Addressing the Shifting Landscape of COVID-19 Vaccines

Feb 8, 2024

Go Play NW has updated our COVID-19 policy for 2024. These updates include a change to Go Play NW's requirements for COVID-19 vaccination.

Our COVID-19 vaccination requirement for Go Play NW 2024 is as follows:

To gain entry to Go Play NW 2024, all attendees must present either proof of a COVID-19 booster taken after July 26, 2023 or a negative COVID-19 PCR or anitgen test administered within 72 hours prior to their entry to Go Play NW 2024.

This is a change from our 2023 vaccination requirement that required all attendees to provide proof that they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In 2023, even if an attendee produced a negative COVID-19 test result, if they could not provide adequate documentation regarding their vaccination status, they were not allowed entry to Go Play NW.

We realize this change may come as a surprise and may cause some members of our community to consider skipping Go Play NW in 2024. We did not come to this decision lightly, and feel that we owe all of you an explanation for why we are making this change.

As federal and local governments have taken their focus off COVID-19, keeping COVID-19 vaccines up-to-date with boosters and maintaining vaccine documentation have becoming increasingly difficult.

  • For most individuals, the initial 2-shot Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine series is no longer effective for preventing infection from the most common COVID-19 variants, rendering the CDC's "fully vaccinated" status ineffective for mitigating risk to the community.
  • While the federal government extended their Bridge Access Program and will continue to provide free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to uninsured adults until December 31, 2024, access to providers offering these vaccines is inconsistent, especially for folks belonging to communities that face systemic challenges to accessing medical care.
  • Many healthcare providers are no longer (or are inconsistently) updating COVID-19 vaccination cards, making it increasingly difficult for folks to provide documentation proving that they have kept their COVID-19 vaccine up-to-date.
  • While folks can request documentation of their vaccine history through their state health department, the ease of access to and reliability of this information varies wildly by state.

This means we find ourselves in a conundrum: either we continue requiring proof of an updated COVID-19 vaccine and create a hurdle that bars access to folks from marginalized communities with unreliable health care access, or we relax our COVID-19 requirements and increase our community's risk of infection.

After researching steps other organizations in the Seattle area are taking in their approach to COVID-19, we hope that we have found a reasonable middle-ground that requires our attendees to either 1) demonstrate that they are keeping their vaccination status up-to-date, or 2) test negative for COVID-19 before entering the event.

  • All attendees are still required to wear KN-95 or better masks while indoors.
  • We are taking steps to ensure the space is properly ventilated with an increased airflow rate.
  • We are preparing tented and lit outdoor gaming space.
  • Masks and rapid tests will be available on-site for those that need them.
  • We will continue to refund the registration cost for anyone who tests positive with COVID-19 or experiences COVID-like symptoms during or within 10 days before the start of the event.

Thank you to our Go Play NW community for your support and understanding regarding this policy change. Please remember that there is no substitute for getting vaccinated against COVID-19: get vaccinated, keep your vaccine boosted, and continue wearing a mask in public.

We hope to see you at Go Play NW 2024!

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