Negative COVID-19 Tests Required for Student Seats at DKR Stadium
By Stephanie Witt
AUSTIN, Texas — In order to attend University of Texas home football games, students with Big Tickets must get a proactive COVID-19 test.
The Big Ticket is a season pass to Longhorn home games in football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, and track. Fewer than 4,000 students paid for the package this year.
Senior journalism major Alex Legamaro was one of the Big Ticket holders tested Wednesday for COVID-19.
“From the time it took me to get to my car through the check-in line, getting the swab, and back to my car it was a little over five minutes,” Legamaro said.
Proactive Community Testing is done on a walk-up basis at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. No pre-registration is required. The university pays for the testing at no additional cost for Big Ticket holders.
Big Ticket holders receive weekly emails from Texas Athletics with information about PCT.
“We all have a responsibility to protect our health and the health of our loved ones. So make sure you do your part and slow the spread of COVID-19,” head coach Tom Herman said in a public service announcement released in June.
Up until this week an outside vendor conducted Big Ticket testing but University Health Services recently transitioned to having UT’s own Proactive Community Testing Program handle the testing.
Testing takes place on the Tuesday and Wednesday before home games.
Some students are concerned about the potential exposure window in the days between testing and games.
“I was talking with all of my friends and we are not sure why they are doing that. Just because if you do get a negative test it does leave a lot of time for exposure,” Legamaro said.
Susan Hochman, a UHS associate director, said testing in-house made it necessary to conduct the tests early in the week.
“We had to move that back and do it on Tuesday and Wednesday. That gives us enough time to get the results and get them over to athletics with enough time for students who test positive to nullify the ticket,” Hochman said.
The turnaround time for test results is one to two days. UHS tested about 1,200 students before the most recent home game on October 3.
Legamaro said PCT testing is a win-win situation.
“You see some schools don’t require that and I think that it is just walking into something that you know you could be preventing,” she said.
The Longhorns host Baylor on Saturday. Gates open at 12:30 with kick-off at 2:30.