Constellation 2022 COVID-19 Policy
Posted: July 28, 2022, Updated: September 7, 2022
Everyone who attends Constellation 2022 must be both fully vaccinated and up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccination, based on the CDC definitions prior to September 2, 2022. We strongly recommend that anyone who is eligible to receive the updated bivalent booster does so before the event, but we are not requiring it for all attendees. This Policy applies to both adults and minors over the age of 6 months. Information as to why we chose this policy and what it means is below:
Can you give me a TL;DR of what is required? I’m so confused.
Of course! While we had initially required that all attendees who are eligible receive the updated bivalent booster recommended by the CDC guidance posted on September 2, 2022, we have since realized that this was not within the spirit of our previously set cut-off date (September 8, 2022) for updating the Constellation 2022 COVID-19 Policy.
Thus, in order to attend Constellation 2022 you must be fully vaccinated and boosted, if eligible to receive a booster based on the previous CDC definition of “up-to-date”. If you are fully vaccinated and have already been boosted, you are in compliance with the COVID-19 Policy. We strongly encourage everyone who is eligible and able to receive the updated bivalent booster do so before the event, but we are not requiring it for entry if you have already received a booster. Details on the cut-off dates for booster eligibility and overall vaccination are outlined below.
Of note, if you were previously eligible for a booster (meaning you received a 1-dose vaccine before July 5, 2022 or received your second dose of a two-dose vaccine before May 5, 2022), you will be required to get the updated bivalent booster, as the original monovalent booster is no longer available for anyone aged 12 or older.
Why is Constellation 2022 requiring vaccines + boosters?
We, as an organization (both the FirePony Creative Society Board of Directors and the Constellation Event Producers), believe it is in the best interest of our event, our attendees, and the greater community to hold a fully vaccinated event. When previously considering holding Constellation in both 2020 and 2021, we were guided by our commitment to Civic Responsibility and overall safety within our own and the surrounding Elkins community. That commitment has held true for 2022.
Additionally, we posed the question about safety and comfortability with our event team. In general, all major policy decisions are at least discussed with the BoD, Producers, and entire event team, including this COVID-19 Policy. A policy to require attendees be both fully vaccinated and up-to-date on the vaccination was widely supported by our team. Also, based on reception of similar policies at other events in the Mid-Atlantic, including our older sibling event Playa del Fuego, we believe this policy to also be widely supported within the community.
What does this mean for attendees?
All attendees must be both: 1) fully vaccinated; and 2) up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccination. According to the CDC:
- Fully vaccinated means that you have completed the primary series of your initial vaccination. You are considered fully vaccinated if you have received:
- The full primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine (two doses of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech or one dose of Johnson & Johnson); AND
- Your final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days ago.
- You are up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines when you have received all doses in the primary series and all boosters recommended for you, when eligible. As mentioned above, this definition is based on the CDC guidance posted previous to the September 2, 2022 update.
More information on the CDC policy we are referencing is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html.
Who does this policy apply to?
This policy applies to all attendees over the age of 6 months, the current minimum approved age to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. We do not think that an infant vaccination will be available in advance of the 2022 event or that it is necessary, given that any infants under 6 months of age who attend Constellation will have likely received in-utero antibodies from their fully vaccinated birth-parent.
Why are you requiring boosters?
According to the CDC and other public health sources, protection after a primary COVID-19 vaccine series decreases over time, especially against the newer Omicron variants. COVID-19 booster doses, especially the updated bivalent booster, help increase protection against symptomatic infection and severe outcomes at the individual level and help reduce transmission at the population level. In order to feel comfortable holding this event and ensuring the safety of our attendees, we have decided to follow the advice of the CDC to reduce possible spread of COVID-19 at Constellation.
What are the cut-off dates for initial vaccinations and boosters, if eligible?
The following is based on the previous CDC guidance, before the September 2, 2022 update:
- For adults (18 years and older):
- If you are not yet vaccinated, you must receive your second dose of a two-dose vaccine or a one-dose vaccine by Wednesday, September 21, 2022.
