LOUISVILLE — The University of Louisville announced new COVID-related safety measures for members of the media covering athletic events this coming season. 

What You Need To Know

  • Media must wear a mask at all times while indoors

  • Unvaccinated members of the media can't be on sidelines or attend postgame press conferences

  • University of Kentucky in process of developing game-day policies

  • UofL to require proof of vaccination when requesting credentials

UofL Sports Information Director and Senior Associate Athletic Director Kenny Klein said in an email on Thursday, that masks are required in the press box and inside spaces within the stadium, regardless of one’s vaccination status.

“Media attending events at Cardinal Stadium are not required to be vaccinated, but it is strongly encouraged,” Klein said in the email. “Those who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 are asked to bring your vaccination card to your first media opportunity, and we will record your status, or you may email a copy of the front and back of your card in advance. Your vaccination card will only need to be shown once.”

Klein added that media members who are not vaccinated will be permitted in the press box, but will not be allowed on the sidelines, or within the football complex for postgame press conferences. Those not attending in person will view the press conferences live via video conference using Microsoft Teams. Individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms may not attend UofL events, according to the email.

Klein said UofL is also asking members of the media to indicate whether they have been vaccinated when applying for credentials. 

“To the extent possible with space limitations, priority will be given to media outlets which have regularly participated in UofL news conferences, the reach of the news entity, and the history of coverage,” Klein said. “If you are vaccinated for COVID-19, please provide a copy in advance of your card or show it when picking up your credential.”

Klein said UofL prepared the guidelines using the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and Atlantic Coast Conference guidelines for the safety of all involved and may be adjusted based on the latest protocols.

University of Kentucky Assistant Athletic Director Tony Neely said the school is “in the process” of developing game day policies, but has nothing to announce at this time. UK President Eli Capilouto said in an announcement that masks must be worn “in all indoor spaces on campus where people gather” beginning Monday, Aug. 9, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.

Kroger Field at the University of Kentucky (Spectrum News 1)

“We want the campus to return to as normal and rewarding an experience as possible, including in-person classes and internships, a vibrant residential experience, events and games,” he said. 

Western Kentucky University Senior Associate Athletic Director Zach Greenwell said media members covering the Hilltoppers this coming season — vaccinated or unvaccinated — will be expected to follow the university’s current policy, which is everyone must wear a mask indoors. 

Western Kentucky University (File Photo)

“Our press box is open-air, so it will not be subject to the campus mask mandate for vaccinated individuals at this time, except for enclosed areas, like the restrooms, or any of the booths that opt to keep the windows closed,” Greenwell said. “Other enclosed areas, like the interview room, hospitality room, etc., will be subject to the mask mandate for all individuals.”

Eastern Kentucky University President David McFaddin announced the school had joined leadership from Kentucky’s public higher education institutions and the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) to require a universal indoor face-covering requirement.

“We, along with our peer institutions, will require face coverings inside all campus buildings for both vaccinated and unvaccinated students, faculty, staff, vendors, contractors and guests beginning Aug. 15 and until further notice,” McFaddin said. “Individuals in residence halls, dining facilities, and athletic recreation centers should wear a mask anytime in a common area unless they are alone.”

Representatives from the EKU athletic department did not respond to requests for comment.