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Boise State makes change to football game admission policy for students

The university will shift from testing all ticket holders in the student section to random sample testing of students before the next home game.

BOISE, Idaho — Boise State University officials announced late Friday evening that they are making a change to their admission policy for students who are planning to attend next Saturday’s game at Albertsons Stadium. 

The university will shift from testing or requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination from students who are attending football games to random sample testing of that population before the next home game.

For Boise State's next home football game, neither students or the general public will need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter Albertsons Stadium.

Officials say the reason is that they don't have enough rapid COVID tests to give. 

"Because Idaho's case rates are so high, state testing resources are being used to test individuals who are at high risk, including children under 12 who aren't eligible to be vaccinated and those who, due to underlying health conditions, cannot be vaccinated, individuals who have been exposed, and those who are symptomatic," said the universities Director of Media Relations, Mike Sharp. 

Governor Brad Little's executive order prohibits state entities from requiring proof of vaccination in order to enter a state facility. 

"Proof of vaccination is allowable as an alternative to a negative test, but not standing on its own. If proof of vaccination is an option for entry, it must also be accompanied by the option to take a COVID test," said Alicia Shier, Vice President for University Affairs. 

But the university can't provide enough tests for all students and fans, so in return, they reversed the protocols. However, the mask requirement still stands. 

University officials said COVID-19 numbers on campus have been trending downward and, according to the preliminary results of an institution-wide survey, the campus vaccination rate now stands at around 88%.

Boise State President Dr. Marlene Tromp told the Idaho State Board of Education on Friday that they have been working diligently to mitigate the spread of the virus on campus and across Idaho, and it appears those efforts are starting to pay off. 

She said the coronavirus testing center and lab have collected and processed more than 46,000 tests and the university’s vaccination clinic has administered more than 7,000 doses of the vaccine and positivity rates are now down to around 3%, which is a 46% drop from a week ago.

Because Idaho is now operating under crisis standards of care, Boise State has been in ongoing dialogue with health leaders from Saint Alphonsus and St. Luke’s Health Systems, Central District Health, the governor's office and the State Board of Education to better understand its impact on campus operations, as well as learn how they might provide additional support to our community.

According to the university, the downward trend of COVID-19 cases on campus suggests that large-scale testing on campus can be paused at this time. Because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in southwestern and northern Idaho, testing capacity remains strained. Priority will be given to test Idahoans who are symptomatic, at high risk of contracting COVID-19 or have had a known exposure. 

Boise State said it will not require all ticket holders to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to gain entry to the next home football game, which is Saturday, October 2, against Nevada, with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m. MT.

Anyone who is feeling ill, has been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or is at high risk of contracting the virus is urged not to attend Bronco games.

The university encourages fans to get vaccinated and invites them to take advantage of the vaccination clinic that will be set up outside Albertsons Stadium on Saturday morning.

Bronco fans are still urged to wear a face-covering inside the stadium to protect the health of all those around them.  Rewards will again be given out to fans who wear a mask and comply with public health guidelines.

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