this will impact the team and coaches. Whether there is a return to masks on the bench and spread out huddles remains to be seen. Travis Steele has previously stated that Xavier’s entire team is vaccinated. The games impacted by this are Villanova on the 12th, Creighton on the 15th, and Providence on the 26th. It seems reasonable at this point to assume this policy will remain in place for the rest of the season.
From the school:
Because of rising COVID cases in Hamilton County and the increased transmissibility of the Omicron COVID variant, Xavier University is instituting new policies at its women’s and men’s basketball games for the month of January.
To enter basketball games, all guests age 12 and older entering the Cintas Center will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test result within 72 hours of entry. Fans also will be required to wear a mask throughout the duration of the event, unless actively eating or drinking.
These policies mirror those that apply to Xavier’s more than 7,000 students and 1,000 employees. “Our priority is the health and safety of our students, employees and fans attending our games. Given the transmissibility of the Omicron variant, we’re taking the same steps that have effectively limited COVID on Xavier’s campus over the last year,” said Greg Christopher, Xavier Vice President and Director of Athletics.
Fans must provide one of the following to gain entry:
COVID-19 Vaccination Card
Picture of COVID-19 Vaccination Card
Screenshot of COVID-19 Vaccination record from pharmacy (i.e. Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, etc.)
Screenshot of test results of negative PCR or rapid antigen (within 72 hours of entry)
Fans 18 and older should be prepared to show a picture ID to verify ownership of the vaccination card or negative test
Once through a vaccination security checkpoint, attendees will continue through the screening process and ticket scanning. Fans are encouraged to allow for extra time to enter Cintas Center.