Boise State University will require students attending the Broncos’ football game against Oklahoma State on Saturday night to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test before entering Albertsons Stadium, and that might become the norm for all fans moving forward.
The vaccine rule for students does not require full vaccination, however; showing they have received at least one dose is good enough to gain entry, according to a letter sent to Boise State faculty and staff and signed by university President Marlene Tromp, Saint Alphonsus Health System President and CEO Odette Bolano, and St. Luke’s Health System President and CEO Chris Roth.
The letter added that the university expects all fans will have to meet the same requirements to attend Boise State’s future home games, starting Oct. 2 against Nevada.
Boise State is also asking that fans who are ill, unvaccinated or untested, and those who choose not to follow public health directives pertaining to wearing masks, not attend Saturday’s game.
“This window provides the time for both our health care system and our fans to respond to this requirement and permits people to make the choices that are the best for them and their families,” the letter reads.
Boise, the Treasure Valley and Idaho are suffering from a COVID-19 surge that has forced the state to institute crisis standards of care, meaning health care can be rationed because hospitals are overwhelmed with unvaccinated patients. The state has one of the nation’s poorest vaccination rates, at barely more than 50% of eligible Idahoans (12 and older).
For the Broncos’ home opener against UTEP last week, face coverings were required unless eating or drinking, in accordance with university rules mandating masks indoors and in crowded outdoor settings where social distancing is not possible. However, compliance was far from universal.
In a letter sent to season-ticket holders earlier this week, Boise State announced that on-site vaccination tents would be open outside the stadium before Saturday’s game, and fans who get vaccinated or wear their masks in the stadium will be entered into drawings for several prizes.
Boise State’s win over UTEP attracted 35,518 fans. The university announced on Sunday that only 2,080 seats remained for the Oklahoma State game. Albertsons Stadium can seat a little more than 36,000, with the attendance record for a home football game being 36,903 — a regular-season game against Hawaii in 2019.