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UB to require vaccinations for attendance at sports, other cultural events

University at Buffalo

Starting Oct. 1, The University at Buffalo is requiring anyone attending sports or cultural events on campus to be vaccinated and prove it.

The new directive, announced Monday, covers everything from football games to their annual distinguished speaker series. The most visible difference will be at football games like the Oct. 2 match with Western Michigan.

“We want to make sure we're protecting everybody who comes to our events, whether they're faculty, staff or students or they're community members or they're fans of visiting football teams or basketball teams,” University Vice President John Della Contrada said. “We want to make sure we are taking steps to protect all the spectators in our stands, traveling and coming to our campus.”

With the new vaccination rule, masks won't be required for outside areas of the UB stadium, but will be required for stadium inside areas.

Those under 12 can come on campus but must be masked at all times, indoors or out.

The timing reflects when sports and cultural activities on campus really pile up, after a month of getting students acclimated to campus life and academics. Della Contrada says 99% of students are vaccinated.

He added the university is making maximum use of the university’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences as an advisor on such decisions, with weekly meetings to analyze the situation.

“We have our infectious disease faculty. We have our team from Environmental Health and Sciences. We have our director of our Student Health Center. And, we come together once a week and we discuss the latest science, the trends in the pandemic, the guidance coming from the CDC and then this committee makes decisions on what steps to take to best protect the people living on our campus and coming to our campus every day,” he said.

Implementation of the policy on Oct. 1, coincides with when similar fully vaccinated rules take effect for Buffalo Bills and Sabres games

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.