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Music Venue Owner in Portland Has Figured Out How to Have Indoor Shows Again: Rapid COVID19 Tests At the Door

With the spread of the Delta Variant ruining everyone’s fall plans, those who are already vaccinated are feeling frustrated about not being able to enjoy the benefits of their inoculations thanks to the “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated” still raging. Different cities are taking different approaches to handle the way they’re reopening restaurants and other indoor businesses as the country faces another potential set of lockdowns throughout the fall and winter. In New York City, for example, restaurants all now require proof of vaccination for all indoor dining and other indoor events.

While the Sturgis Biker Rally is being tracked as a possible superspreader event just like it was last year, the anti-Sturgis, aka Lollapalooza, hasn’t been connected to any known COVID19 outbreaks thanks to its strict mandates that all attendees must be vaccinated and wear masks whenever going indoors.

 

In Portland, Oregon, one venue owner has come up with a way to keep things not just safe, but also fair when it comes to hosting music events: rapid COVID19 tests for attendees.

Kevin Cradock, the co-owner of the popular Portland venues Mississippi Studios, Revolution Hall, and Polaris Hall, occupies a rare position: he’s a music venue operator who also used to work in disease outbreak response, back when the Oregon Health Authority was still called the Oregon Public Health Division. So when Cradock first got his vaccine card, he shrunk it down and had it laminated so no one could copy it. “Anyone can make a dummy of these cards,” Cradock told Portland’s Willamette Week. “You can’t undo that. That’s a CDC thing. They had a long time to come up with a card. They got a great vaccine and they came up with a terrible identification process for it.”

The current policy at Cradock’s venues is simple: no one is permitted to enter without proof of vaccination or a negative test. With his background in public health, epidemiology and science, he’s a reliable and knowledgable presence at a time when so many are spreading misinformation along with the virus. On August 11th, Cradock set up trailers outside two of the venues, Mississippi Studios and Revolution Hall, so that anyone who needs to be tested can do so privately. “Hey, no drama,” Cradock explains to anyone unaware of the policy. “You didn’t hear about this. You didn’t get the email. Just get a test and wait 15 minutes.”

“We have the vaccination rates,” Cradock says. “We have to reopen these businesses and keep them open. The best way to keep people safe is: vaccine, vaccine, test, test, test, vaccine.”



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