TOUCH&PLAY COVID POLICIES
Dear Touch&Play Participants and staff!
We’re very excited about our upcoming festival! We remain optimistic that we will be able to proceed with the festival as planned and we understand there are inherent risks in the shifting COVID landscape. We want everyone to come with a clear sense of the current COVID guidelines that we are working with along with the various known risks and regional data available at this time. We are invested in creating a container with a good balance between safety and freedom.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 9/6/21
Because of various health, safety and liability issues we are now making the event vaccinated only (exception: healthy individuals who recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days and therefore have current immunity). We will issue full refunds to any registered unvaccinated participants. ***If you are unvaccinated and decide that you now want to get vaccinated before the event you will need to get a J&J vaccine no later than Wednesday September 8th.
Current Local COVID Data:
Massachusetts currently is the 2nd highest vaccinated state (75% with at least one shot and 66% fully vax’d) only behind Vermont. Delta rates have unfortunately been on the rise with an average of 2000 new cases/day in MA, although Hampshire County (where Earthdance is) has some of the lowest rates in the state with a current avg of 16 cases/day. Breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals are also on the rise (Over 15,000 fully vaccinated Massachusetts residents have now tested positive for COVID-19) and while generally not as serious are still a factor to be considered.
Our COVID Safety Protocol (subject to change):
- We will be requiring everyone to get a PCR COVID test 3-4 days beforehand and show proof of negative.
Here are a few free local testing sites:
- UMASS, Amherst,MA https://www.umass.edu/coronavirus/coronavirus/covid-19-testing
- GCC, Greenfield, MA https://www.cic-health.com/stopthespread
- or find one closer to you: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/find-a-covid-19-test
- We will also be requiring that everyone purchase 2 FDA approved rapid COVID tests to bring. The recommended and most easily accessible one is “BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test” which can be purchased for $20 – $24 at any CVS, Walgreens, RiteAid or Walmart. Each box contains two tests. If you are unable to purchase the tests before coming let us know and we will have some on hand to purchase at the registration desk upon arrival. We will ask everyone to do the rapid tests, once upon arrival and again two days into the festival.
- We also ask that you NOT attend if you have any symptoms of illness in the week leading up to your arrival.
- Of course we sincerely hope that everyone is “negative” throughout! If anyone does test positive they will first be retested in case of a false positive. If positive again, they will be required to leave the event by their own means. If during the festival anyone has symptoms they will also be required to leave the event.
- In cases of a positive test or symptoms before or upon arrival we will give full refunds minus the deposit fee. In cases of positive tests or symptoms during the event, no refunds will be offered.
- We will do contact tracing and if anyone contracts COVID we will let all participants know who that person is.
- We ask that all camping and dorm participants remain onsite for the duration of the event except in the case of an emergency. We ask that all commuters who are staying off campus (outside of Nine Mountain or Earthdance lands) not spend time with other people outside of the event during the event.
- We request that everyone limit exposure the week before the event as much as possible especially after you get a PCR test. (ie: avoid other events/concerts/parties/indoor-dining/crowds or spaces where there are high risks for transmission.)
- A Waiver of Liability and Assumption of the Risk Relating to COVID-19 will be required. Everyone must sign it upon arrival.
We know that there is a wide spectrum of ways we each are dealing with the pandemic and realize that the above requirements could give you either ease or be a cause for frustration. In any case, this is what we ask in order for you to join this container. There can be no exceptions and if any of these feel like they are not something you can agree to at this time, we ask that you not attend.
Other precautions we are putting in place:
- We will have many outdoor offerings, and indoor spaces will be well ventilated with fans, exhaust system and open windows as weather permits.
- Meals can be eaten primarily outdoors (Large open tents will be available for shade and weather protection)
- Hand sanitizer readily available.
- Depending on COVID case levels and current mandates in Massachusetts during the event, we may end up having to require masks be worn indoors..
- Green Yellow and Red yarn bracelets that can be worn at your discretion to signal if you are A. inviting touch, B. Ask first, or C. No touch please.
- With many people camping and only 25-30 people registered to stay in the Earthdance dorms we should be able to accommodate all dorm rooms with 3-4 participants max per room making them safer smaller sleeping pods.