Florida A&M University is kicking off its long-awaited football season Sunday at the Orange Blossom Classic in Miami Gardens.
The game is taking place at the same time the coronavirus pandemic is surging in South Florida.
The number of hospitalized COVID patients has been high, according to The New York Times, which reported this week that COVID-19 cases in Miami-Dade County have decreased recently but are still extremely high.
Many FAMU students are planning to attend the game this Sunday. With cases being so high in Miami, some students staying on campus think those going should be required to get tested for COVID on their return.
Jayla Smith, a public relations major, says she doesn’t think students will get tested unless the university makes it a requirement.
“Honestly I’m kind of biased on that because many people will not do it, only because I feel like you can’t make anyone get tested. It’s their decision. But if they make it required they have no choice but to do so, but there is always a loophole to everything.
“I’m pretty sure some people might get a fake test or even get someone else’s negative test,” she added.
FAMU assistant football coach Larry Williams doesn’t think it should be mandatory for students to get tested.
“It shouldn’t be required for students to get tested. I think this whole COVID thing is taking away some freedoms. Either we are going to have school or not. If you want to wear a mask to protect yourself then wear it and stay home but you can not tell people to go get tested,” he said.
Defensive line coach Milton Patterson believes students who are attending the gam share an obligation to themselves and the university to be responsible while in attendance this weekend.
“Although, the idea of mandating testing seems to be a reasonable action due to unknown exposures while attended events during the Orange Blossom Classic weekend,” he said. “I would like to believe that our student body understands the importance of protecting themselves as well as their fellow Rattlers. If anyone displays symptoms or has been exposed to COVID-19 then the responsible thing to do is to get tested and follow CDC guidelines.”
Iyanna Peoples, a journalism major at FAMU, thinks the ethical thing to do would be to get a test done after being surrounded by a lot of people.
“I won’t say it should be required but people should make the responsible decision to get tested just in case after a weekend of being surrounded by people. Especially in a city like Miami where cases have always been bad,” she said.
Pre-nursing student Danyielle Benjamin says students should get tested when they return to campus.
“I am currently in Miami and I do think students should get tested when we get back but I don’t think it should be required. I know when I get back to the university I am going to go get tested but that’s because I want to,” she said.