AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas students wishing to attend home football games are required to test negative prior to attending the game.
Testing for "Big Ticket" holders before the Texas-TCU football game was held on Sept. 30 and Oct 1. Of the 1,286 tests administered to students, 12 came back positive, according to UT. Those students will not be allowed to attend the game, per UT's coronavirus policy.
Ahead of the Texas-UTEP home opener, 1,198 students were tested and 95 of them were COVID-positive.
According to Austin Public Health (APH), there were some coronavirus case clusters that were contact-traced back to the Texas-UTEP football game.
“There have been some indications that there have been some clusters associated with the University of Texas – UTEP game,” Chief Epidemiologist Janet Pichette said. “More importantly, there have been a lot of lines of transmission associated with not just the game itself, but with those social gatherings that have been associated.”
Some of these social gatherings referred to by Pichette were viewing parties for the Texas-UTEP game. Estimated case numbers stemming from the Longhorns' home opener have not been released.
However, APH director Stephanie Hayden said any form of large gathering, whether if it's a UT football game or other events, affects the community spread of the coronavirus.
“There’s always an impact when you put a large number of individuals together in a setting,” Hayden said. “Whether it’s a UT football game that they’re attending, or gathering outside of the arena where they’re watching the game together, most of our positivity is as a result of some type of social gathering.”
According to UT's COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 1,313 total cases of coronavirus since the university started tracking the data in March. As of Oct. 2, there were 72 estimated active coronavirus cases among UT students and staff.
There is not a negative test requirement for game attendees who are not UT students.
Texas is scheduled to kick off against TCU at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3. Check out the game day forecast here.
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