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Sports & Recreation

Vaccine card? Negative COVID-19 test? New vaccine requirements at Vivint Arena are here

Vivint arena
Ivana Martinez
/
A line of people dressed in hockey jerseys line out outside the arena.

People dressed in hockey jerseys lined up outside Vivint Arena Thursday night, waiting to see the Frozen Fury game between the Las Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings.

The majority of the crowd wasn’t wearing face masks. Guest service members asked the people to pull out their Covid vaccine card or negative test results as they stood in line waiting to be checked by security.

Last week, Vivint officials announced everyone over the age of 12 would need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test 72 hours before the event to enter. For younger children who aren’t able to get the vaccine yet, they’re required to wear a face mask at all times.

Officials set up a rapid Covid testing center in a nearby parking lot for people who had neither the vaccine nor a test.

A guest service member said most people were generally complying with the new policy.

Nahyra Viana, an Orem resident, brought her two small children to the game — a six-month-old baby and a 3-year-old.

Viana said they’ve been big fans of the Golden Knights and she feels good about the new vaccine requirements.

“I think it's good because everything's starting to go back to normal now,” she said. “So I think we all have to be careful so we don't have, like, a pandemic again.”

For others it’s part of the new normal.

Keely Harper and her family came from West Haven to watch the game.

“I'm a school teacher, so I just expect it — [it’s] just the new norm, doesn't affect me,” Harper said while bouncing her baby on her hip. “I think it’s cool they’re doing it for a safety precaution.”

Her 7-year old son, Kasden, said he was excited to see the Golden Knights play and felt good about wearing a mask inside.

While there was a general consensus that the new policy was alright, some people felt it took away their control and disliked the new requirement.

Dr. Leisha Nolen, Utah’s state epidemiologist, said it's important to be aware of the Covid risk of live sporting events.

She said that risk goes up at indoor events where there is often no masking.

“Games bring thousands of people together and people who often aren't thinking about how they are super close to someone else,” she said. “They get excited about the game and they get in each other's faces. And that's really where we have to be worried.”

Nolen said going to live events is a decision people have to make for themselves and assess their risk factors.

“I think people really should be conscious that even though they've been vaccinated, if they're going into an area where there's a lot of people close together, they should take extra precautions,” she said. “Wearing a mask is a really simple way to add that extra layer of protection.”

She said she’s glad Vivint Arena is taking their guests, staff and player’s safety seriously by requiring these mandates.

The Utah Jazz’ first game at the arena is Oct. 11 in a preseason matchup versus the New Orleans Pelicans.

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