Hamline athletics clarifies vaccine rumors

Hamline’s Athletic department works with the Vaccine number to get players back on the field as safely as possible.


Aidan Stromdahl
Despite rumors that many athletes are not vaccinated, Athletic Director Jason Verdugo says vaccine rates for athletes mirror the general student population.

Jilly Wortman, Sports Reporter

The challenges of COVID-19 continue on and with new difficulties the vaccine. Hamline University has a vaccine requirement for students and staff, but there are allowed exemptions. The Hamline student athletes have a similar ratio of vaccinated to unvaccinated athletes as the University as a whole. 

Since student athletes are in contact with so many others there is still a strict set of protocols, especially for the unvaccinated. 

“For those who are unvaccinated they go through the same testing protocol as the NCAA, they’re tested every week. It’s a PCR test. For those who test positive we do a confirmation test, it’s just like the general unvaccinated student population,” Jason Verdugo, Athletic Director said.

As of right now, unvaccinated student athletes are getting tested once a week to stay on top of spread and contact tracing. If an athlete tests positive the response is the same no matter the status of their vaccination. 

“Whether they’re vaccinated or not [if someone on the team tests positive] they have to quarantine, there’s a return to play protocol, and that’s whether they’re symptomatic or unsymptomatic,” Verdugo said.

Aidan Stromdahl

From the past few months, we have seen that one’s vaccine status doesn’t prevent anyone from getting COVID, and the athletics world is experiencing that first hand.“The majority of the positive tests we have had in our league all of them but one have been vaccinated athletes” Verdugo said. 

“The notion that there’s this big assumption that we have a bunch of unvaccinated student-athletes is the same as the general student population. The second thing is we’re testing more for those student-athletes who aren’t vaccinated, plus we have a high vaccination rate” Verdogu said. There isn’t always a correlation between vaccination and test results when you’re in such close proximity with many others. 

The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) has instituted a rule that if a game has to be canceled due to COVID-19 the team has to forfeit. This rule adds both complications and implications for the team. 

“just because a game gets pushed or canceled the general population shouldn’t make assumptions that the whole team isn’t vaccinated,” Verdugo said. 

Winter is coming which adds cold and flu season into the mix.

 “The one difficulty in terms of the winter is the masking. The Minnesota Wild, the Vikings, the mall no masking. But we’re masking on campus which makes it difficult because [of] where people [fans] lie in terms of their masking or not” Verdugo said.

Overall nothing is 100%, things are as normal as they have been since March of 2020 and seemingly on an upward progression. 

“Luckily for most of our teams we have been pretty good up to this point, it hasn’t been perfect, it’s tough but at least we’re playing games,” Verdugo said.