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Rooting for the Home Team During COVID-19

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

A photo of multiple NC State football players rushing the field
Photo courtesy of packfootball on Instagram

For many years, Meredith College students have attended NC State football games and other sporting events, and this semester is no different. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some Meredith students have expressed concern about their classmates participating in large events like these. The most recent NC State games were on Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 and many Meredith students were in attendance, which brings up the concerns of NC State’s COVID-19 protocols for some. The Herald interviewed several Meredith students to get their opinions on COVID-19 protocols at sporting events.

Kasey Wilkins, ‘23, had attended every home football game so far this season when she was interviewed. She said she feels safe attending since she is vaccinated. “If I were not vaccinated, I would probably not feel comfortable attending...or if I lived with people that weren’t vaccinated, I would not feel comfortable attending,” she stated. Wilkins said she didn’t notice any safety protocols in place besides masks being required in restrooms. However, if given the opportunity, she said she would change NC State’s COVID-19 protocols so people would be required to wear a mask or show proof of vaccination at the entrance of sporting events.

Charlie Hatch, ‘23, has not attended a football game at NC State. While she has other personal reasons for not attending, she said that NC State’s COVID-19 protocols still play heavily into her decision to not attend. They said, “I think it is dangerous for Meredith students to attend [NC] State tailgates when we do not have 80% of our own student population vaccinated...Although we have similar vaccination rates, NC State is a much larger school which means they have a higher population of unvaccinated students.” Hatch also thinks “vaccinated persons who make excuses to go to tailgates or games without masks on are forgetting that the unvaccinated population is spreading COVID-19 to vaccinated persons.” She stated that she would only ever go to a sporting event at NC State if both Meredith and NC State required COVID-19 vaccinations for their student populations.

According to NC State’s COVID-19 Protocols for Carter-Finley Stadium, face coverings are encouraged but not required. The only location face coverings are required are in restrooms.

Meredith’s COVID-19 Community Standards state that all students, faculty, staff, visitors and vendors/contractors are required to wear a mask when in indoor, common areas even when only one individual is present. Students are also required to comply with COVID-19 protocols off-campus.

By Jayce Perry, Staff Writer


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