The anticipated COVID policy for the 2024 Flurry (subject to change based on emerging conditions) is that:
- Vaccination and masking will be optional but encouraged
- Testing prior to entry will be requested and possibly required
Our guiding assumptions and beliefs:
- The coming winter is likely to look fairly similar to last year’s in terms of prevalence and severity of the active covid variant. If there is a significant change to the virus itself or general population immunity, our policy may change.
- Our community remains divided in its level of risk tolerance for dance events, as well as beliefs around communal responsibility for spread of illness. Over the past year, however, more dance communities have chosen to reduce or remove restrictions, and dancers have increasingly become comfortable with supporting individual choice to mask as an acceptable option for risk reduction.
- Although some of our community members do remain at higher risk for complications related to COVID and other illnesses, the majority of our broad Flurry community appears comfortable participating in events without significant restrictions. For the festival to remain financially sustainable, it needs to attune to the preferences of that majority.
- There are opportunities available for risk reduction for those who are concerned. The City Center venues have a Merv-14 ventilation system, which turns over a large amount of air and filters out viral particles. KN-95 masks will be available free to anyone who would like, and select dances will offer mask-required lines, including all programming in Room D.
- We care about and will monitor outcomes. In 2023, Flurry documented only 10 cases of covid infection in the week after the festival. We will similarly request follow-up reporting after the 2024 festival, to assess our community’s success in moving to a less restrictive model.
Further details of the policy:
- A crucial protection against transmission of all contagious illness at Flurry will be for individuals who are symptomatic to refrain from attending. Similar to last year, ticketholders who document respiratory illness immediately prior to the festival may request a refund. Conscientiousness and honesty among community members will help prevent illness, and will bolster our belief that a community can take multiple approaches to caring for its members. (There will be no refunds for other reasons.)
- We strongly encourage all participants to take a COVID test before arriving at the Flurry. If conditions at the time of the festival warrant the additional precaution, we reserve the right to require proof of a negative test for entry.
- Up-to-date vaccination is encouraged, but not required. Although recent vaccination may reduce the severity of illness for individuals who are exposed, we do not believe that, at this point in time, a requirement would meaningfully decrease the likelihood of transmission in a large group, and thus do not find a compelling argument for having a vaccination requirement.
- Masking, when done correctly and continuously, provides excellent protection against exposure to airborne illness. We strongly encourage anyone who is concerned about illness to mask, and will provide free masks. With the understanding that continuous masking is undesirable, uncomfortable, or impossible for many, we are not requiring masking. We take it on faith, however, that anyone who is uncertain of their health status or who develops even minor respiratory symptoms will responsibly wear a high-quality mask when in public areas.
- Use good sense! With the focus on airborne illnesses, it is easy to overlook the many viruses that do spread primarily through droplets and contaminated surfaces. Although these colds and stomach bugs are generally not as dangerous to vulnerable folks as COVID or the flu, they nonetheless make for a lousy Flurry souvenir. Hand washing and sanitizing remain valuable tools for preventing these illnesses, and we encourage everyone to make liberal use of them. Likewise, no matter how many negative COVID tests you’ve taken, if you’ve got the sniffles or feel a little off, please wear a mask and wash often!
If we make a change to our anticipated policy before the festival, we will update this page and send notifications through email and social media. We understand that this policy will not be comfortable to all, and may prevent some from attending the festival. While we wish we had the ability to welcome everyone back under the conditions most comfortable for them, what we’re attempting this year is to find the best fit for the greatest number of people, in the hopes of keeping the festival running for years to come.