- If you are fully vaccinated and received a 1-dose vaccine before July 5, 2022, you must get a booster before attending.
- If you are fully vaccinated and received your second dose of a two-dose vaccine before May 5, 2022, you must get a booster before attending.
- If you previously obtained a monovalent booster, you are considered up-to-date for the purpose of Constellation 2022.
- If you have not yet been boosted and received your latest dose of the primary series before the above deadlines, you must get the updated bivalent booster, as it is the only booster currently available for this age group.
- For children and teens aged 12-17 years:
- If they are not yet vaccinated, they must receive their second dose of a two-dose vaccine by Wednesday, September 21, 2022.
- If they are fully vaccinated and received their second dose of a two-dose vaccine before May 5, 2022, they must get a booster before attending.
- If they previously obtained a monovalent booster, they are considered up-to-date for the purpose of Constellation 2022.
- If they have not yet been boosted and received their second dose of the primary series before May 5, 2022, they must get the updated bivalent booster, as it is the only booster currently available for this age group.
- For children aged 5-11 years who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine:
- If they are not yet vaccinated, they must receive their second dose of a two-dose vaccine by Wednesday, September 21, 2022.
- If they are fully vaccinated and received their final dose before May 5, 2022, they must get a booster (third dose) before attending.
- For children aged 5-11 years who received the Moderna vaccine:
- Boosters are not recommended for children in this age group who received the Moderna vaccine.
- For children aged 6 months to 4 years:
- If they are not yet vaccinated, they must receive their final dose of a two- or three-dose vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, respectively) by Wednesday, September 21, 2022.
- Boosters are not recommended for children in this age group.
Of note, the above dates are based on the first date of the event (Wednesday, October 5, 2022), when Early Arrival for art grant recipients, theme camps, and first-shift volunteers begins. These dates are not calculated based on the day you arrive, if later than Wednesday, October 5, 2022.
What if I arrive at the event and do not meet the above deadlines?
Anyone under suspicion for violating this COVID-19 Policy will be referred to the Conduct Committee. Do not show up at the event if you have not met the above requirements as you will be turned away. As a reminder, tickets and car passes are non-refundable.
If, in the event that an attendee is required to get a booster dose but has not received said dose before they arrive at Guardians for pre-check, they may choose to leave, obtain their required booster, and return to the event for ticketing. However, we strongly encourage every attendee to confirm their vaccination status and receive any required booster in advance of the event, in order to maintain efficient operations. The roadway leading in and out of our site is not wide enough for two-way traffic, so if you must exit because you do not meet the vaccination requirements, we will have to stop all traffic into the event to allow you to leave. Please do not be the reason your fellow attendees are delayed when entering the event!
Of note, you are considered “up-to-date” immediately after you receive the most recent booster dose recommended for you, so you have until you arrive at the event to get your booster, if eligible based on the previously-outlined dates. However, we strongly encourage everyone to get their booster (if you have not already) as soon as possible, in order to avoid any last-minute headaches, as well as any crummy feelings in the first few days of the event. (Trust us, you do not want to set-up camp feeling like doo-doo if you get your booster the day or two before you arrive and have any side-effects.)
What are acceptable forms of proof of vaccination?
The two acceptable forms are:
- An official CDC-issued COVID-19 vaccination card (paper preferred/photo okay); or
- A vaccination certificate or record issued by your state or local health department (electronic preferred/paper copy okay), preferably with a QR code.
If you have lost your vaccination card, please contact your state health department’s immunization information system (IIS). Vaccination providers are required to report COVID-19 vaccinations to their IIS and related systems. Your state’s IIS cannot issue you a vaccination card, but they can provide a digital or paper copy of your vaccination record.
If you do not have an electronic vaccination certificate/record and do not wish to potentially lose or damage your paper vaccination card, you may provide a photograph of your official vaccination card. The photograph must be clear and legible, and the name and birthdate must match your government issued photo ID. However, an electronic vaccination certificate or record from your state or local health department is preferred to a photograph of your vaccination card.
