As the highly-contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus extends the coronavirus pandemic into the summer, event planners have had to quickly adjust to the latest “new normal.” Superspreader events like this one in Massachusetts that sparked a change on guidance from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also may the way organizers host events for at least the next few months.
Case in point: ReedPop and PAX West 2021.
For ReedPop, the creator of the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) events, PAX West is coming up in about a month (Sept. 3-6 in Seattle, Washington), and they’re adjusting with the health conditions in the moment. The show’s prior health and safety guidelines in late June called for face coverings and social distancing.
Fast-forward a month, and the organizers have issued a statement this week that “Prior to entry we will now require proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test, each to be verified with a valid, government issued ID.”
ReedPop’s statement acknowledged the change in policy as well:
When PAX West 2021 badges were announced, the PAX Team made the decision to communicate what we could commit to at that time, rather than what we were working toward. While we let the community know the health and safety guidelines could evolve, we wanted to get it right and we feel confident that verification of fully vaccination or negative test, along with continued face covering requirements for everyone, will create an environment that promotes the wellbeing of our PAX community.
It’s always possible that the health and safety requirements may change further, depending on the changing situation around COVID-19 Delta variant infection rates, so if you have purchased a PAX West 2021 pass or are considering it, you may want to keep on their official site and social media channels. After all, ReedPop canceled PAX East in 2021 due to coronavirus-related health considerations, so other changes or restrictions are certainly possible. Events for Gamers will also keep an eye out for any news or updates as well.