Over the past year and a half, we’ve missed many opportunities to attend concerts, festivals, parties, and hangs. And although restrictions have loosened in some places, the realities of our post-vaxx lives aren’t quite as clear-cut as we had once hoped. We're still learning about the COVID-19 variants, and what we know to be the best safety practices continues to evolve as well. For those who want to have fun in groups, it can be hard to know what to do.
One such event is Refinery29’s 29Rooms, which — after a long hiatus — will be returning to New York City this December. This year’s theme is ‘Make Contact,’ which came directly from you: After asking our readers about what they wanted most out of the event series, 94% of polled participants stated that they desperately missed human connection.
Above all, however, 29Rooms is dedicated to hosting a safe event. With that goal in mind, we'll be asking our attendees to follow a few precautions. As of now, in order to attend 29Rooms, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Attendees under the age of 12 must provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test from the previous 72 hours and wear a mask within the event. Event staff will be conducting temperature checks for all staff and guests, and will be cleaning all surfaces throughout the day, including offering hand sanitizing stations, and disinfecting wipes by all touch points. 29Rooms will also be running the event at a reduced capacity and offering timed slots to manage the flow of guests and we will have at least one COVID-19 compliance officer at the event each day and at each session.
Additionally, we spoke to an expert about how to enjoy events like 29Rooms while still prioritizing your and your community's health. William Schaffner, MD, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, emphasizes the necessity of wearing masks. “At the present time, the CDC recommendations are that anyone, whether you're vaccinated or not, if you're going to an indoor event in which there will be a congregation of people, [you] should be masked.” He also stresses the importance of staying home if you are feeling unwell. Dr. Schaffner tells Refinery29, “If you have symptoms of any kind, please don't go. Because this will be in the winter, it could be flu, it could be another respiratory virus. It could be COVID-19. We know that vaccinated people can have minor mild infections, but they can be transmitters.”
Over the next several months, 29Rooms will continue to monitor COVID-19 case counts and the best practice safety recommendations being released by local and national health authorities. We will communicate a comprehensive list of safety guidelines closer to the event that’s up-to-date and compliant with CDC and New York State guidelines.
The event will be held at The Market Line on the Lower East Side, and run from December 2-5 and 9-12. You can buy tickets for $35 at 29Rooms.
The pandemic is still ongoing, and our understanding of the best safety practices is continuing to evolve. For the latest recommendations and guidelines, we suggest visiting COVID-related resources provided by your local health department and the CDC. For more news about COVID and how it affects our lives, check out Refinery29's reporting on the pandemic here.