Update on COVID-19 and our policies going into the show. On February 25th, the CDC released a new tool “Covid 19 Community Levels”. According to this new tool, the tool is “to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. According to this new tool, Coconino, Yavapai, Maricopa and Santa Cruz counties are Community Level: Medium and the rest of Arizona is Community Level: High. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html

However, according to the “COVID-19 Integrated County View” map, that we have been following all this time, all of Arizona is at high Covid transmission, https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view?list_select_state=all_states&list_select_county=&data-type=Risk. According to that map, everyone in Coconino County “should wear a mask in public, indoor settings.

Since there are conflicting guidelines according to the CDC, we will be following the stricter Covid guidelines for Kikori Con 2022 and will keep in place our 100% mask mandate for our show coming up this weekend. We would also like to have more than two weeks of lower Covid cases since variants could be lurking around the corner, before we relax our mask mandates.

We will still require all attendees, regardless of vaccination status, over the age of 5 to wear a mask to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as keep everyone safe. For those in attendance that cannot wear a mask for health reasons we ask that you wear a face shield [If you do not own a face shield, we will have some to purchase at registration for $2]. We will also provide normal face masks at registration at no cost in the event you forgot or lost yours.

We will also be enforcing the mask mandate during the event to ensure everyone stays safe. If a staff member sees you in our event space not wearing your mask you will be asked to put your mask on. If you are warned additional times to put your mask on you may be asked to leave the event and no refund will be given for your badge. We will do our best on when a badge should be marked for a warning and would only mark badges in the event the mask was not worn intentionally. The last thing we want to do is remove someone from the event and cause undue stress for forgetting to put a mask on.

The hotel has outside seating at the restaurant and outside benches for eating and that will also allow you to take off your mask. The travel center next door also has outside seating.

[Examples of when you can remove your mask include, but not limited to: taking photos at the photo booth, a panelist at the front of the room running a panel, and during judging or performing on the stage]

We are also taking extra steps to ensure our space is cleaned regularly. We, and the venue, will be using electrostatic sprayers to sanitize panel rooms regularly.

If you choose to not attend this year due to our current policy, we will be allowing anyone after the show ends to request their badge be rolled to 2023 if you didn’t use it this year. All you will need to do is email sales@monkey-paw.com after March 6th with the email you used to purchase your badge and request your purchases be rolled to our 2023 event.