AUSTIN (KXAN) — Students at the University of Texas at Austin are gearing up for the first football game of the season. Things will be pretty much back to normal, with few COVID-19 restrictions. Many students headed to the game are still taking their own precautions by getting COVID-19 tests Thursday and Friday.
Fans and football on the 40 Acres will be a welcome sight for Sam Morgan. Saturday will be his first UT football game, and he’s already taking precautions after two students he knows came down with COVID-19.
“I know I’m going to be getting tested beforehand, just proactively, and I would hope that other people do the same,” Morgan said.
The gameday experience will be similar to pre-pandemic times – masks are optional and testing isn’t required. Fans can show their vaccine cards between gates 4 and 5 and receive a concessions voucher.
In his two weeks on campus, Morgan has seen most students take COVID seriously and hopes that continues at the game.
“We get a lot of space in the classroom, we are in big lecture halls and most people are wearing masks,” Morgan said.
Looking at the UT’s COVID-19 dashboard, from mid-August (when students started moving in) until September 1:
- 191 students got the virus along with 43 faculty and staff
- There are about 155 active cases (these are only cases reported to UT)
“So once a week we all get tested to make sure we are clear and everyone is okay,” said Moiz Syed.
Syed lives in a house for graduate students. He is also getting tested before going to the game.
In the past week, Syed along with about 2,600 students and about 550 faculty and staff have gotten tested through UT.
“It’s uncomfortable having two cotton swabs shoved up the nose, but I think it’s a necessary step,” Syed said.
To see what protocols and incentives are in place for Saturday’s game, go to UT’s athletics website.