March Update on Covid Safety at Zimfest 2022

Dear Zimfest Community,

We’re thrilled that 2022 Zimfest will be held in person on June 24-26 in Mt. Vernon, WA (see Claire’s post below). I visited the Skagit County Fairgrounds and Lincoln Theatre during a scouting trip last fall; it will be a fun new venue with ample tent and RV camping onsite and other attractions. Please, please volunteer to help with the many things that need doing both pre-festival and onsite. Drop a line to volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org to be matched with the volunteer job of your dreams!

One of the top concerns—if not the VERY TOP concern—in thinking about a virtual vs. in-person Zimfest for 2022 was the Covid situation, in both Washington state and more broadly. The Zimfest Covid Safety Committee (ZCSC) was established by the Zimfest Association Board last year and is staffed by Deb Goldman (Seattle), Aimée Nassoiy (Lopez Island, WA) and myself (Eugene, OR), plus ex officio members Claire Jones (Festival Coordinator, Seattle) and Alex Weeks (ZA Board President, Seattle). The committee’s efforts are now focusing on Covid risk reduction at the 2022 festival.

Infections with the Omicron Covid variant have now declined to low levels, a turn of events critically important in deciding to green-light this year’s Zimfest. Of course, the Covid situation may change again before June and the ZCSC will continue to carefully monitor the epidemiological and public health situation. Responding 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 remains the best tool to prevent the spread of Covid and to protect each other while gathering in person. As announced previously, full vaccination of all individuals 5 years of age or older will be required to attend 2022 Zimfest. 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 currently required to attend Zimfest. Feedback from the Zimfest Community on this vaccination policy has been overwhelmingly positive, with many people saying they would not consider attending without this policy in place.

The ZCSC has been working with the Zimfest Tech Committee to develop an online form for submitting proof of vaccination, which will include uploading an image of each individual’s vaccine record. You’ll be directed to this form when you receive notification of acceptance as a teacher or performer, or when you register. Everyone must submit proof of vaccination before online registration closes. After approval of submitted materials by the ZCSC, attendees will 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. We’ll announce the mask policy for Zimfest indoor spaces closer to the festival.

Of course, all of the above is subject to the Covid situation and Washington state regulations in June. Nevertheless, please help manifest a well-attended, safe and joyous Zimfest by marking the dates on your calendar and signing up for workshops when registration opens on May 1. Did you know that Zimfest Association members now get early access to workshop registration? See details on the Membership page.

Please address any Covid safety questions to covid_safety(at)zimfest(dot)org.

Stay well, and we’ll see you in June!

Janis C. Weeks
Zimfest Association Board member
Chair, Zimfest Covid Safety Committee

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3 Comments on “March Update on Covid Safety at Zimfest 2022

  1. Jan Lynn Christensen says:

    Enforcing a vaccine passport is discrimination pure and simple. I will not be able to attend in spite of perfect health and natural immunity. I will never attend Zimfest again. This is SO wrong!
    Shame on you!

  2. Janis Weeks says:

    FYI, many other summer festivals in Washington state, including the Northwest Folklife Festival (other examples here; require proof of full vaccination for participants or, in some cases, a recent negative covid test. Neither Zimfest nor the Lincoln Theatre are able to accept test results.

  3. Anita Holladay says:

    Thank you for your policies. I just wanted to go on record as one of the “couldn’t attend otherwise” with respect to vaccinations. I work with immune-compromised individuals and have a moral and stated commitment to them to continue minimizing my Covid risk. And I will probably stay masked regardless of whether it is required.