UMass football tailgating returns despite uptick in COVID cases | News
AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — It’s game day at UMass Amherst as the Minutemen football team took on Eastern Michigan at McGuirk Alumni Stadium Saturday afternoon.
But after COVID cases more than doubled this week on campus, some are blaming last week’s tailgating.
The university canceled its on-campus tailgating at last weekend’s game against Boston College due to a spike in COVID-19 cases but Saturday, despite positive cases more than doubling this week, tailgating was back.
Tailgating is back at UMass Amherst for Saturday’s football game as the Minutemen faced Eastern Michigan.
After the cancelation of on-campus tailgating last week, the university announced that two lots near McGuirk Alumni Stadium would be open for limited tailgating for students.
And students were more than excited to be back.
“It felt very similar to how it was in previous years. I miss it so much,” one junior said.
“Everyone was having so much fun so, we had to come,” UMass freshman Nicole Coughlin said.
This comes as COVID cases jumped from 149 to 371 this week, but the positivity rate remains at around four percent, with a vaccination rate of 97 percent at the university.
Some UMass students tell Western Mass News they were not concerned.
“I think people are responsible enough that if they feel sick, they will stay home,” Coughlin said.
“And if you’re not vaccinated you’re not at UMass,” freshman Thomas Beck said.
After tailgating was canceled for last week’s game, students gathered at crowded off-campus parties, which is why some think on-campus tailgating may help limit the spread of COVID elsewhere.
“We’re all vaccinated. There are going to be parties regardless of if they have the tailgate or not so might as well monitor it,” one junior said.
An upsetting end to the game with a loss for the Minutemen, dropping their record to zero and three this season. Next week they take on Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon in South Carolina.