At the start of the month, Twitch, the livestreaming giant, who hosts their content creator-centered convention, TwitchCon, announced their health guidelines for the 2022 event in San Diego, CA. The original TwitchCon San Diego health policy stated:
“We’re constantly reviewing our health and safety guidelines along with local authorities. In accordance with current local guidelines, there will be no COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements at TwitchCon San Diego. Although masks are encouraged, they are not currently required to attend TwitchCon.”
At the same time, a highly virulent version of COVID-19, the Omicron BA.5 strain, is the most dominant strain — with about 700-1,300 daily cases (at the time of this posting) in San Diego County. Although by early October, when TwitchCon commences, the COVID situation could be better or worse. However, this policy raised concerns for a number of potential TwitchCon attendees, especially among the immunocompromised and disabled community, who face greater risk of experiencing more severe COVID-related symptoms and for longer periods of time if they are infected.
One of the more prominent voices raising concerns has been Steven Spohn (Spawn), a disabled variety Twitch streamer and advocate, who suggested skipping TwitchCon San Diego this year as a response:
The backlash from some creators and attendees evidently made an impact. In a blog post this morning, TwitchCon organizers announced they’ve revised their health policies for attendees. Attendees will be required to wear masks for all indoors spaces at TwitchCon San Diego and to show a proof of vaccination and proof of negative COVID test within 72 hours of attending the show. The revised health policies can be found on the event site here.
Regarding this update, the early social media feedback from potentially attendees, especially among those who raised concerns (such as Spawn), has been generally positive.
TwitchCon San Diego is scheduled to take place in San Diego from October 7-9.