Buffalo sports fans will need COVID-19 vaccines before watching Bills, Sabres in person

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Fans of Buffalo’s pro sports teams will have to prepare for the upcoming seasons in the fall.

They won’t just have to get their jerseys and team colors ready. County leaders announced this week fans will also have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres games in person, area media outlets reported.

>> Read more trending news

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz made the announcement Tuesday while lamenting that vaccine appointments are going unfilled, The Buffalo News reported.

Poloncarz reminded Erie County residents that there are same-day and next-day county-run clinic appointments available. So few vaccinations were being distributed that workers were trying to have people come in off the streets to get a shot.

The county will use what is called the “Excelsior Pass” to show proof that they’ve been vaccinated to enter an arena or stadium, WKBW reported.

Poloncarz said the pass is an app that will show the vaccination records.

Poloncarz said all fans, even children, will be subject to the vaccination rule this fall, WKBW reported.

As of April, there was no vaccine for use for children under the age of 16, but there are trial programs ongoing, USA Today reported.

Poloncarz hopes the plan is in place for the Bills this summer when the preseason starts, WIVB reported.

Erie County is the owner of both Highmark Stadium, where the Bills play; and the KeyBank Center, where the Sabres play. It is believed that the county is one of the first to require a vaccination policy to attend games in person, WIVB reported.

More coronavirus pandemic coverage:

>> Coronavirus vaccines: CDC separates myths from facts

>> Coronavirus: Should we be wearing two masks when we go out in public?

>> Coronavirus: How long between exposure to the virus and the start of symptoms?

>> What are your chances of coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19? This tool will tell you

>> Wash your masks: How to clean a cloth face covering

>> Fact check: Will masks lower the oxygen level, raise the carbon dioxide in your blood?

>> How to not let coronavirus pandemic fatigue set in, battle back if it does