Link to contact your state health departments IIS: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/iis/contacts-locate-records.html#state
What about people who have had COVID-19?
People who have had COVID-19, even recently, must still comply with the above requirements.
Will this policy change leading up to the event?
No additional changes to the COVID-19 Policy are planned in advance of the event.
Are you requiring that attendees test for COVID-19 in advance of the event?
Attendees are highly encouraged to self-test for COVID-19 before attending the event, with a PCR test up to 72 hours before they arrive or a rapid test up to 24 hours before they arrive. Anyone who is found to have tested positive for COVID-19 (or suspected and avoided testing) but then attended the event anyways will be found in violation of this policy and reported to the Conduct Committee.
We also encourage everyone to test following the event, and we will set up a post-event reporting form to track potential transmission. More info to come as we get closer to the event on what this looks like.
What if I test positive before the event or have a suspected exposure to a COVID-19 positive person?
Short answer: it depends. Attendees are required to follow the most up-to-date CDC-guidance on:
- “What to Do If You Were Exposed to COVID-19”, last updated on August 24, 2022 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/if-you-were-exposed.html);
- “Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19”, last updated on August 11, 2022 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/isolation.html); and
- “Travel”, last updated August 24, 2022. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html).
Long answer: assuming you are fully vaccinated, up-to-date on your vaccination, and traveling to Constellation from within the domestic United States (lower 48), the below applies:
- If you are exposed to COVID-19 (close contact) more than 10 days before the event, you do not need to stay home unless you develop symptoms or test positive following exposure. In line with CDC guidance, please test after 5 days to confirm a negative result and make sure you remain without symptoms. If at any time within 10 days of the event, you become symptomatic or test positive after a close contact, Bullet 3 applies.
- If you are exposed to COVID-19 (close contact) within 10 days of the event, the CDC does not recommended to quarantine but does recommend that you do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask during the 10 full days following exposure. As the masks are nearly impossible for us to enforce and ensure attendees could reliably follow, you may not attend the event.
- If you test positive within 10 days of the event, whether or not you are symptomatic, you may not attend the event. While CDC guidance states that may end isolation after 5 days if you: 1) have had no symptoms; or 2) if you have been fever-free for 24 hours and your symptoms are improving, you should not travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date your positive test was taken if you had no symptoms. As attending Constellation very likely involves travel from another City and across State borders, this restriction applies.
Of note and according to the CDC, a close contact is someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes. More information on determining a “close contact” can be found on the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/determine-close-contacts.html.
What if I feel sick at the event?
More information will be provided as we finalize our on-site mitigation plan.
What if an attendee is found to violate this policy?
By attending the event, you agree to abide by the terms outlined in this policy. Any attendee under suspicion for violating this COVID-19 Policy will be referred to the Conduct Committee. Potential consequences include immediate removal from the event and/or receiving a ban from future Constellation or FirePony events. Please do not put our attendees at risk or our volunteers in an uncomfortable place by defying any of the terms outlined in this policy.
What about the future, 2023 and beyond?
We are not clairvoyant, so we unfortunately cannot predict what things will look like in the future. It will be up to the 2023 Event Producers and FPCS BoD to determine future event policies.
What if I have questions?
All questions can be directed to COVID@constellationburn.org. Thank you.
Updated: July 30, 2022 to clarify that dates for vaccination cut-offs provided are based on the day before the event begins: Wednesday, October 5. 2022, and that based on CDC guidelines, you are considered “up-to-date” on the day you receive your booster. Attendees who arrive at pre-check who are eligible but have not yet received a booster may leave, obtain the required booster, and return to the gate to resume ticketing.
Updated: September 5, 2022 based on CDC guidance published on September 2, 2022. Acceptable forms of proof were also added.
Updated: September 7, 2022 to remove the CDC guidance from September 2, 2022 and reinstate the previous booster requirements.