LSU promises stricter enforcement of vaccination requirements at football games

LSU President William Tate this week vowed stricter enforcement of rules that require anyone seeking to enter Tiger Stadium to show proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours.

While Tate says the enforcement process “went relatively well” for the home opener, he added that a certain number of people will be able to avoid any mandate. Some football fans reported entering the stadium without anyone asking them for proof of vaccination or a negative test. He said one way to “tighten it up” will be to establish a stronger pre-registration process to expedite entry.

Tate spoke with reporters over an online platform following a White House meeting that included business CEOs and other leaders. The meeting focused on efforts to get more of the population vaccinated, including Biden’s declaration that companies with at least 100 employees ensure their workers are vaccinated or can show negative test results. That mandate will be tested in court.

Tate says LSU was included in the meeting in part because the on-campus vaccination rate exceeds the rate of the surrounding community, which he credited to the university’s policy that students must get vaccinated or comply with a testing protocol. LSU says 81% of students and 72% of faculty and staff have been vaccinated; spokesman Ernie Ballard on social media says the 81% applies to the on-campus student body who are not fully online or dual enrollment students.

LSU has threatened to unenroll students who don’t follow the COVID-19 rules. At last count, about 400 students fit that description, though Tate says he expects that number will decline and very few students will be kicked out.

This story originally appeared in a Sept. 15 edition of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.