Last month, news came out that the PAX organizers will host the PAX West event in person this September. Because of concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the event organizers updated their health and safety guidelines to enforce limited capacities, temperature screenings, and other safety measures. Just recently, the organizers updated the guidelines again so that attendees will need to provide vaccine verification or proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon entry into PAX West.
According to the PAX website’s Health and Safety Information page, vaccinated attendees will need to show proof that they took received their second dose at least 14 days before their arrival at the event. Those who have not received a vaccine will have to take either an antigen COVID-19 test “within six hours of the event start time” or a PCR COVID-19 test “within 72 hours of each day of entry to the event.” Attendees’ documentation has to come “directly from the healthcare provider that performed the vaccination or test.”
Although the updated health and safety requirements seem sound on the surface, they do not appear to fully account for all of the risks associated with COVID-19 in general. Allowing proof of negative COVID-19 tests that took place within certain time frames ignores the fact that unvaccinated individuals can easily contract the virus soon after the test and before the event start time. And since the PAX organizers do not appear to offer the tests themselves, they cannot verify whether or not those unvaccinated individuals took additional precautionary measures after the test was taken.
Robust health and safety guidelines remain necessary, especially considering the recent rise of the delta variant. Although requiring vaccine verification without exception would certainly exclude many potential attendees from coming to PAX West, it would ultimately make the event that much safer. Hopefully, the organizers will consider updating their health and safety guidelines further to completely ensure that PAX West will occur without incident.