Mask up and breathe (or provide a recent COVID test) if you want to go to the Seattle Symphony this fall! JAMES HOLT / SYMPHONY OF SEATTLE
If you want to see any kind of live show soon, you’re going to have to hide yourself and verify that you have a photo of your vaccine cards in your favorites on your phone.
Today, the governor announced that the state will reimplement a mask mandate for indoor public spaces effective August 23. The mandate applies to everyone, regardless of immunization status, although people who work in indoor office spaces “not easily accessible to the public”, those who work indoors alone, and those vaccinated. meeting for small gatherings will be exempt, depending on the Seattle weather.
At the same press conference, Inslee also announced the “strictest” immunization mandate for teachers in the country, requiring coaches, bus drivers, volunteers and other school workers in public, private and public schools. chartered be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment. .
The announcements come as coronavirus cases increase dramatically – especially among the unvaccinated – across the state due to the Delta variant. Washington hospitals are reaching capacity as workforce shortages put pressure on the state’s already strained healthcare system.
Shortly before the announcement, a large number of performing arts organizations and venues in Seattle coordinated joint announcements of their own new COVID policies to keep the public, artists and staff safe during the next season 2021-2022. Seattle Opera, Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The 5th Avenue Theater, ACT, Seattle Rep, Village Theater, Seattle Public Theater, and Taproot Theater Company all require proof of vaccination (or a negative COVID test within 48 hours of the event. ) and masks as entry conditions. Masks can only be removed when you are actively eating or drinking.
“The organization recently distributed a survey to over 80,000 guests to determine what would make audiences most comfortable returning to live performances,” the Seattle Symphony wrote in a press release about their updated policies. “Participant responses demonstrated an overwhelming preference for a fully masked and fully vaccinated audience, which allows for the safe removal of socially distant headquarters, thereby increasing access to the magic of a live orchestra.”
In addition to requiring masks and proof of vaccination for staff, performers and members of the public, many of these venues, such as the Seattle Public Theater, the Seattle Symphony, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet claim to have also put in up rigorous cleaning programs and added high quality products. air filters to increase ventilation in their spaces. Most expect these entry requirements to remain in place throughout the season and will revise them as guidelines and recommendations change.
On the less frilly side of the arts world here in the city, the Neumos complex will also follow suit, requiring masks as a condition of entry. The Capitol Hill Concert Hall was one of the first venues in town to require proof of vaccination or a recent COVID test as a condition of entry when it reopens in late June.
“We don’t expect much additional negative impact beyond what we’ve already seen in August,” Neumos Marketing and Ticketing Director Sarah Pepper wrote in a recent email. “People seem to regularly wear masks as they are again. “
I have written to several other sites for comment and will update this story once I get a response.
A fast, flat, end of season, fully catered, in-person event to benefit the American Lung Association.