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Managing Beltane During Covid

 

Update: As of 1/5/2022, we are planning for Beltane with modified Covid requirements to take into account the current state of severity of the Delta and Omicron variants of Covid-19 in Louisiana.  Please see below.

 

2020 gripped all of us with the realities of the Covid pandemic. As we emerge into 2022, we feel urged to support the community's need for connection. To do that, we evaluated our event using a handbook written with guidance from the CDC, WHO, and DHS. We have also consulted with an infection control director in Mississippi, and will reach out to local officials for further guidance. Your cooperation in following these protocols will allow us to keep this festival running. We can establish the safest rules ever, but everyone needs to embrace some personal responsibility to make the rules work. We reserve the right add protocols to this list and/or cancel the festival at any time if, during another evaluation, we feel that the risk to attendees has grown.

Check-in

  • Our event will be limited to 150 total people in our 50 acre outdoor space, which complies with the current guidelines for Louisiana.

  • Every attendee will be required to provide proof at the gate of one of the following:

    • Full Covid vaccination (accepted via vaccine card or LA Wallet. Last dose must be more than 2 weeks old at time of entry)

  •  Electronic agreements need to be signed, which will include (but are not limited to):

    • A liability waiver

    • Photography release form

    • Acknowledgement of festival rules

    • Agreement to abide by Covid protocols

  • If documents aren't signed in-advance (the safest option), volunteers will have electronic documents available on an iPad at the gate.

  • Additionally, we will ask attendees to pick their campsite and identify fellow "pod" members in-advance on a map.

  • All attendees will be given a list of Covid-19 symptoms, local testing centers, and local hospitals/urgent care facilities.

  • Wristbands of various colors will be issued at the gate. Different colors will represent levels of comfort with others, such as:

    • "Stay six feet away at all times."

    • "I'm ok with elbow bumps"

    • "I accept hugs, with permission"

  • We encourage those who are immunocompromised to bring/wear a red bandana on their head or around their neck as an obvious and easy-to-spot indicator.

  • You must wear a mask to check-in. No mask = no entry. 

  • Enthusiastic consent has been a feature of our event for years. This year, it also applies to people who aren't comfortable with close interaction. Please respect others' positions on social distancing. We also encourage people to be vocal if they feel uncomfortable with someone else's proximity.

Clubhouse

  • Masks must be worn whenever you are indoors, with the only exception being the showers.

  • There will be volunteers present to sanitize all high-touch surfaces.

  • No classes or group gatherings of any kind will be allowed in the clubhouse.

  • Each indoor sleeping area will be restricted to those "pods" who reserved the space.

  • The bathrooms will be restricted to two people at a time. Showers are restricted to two people at a time.

  • Shower times will be first-come, first-served, except early morning showers, which will be reserved for the immunocompromised and those over 65. 

  • All shower items should be brought in and taken out each time.

  • Bathrooms are equipped with soap and paper towels. All areas around the clubhouse will have bottles of hand sanitizer.

Camping

  • All campers will be required to select their campsite in advance and identify everyone in their "pod."

  • Camping areas will be restricted to the tree lines along the east, west, and south side of the campground, past the small oak.

  • Campers with a medical need for electricity will be allowed to camp behind the clubhouse.

  • Hand washing/sanitizing stations will be set up in easy walking distance of campsites.

  • If you need assistance getting to/from areas of the campsite, please let us know at check-in that you need help.

  • In your personal campsite, you are allowed to relax without your mask ALWAYS BEING MINDFUL of your proximity to others. When visiting other campsites, please be wary of wristband colors and maintain a respectful distance from those with yellow/orange or red wristbands.

  • While this is a BYOB event, your personal alcohol must remain at your campsite for the entire event. There will be a cash bar available in the evenings to provide drinks in group areas.

Classes/Group Activities

  • We ask that you sign up in-advance for classes, to help plan our event schedule.

  • We ask that you social distance during classes.

  • Masks are not required for classes, since all classes will be outdoors.

  • During ritual, any food or drink provided will be separated into individual containers.

Food/Alcohol

  • Our Saturday night feast will be served buffet style. We ask that you use a new plate and silverware if you get seconds.

  • Coffee will be served in the mornings in the clubhouse kitchen by a server.  Payment accepted via cash, Cash App, Venmo, or credit card. If you bring a mug purchased from a prior WFBH, your coffee will be free all weekend.

  • Personal alcohol must be kept at your own campsite. No one will be allowed to participate in any group activities if they show signs of inebriation.

  • We ask attendees not to share the same cigarette, cup, bottle, etc.

  • We will provide a cash bar on Friday and Saturday night, which will also be equipped with cans of soda, bottled water, and flavored water. 

  • Other than the Saturday night feast, we ask that you consume your meals in your camp area, so that there are no issues with forgetting to put the mask back on around others.

Masking/Social Distance

  • The festival "safety satyrs" will "poke" attendees with their big sticks when they see safety infractions.

  • We will give friendly reminders when masks slip. Not wearing a mask at all will be treated differently.

    • 1st occurrence: you will be reminded by a volunteer, presenter, etc.

    • 2nd occurrence: you will be asked to leave the group activity you're participating in.

    • 3rd occurrence: you will be asked to pack-up and leave the event, without refund.

  • All planned group activities and classes will space attendees apart at least six feet.

  • There will be floor markers in the pool area and clubhouse to space out people waiting for coffee or the bathroom.

  • Campsites will be spaced out to provide optimum breathing room between tents.

Medical

  • A medical area will be provided at the Zendo tent to address common rural festival ailments (sunburns, bee stings, allergies, etc.)

  • We are calling on two medical professional volunteers to provide medical service during the event. 

  • Temperature checks will be done throughout the event.

  • Attendees are responsible for letting medical staff know if they experience Covid symptoms, including but not limited to:

    • Fever

    • Body aches

    • Coughing

    • Loss of smell/taste

    • Digestive issues

  • If our medical staff determine that an attendee's symptoms meet the criteria for Covid, that attendee will be asked to leave with their party, and go to an urgent care for a rapid Covid test (or we may provide rapid tests on-site as a preliminary measure). The festival activities will be paused, and attendees will be asked to remain at their campsites while we wait for the results.

  • If  an attendee tests positive for Covid during the weekend, we will establish a contact tracing protocol we have developed. Once it is complete, we will shut down the festival and attendees will be asked to go home, get tested, and isolate while waiting for results. If the attendee tests negative, we will make that announcement and resume activities.

  • If an attendee is unable to transport themselves for testing and they didn't arrive in a group, they will be required to call a rideshare service for transportation to urgent care (there will be an Uber/Lyft driver with protective gear on-site.

  • All attendees are asked to reach out to festival organizers if they test positive for Covid within two weeks post-festival. It is our responsibility to notify attendees of possible exposure.