With venues reopening and 90% to 95% of arts audiences vaccinated, we have entered a new stage of the pandemic. A significant share of the audience, despite being vaccinated, is still concerned about contracting the COVID-19 virus. The recent turnabout in infection rates among unvaccinated Americans, driven by the Delta variant, is fueling this caution. It appears that the virus will be with us for a long time.
Against this backdrop, audiences must gain comfort with policies and practices that acknowledge the reality of a protracted—perhaps even indefinite—risk of COVID-19 transmission at cultural events. This session is offered specifically to inform sector discussions about proof-of-vaccine requirements, masks and other protocols, surcharges for venue safety, and finding language to signal that COVID-19 is both an ongoing and acceptable risk.