In response to questions from the community, here is an updated version of the March 8, 2022 blog post, with additions and clarifications underlined.
As of early March, Covid infections with the Omicron variant have declined to levels not seen since last November. This heartening turn of events helped the Zimfest Association decide to go forward with an in-person festival this year (June 24-26, Mt. Vernon, WA). In response to the decline in cases, the CDC, state, and local public health agencies have started phasing out masking requirements; in Washington state, mask mandates end on March 12. Healthcare providers, businesses, event organizers, etc., can still choose to require masks in the interests of health and safety.
Vaccination is the best tool for preventing the spread of Covid and protecting each other while we gather in person. As announced previously, all Zimfest participants 5 years of age and older are required to be fully vaccinated. “Participants” include Zimfest teachers, performers, workshop participants, volunteers, food/drink and merchandise vendors, and workers contracted by Zimfest. The Skagit County Fairgrounds will be open to the public, without any vaccination requirements per local health regulations. The public, and individuals accompanying participants (e.g., non-participant family members), will have no access to indoor spaces except for a bathroom/shower building. The evening concerts are likewise open to the public and the venue has its own vaccination policy (see below).
Presently, full vaccination consists of either (1) both doses of a double-dose vaccine (e.g. Moderna or Pfizer) or (2) one dose of a single-dose vaccine (e.g. Johnson & Johnson). Other vaccines approved by the World Health Organization may also be accepted. An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of vaccine. Boosters are not required to attend Zimfest.
Proof of full vaccination, including an image of an official vaccination record, will be submitted via an online form. You’ll be directed to this form when you receive notification of acceptance to Zimfest (e.g., teacher applicants) or when you register. Proof of vaccination will be due when online registration closes. Participants will then be issued a special wristband that provides access to indoor spaces at the Skagit County Fairgrounds. Lincoln Theatre, the venue for evening concerts, will carry out their own verification of full vaccination at the door (check requirements here), independent of Zimfest’s vaccine verification. Neither Zimfest nor the Lincoln Theatre will accept Covid test results in lieu of full vaccination.
Of course, all of the above is subject to the Covid situation in June. We continue to closely monitor Covid case rates and official health regulations regarding vaccination (e.g., boosters, minimum vaccine-eligible age), masks and other safety precautions. We’ll announce the mask policy for Zimfest indoor spaces closer to the festival.
We will launch a Covid Safety page on the Zimfest website soon, containing all the details.
Please address any questions to covid_safety (at) zimfest(dot)org.
Stay well, and we look forward to seeing you in June!
Janis C. Weeks
Zimfest Association Board member
Chair, Zimfest Covid Safety Committee