WASHINGTON D.C. (BRPROUD) – On Wednesday, LSU President Dr. William Tate traveled to the White House to meet with President Joe Biden to discuss how they’re fighting the pandemic in their institutions.
President Tate was joined by representatives from organizations such as Disney, Microsoft, Columbia Sportswear, Kaiser Permanente, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
With LSU’s health protocols for sporting events and the testing of wastewater on campus, it caught the COVID Task Force’s attention.
President Tate touted that 81% of the on-campus student body is vaccinated while it is unclear from the school dashboard how many are fully vaccinated. The COVID Task Force wanted to learn how the different requirements by the university helped with the vaccination rate.
“It went from a requirement of vaccinations, the vaccination rate at Louisiana State University went from 63-81% of students vaccinated in weeks. It’s about beating this virus and it’s about saving lives,” President Biden said.
He said there are about 400 students that are still needing to submit their status or opt-out and begin testing on a monthly basis. President Tate stated that he expects the number to be lower now and it won’t be enough people to warrant a story. The deadline to submit that information was last week.
“So, the reality is 99.999% of our population is compliant with the requirements,” President Tate said.
LSU was one of the first universities to require proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter the football stadium, which President Biden wanted to know more about.
“I think that’s the positive part that he wanted to highlight and wanted to better understand how that might work at other institutions of higher education that don’t have similar requirements,” President Tate said.
He also shared how the university is tracking COVID outbreaks in on-campus housing through wastewater testing. This has served as a way for vaccinated and unvaccinated people to know if they need to be tested.
Last week was the first Tiger home game and there have been reports of relaxed gates not checking for proof of vaccination. President Tate said there are talks on how to best fix that.
“There will always be situations where individuals are able to avoid the mandate. It’s just axiomatic,” President Tate said. “But I do believe there are a few things we can do to tighten it up. One of which is probably a stronger pre-registration process.”
The next LSU home game is Saturday against Central Michigan.