Newport Gulls today announced their decision to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for all players, coaches, and staff members prior to the 2021 Season. The New England Collegiate Baseball League has made it a league-wide policy for players and coaches, but the Gulls expanded to staff as well. 

The Gulls released the following press release;

Vaccines Mandatory For Newport Gulls

Gulls Mandate All Players, Coaches, & Staff Have Vaccine Prior to Arrival

“This is the only way we can guarantee the safety of our community and be able to play the full season without the question of an outbreak and shutdown.” said Newport Gulls General Manager Chuck Paiva in a statement in reference to the recent mandate by the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) for all players and coaches to be vaccinated to participate in the league this summer. The Newport Gulls have implemented their own internal policy to also require all personnel including interns, volunteers, and staff to get vaccinated prior to Opening Day.

Each NECBL roster, including Newport, is comprised of collegiate student-athletes from throughout the country. These players live with host families throughout the summer, administer summer camp, and are active members of the community. Safety has been paramount as the NECBL Board of Directors have continued to work on a plan to return to play this summer. In order to respect the health of each of the league’s 14 cities and towns, while also making a positive impact in the community, vaccines provide the only
way to accomplish these goals.

All guidance set forth by the CDC, State of Rhode Island, and City of Newport will be followed at Cardines Field as it pertains to fan attendance, mask mandates, and other safety precautions needed to be taken, but vaccinations will allow players and coaches to operate as normal.

Newport Gulls Youth Summer Camp will begin June 28, with four, week-long sessions held across Aquidneck Island throughout the summer. The camp’s instructors are Gulls players and coaches, who will all be vaccinated, but the Gulls will be in constant communications with governing officials in order to ensure strict following of CDC and State of Rhode Island rules and regulations for youth camps, but children will have the opportunity to interact with the Major League Stars of Tomorrow once again this summer.

General Manager Paiva continued to state, “Our organization is extremely excited to be able to return and be a pillar for the City of Newport and its surrounding area. It has been a special past 20 years and 2020 certainly taught us a lot. We hope to serve as a beacon of hope and light at the end of the tunnel this summer, allowing families and friends to congregate in a safe manner and experience some normalcy.”

Furthermore, the Newport Gulls hope that the decision to have all players and staff vaccinated encourages others to do so as well if they have not already. Peoples ages 16 and older who live, work, or go to school in Rhode Island are now eligible to schedule an appointment at the many sites throughout the state. Please do
so by visiting https://covid.ri.gov/vaccination.

The Newport Gulls regular season and summer camp schedule can be found on newportgulls.com and additional information will continue to be released via the Gulls website as well as the team’s social media accounts. Please contact 401-845-6832 or operations@newportgulls.com with any questions in reference to the upcoming season.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).