Vaccination rates within Wyoming football program ‘encouraging’
LARAMIE -- The Mountain West Conference forked over more than $4 million in 2020 to help with the costs of COVID-19 testing.
That isn't happening again.
Craig Bohl said two weeks ago at the league's annual media days in Las Vegas that his team is one of the reported eight in the 12-team conference that are above 80% when it comes to vaccination rates. Today in Laramie, Wyoming's head coach said that number has improved.
"We have been pecking along," Bohl said. "You know, it's been educating. It's been encouraging. It's been just being real with guys that, if you want to have an opportunity to play -- throw out everybody's perspective, whether they believe in vaccinations or not -- here are the rules from college football and it certainly gives our football team, I think, a lot more opportunities.
"The more guys we have vaccinated, the better."
Bohl said his roster is roughly 96% vaccinated. Every coach on the staff has received shots.
"I don't think we'll be 100%," he said, "but when it's all said and done we'll be pretty dog gone close, so we're well pleased with that. With what's going on right now, I think it's pretty important that we are that way."
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Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said in Las Vegas "there will be consequences" if players decide not to get the vaccine. Those who choose not to will be forced to test on a weekly basis. They will also wear masks and be subject to contact tracing, he said.
Member schools will now foot the bill for everything virus related.
If a program is forced to cancel a competition because of COVID-19 concerns, the game will be forfeited. That could have even further implications when it comes to fulfilling television contract commitments.
“The No. 1 defense of the virus is vaccination," Thompson said.
Bohl said his team has not had a positive test in "quite some time."