VCU Athletics maintain COVID policy as men’s basketball returns to Siegel Center

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 11:29 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 7:31 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Siegel Center was alive and amplified Tuesday, and for good reason. Over the past few weeks, the Rams were forced to cancel or postpone several home games because of COVID protocols, but the rise in cases in the Commonwealth didn’t stop VCU from welcoming hundreds of eager fans in to watch the latest home game against the George Washington Colonials.

“I mean come on, nothing beats VCU fans,” VCU alum Seong Kim said.

”When you’re winning by 20 at the half that certainly helps,” Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin said.

The Rams are healthy once again after a nearly month-long hiatus due to positive cases on the team. It’s VCU’s first home game back since December. As the fans monitored the scoreboard, McLaughlin says the university is closely monitoring case numbers.

”COVID-19 stuff has been affecting everybody, people are still nervous to come in, people are still nervous to be wearing masks and all that so it’s gonna take a little while, but will be OK,“ McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin says for now fans can expect to watch all future games in person so long as they adhere to guidelines for the Seigel Center including wearing masks to enter a game and when seated except for eating or drinking.

The current positivity rate for the commonwealth sits at 36%. As Covid cases continue to climb, universities like Virginia Tech are now requiring proof of vaccination for indoor events. The university’s policy is slated to go into effect by Jan 15. UVA has had proof of vaccination policy for months now.

“That’s a tricky subject but I personally don’t believe in mandates I think it should be whatever you’re comfortable with,“ Kim said.

”I feel like it’s the only way forward and that it should be mandated, so I’ll agree to disagree,” VCU alum Tan Ho said.

Despite the current rate of infection, McLaughlin doesn’t expect those policies at the Siegel Center to change anytime soon.

”We‘re going to continue to monitor it and take guidance from the VDH and CDC,” McLaughlin said. ”The University will make the best decision in the best interest of the University, but we’re looking forward to us getting over the hump of this COVID stuff pretty soon.

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