Rapid COVID-19 testing available at Saturday’s Edmonton Elks game as mandatory vaccination policy kicks in

Edmonton Elks helmet with Commonwealth Stadium in the background. Edmonton Elks

Rapid COVID-19 testing will be available outside Commonwealth Stadium before the Edmonton Elks game on Saturday amid new requirements to enter the facility.

On Thursday, the CFL club announced that in response to the province’s latest health measures, fans 12 and older attending the game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be required to show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Approved forms of proof below).

Fans 12 and older who cannot provide proof of vaccination will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of game time.

“We would like to thank our fans for their understanding and cooperation as we implement these new safety measures,” said Elks president and CEO Chris Presson.

“We’re sure our fans will rise to the occasion again this weekend, as we collectively do what’s right for our football family and the broader community.”

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Read more: Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine passport, new restrictions: How things are going to change

On-site rapid antigen tests will be available to fans at a cost of $50.

Testing will be offered outside Gate 9 between 10 a.m. and 7:45 p.m.

The test is a nasal swab and the results take about 15 minutes. Anyone who chooses on-site testing is ask to come early.

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If the test comes back negative, fans will be given a wristband to show at the gate as their proof to enter the stadium, the Elks said Friday afternoon.

The team said fans may also be asked to show photo ID along with their proof of vaccination or negative test.

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Presson said to help prevent long lines, fans should try to enter the stadium a little bit earlier than usual if they can, But he added that the new protocols should not cause any significant delays.

“It should take another five to seven seconds max,” he said of the wait each fan will likely experience. “We just wanted to make sure that we were being a responsible community partner.

“You’ll be able to feel safe and enjoy the game in an environment that you know is good.”

Approved forms of proof of vaccination

Approved forms of proof of vaccination include Alberta (or another province’s) online health records (screenshot or web-based), or official documentation from your vaccination appointment.

All patrons will be required to wear masks and socially distance when they are not in their seats.

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The Elks previously announced that as of Oct. 15, all fans attending games at Commonwealth Stadium will need to be fully vaccinated (14 days after second dose) or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test starting at the club’s home game on Friday, Oct. 15. The policy also applies to game-day staff.

Read more: Edmonton Elks to require proof of COVID-19 vaccine or negative test from fans

The Elks said the doors to the stadium will open one hour prior to kickoff. The game starts at 7:45 p.m. Saturday.

READ MORE: Elks place QB Trevor Harris on 6-game injured list with neck injury 

“(We) appreciate the patience of the fans,” Presson said. “We’ve had a lot of changes this year and we understand that and everyone has stuck with us.

“We have a very good team coming to town tomorrow night, and a new quarterback behind centre, so we would appreciate your support (and) your continued patience.”

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