Dec 21, 2021
In accordance with New York state’s new mask-or-vaccinate policy for public spaces, St. Bonaventure University is now requiring that fans age 5 and over be vaccinated for COVID-19 to attend the remainder of the men’s and women’s basketball games at the Reilly Center.
Fans age 12 and older need to be fully vaccinated to attend the women’s next home game Jan. 1 and the men’s next home game Jan. 5.
Children ages 5 to 11 need to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to attend those games because the vaccine was only made available to them in November. Children ages 5 to 11 would need to be fully vaccinated no later than the Feb. 20 women’s game and the Feb. 16 men’s game.
The vaccine requirement means that masks are no longer required for fans age 5 and older, although CDC guidelines still strongly encourage masks for in congregate settings for all people, vaccinated or not.
Children 3 and 4 years old can still attend games but need to be masked unless eating or drinking. Children 2 and younger don’t need to be masked, but it’s recommended.
“With the surge of cases in Cattaraugus County showing no signs of letting up and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant across the country, this is a public health initiative that just makes sense at this time,” said Dr. Joe Zimmer, acting president of the university. “We want to do all we can to allow fans to keep coming to games and hopefully we won’t have to do what many colleges have done already — prohibiting fans altogether.
“Furthermore, since it’s become clear that 100% mask-wearing compliance can’t be achieved, adopting a vaccination policy is the prudent step for us to take. It’s irresponsible to put ourselves at risk of the punitive action the state could take if there is a viable alternative.”
Most college basketball arenas across the state have adopted vaccine mandates.
Fans who haven’t already done so are encouraged to download either the Excelsior Pass app (for New York residents only) or the CLEAR Pass app (for all states) on your smartphones to facilitate entry to games. A vaccination card, or a cellphone photo of it, are also acceptable forms of proof.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. St. Bonaventure was named the #5 regional university value in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 college rankings edition.