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Georgia, LSU taking opposite stances on COVID-19 vaccines for football games

SEC rivals taking initially opposite stances on COVID requirements for football gamedays.

On the same day that LSU, largely mirroring the earlier edict of the New Orleans Saints, announced it would require either proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test, University of Georgia officials confirmed a published report that the school had no such plans at this time.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution first reported Tuesday that the Bulldogs' plans were to fully open the 92,746-seat Sanford Stadium to maximum capacity for the 2021 campaign. Georgia, preseason No. 5 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Polls, is scheduled to host six games between the hedges in Athens, Georgia.

Georgia officials earlier in the spring announced that they intended to resume normal operations under full capacity in the fall.

Spikes in positive COVID-19 cases, particularly in Southern states, have commanded headlines for several weeks as the coronavirus' Delta variant has become a major component of the virus' latest phase. The United States has reported approximately 38 million positive COVID tests with approximately 630,000 deaths reported as caused by the virus.

Meanwhile, LSU announced its policy earlier Tuesday.

“As the flagship institution of the state of Louisiana, our foremost responsibility is to ensure the safety of our students, our supporters, and our community,” President William F. Tate IV said in a statement. “While we are aware of the diverse perspectives across the nation regarding masks and vaccinations, we must take all reasonable measures to protect our campus and community, not only on gamedays, but long after guests have left Tiger Stadium.

“The current threat to our lives, our health, and to our medical systems due to COVID-19 is overburdening our hospitals, and we must do our part to stop the spread.”