09/01/21 COVID Preparedness Plan

09/01/21 COVID Preparedness Plan

BIG BLUES BENDER COVID PREPAREDNESS PLAN 



The Big Blues Bender is committed to holding an event that is safe from Covid.  Please review the following information prior to leaving your home.


We reserve the right to make any modifications to our terms as required to conform to health and safety protocols.

Guest Check In Requirements:

Upon check in for festival credentials, your documentation will be reviewed by our Covid Documentation Review Team.  You will need a Government Issued Photo ID card and either PROOF of a Covid-19 vaccination, or a negative PCR or Antigen test taken within 3 days of when you pick up your event credentials.

PROOF OF VACCINATION

You must provide an original vaccination card, or printed or digital photograph of your vaccination card that contains all of the following:

  1. Issued by the CDC (US Citizens) or other official governmental agency or national health service entitled,  “COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card” or similar
  2. Your Name and Date of Birth (Will be verified against your ID)
  3. Dates of BOTH shots (Or single Johnson and Johnson shot)
  4. Product name/Manufacturer/Lot Number 
  5. Healthcare Professional or Clinic Site where the vaccine was administered
  6. Last shot must be administered no later than 8/25/21

NEGATIVE COVID TEST

Your test results must be a printed document, text message, or email that contains all of the following:

  1. Must be PCR or Antigen Test, antibody tests are not accepted
  2. Your full name
  3. Name of company or facility that administered the test
  4. Date the test was administered
  5. Dated no more than three days from the date you pick up your event credentials. (Example: If you are checking in on Wednesday Sept 8, the latest your test could be dated is Sunday Sept 5)

ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS
IF YOUR DOCUMENTATION FAILS TO MEET THE ABOVE CRITERIA, OR IS OTHERWISE DEEMED UNACCEPTABLE YOU MUST PROCURE A NEW COVID TEST AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE.

FORGERY IS A SERIOUS CRIME
ANYONE IN POSSESSION OF A FORGED OR FALSIFIED VACCINATION CARD OR COVID TEST WILL BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW.


Getting a Rapid Antigen Test in Las Vegas

Self tests are readily available at area CVS and Walgreens Pharmacies. However, supplies vary at each individual location.  Anyone who plans on using an Antigen Test for admittance into the Bender must insure that the test produces results that are verifiable.  THUS IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to:

  1. Contact the pharmacy and insure that they have rapid tests available.
  2. Confirm that the test you take will be verifiable to our staff by indicating your name and the time in which you took the test.
  3. Some self tests are like pregnancy tests and just show a positivity line.  This will not be acceptable documentation as the test could have been taken longer than 3 days prior or by someone else.
  4. It is highly suggested that you make an appointment with a testing facility that will be administered by testing staff that will give you verifiable documentation.
  5. Both CVS and Walgreens have rapid testing capabilities where results can be received within one hour, but many are booked well in advance.  
  6. Make your testing plan today if you have not already done so.

Canadian Bender Family

Please be aware of the latest requirements of entry into the United StatesAt the time of this writing, a negative PCR test is required to be taken no longer than 3 days prior to your flight to and from the US. It is imperative that you make your testing plans now in order to avoid travel interruption and/or possible quarantine.
LAS VEGAS AREA RAPID PCR TESTING (For International Travel)

E7 Health laboratories (www.e7health.com) offers rapid PCR testing (2-3 hour turnaround time) at two locations that qualify for international travel. Please make an appointment ASAP as slots fill quickly and they are closed Saturday and Sunday. 

  • 500 E. Windmill Lane, Suite 155 Las Vegas, NV 81923 (702) 800-2723

  • 2051 N. Rainbow Blvd. Suite 100 Las Vegas, NV 89108 (702) 800-2723


IC Labs offers a similar service and has two locations very near the hotel; closed Sundays. Make an appointment at www.rapidtesting.us

  • Resorts World Las Vegas 3000 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 793-8442

  • 4510 S. Eastern Ave. Suite 9 Las Vegas, NV 89119 (702) 857-3332

       

Elite Medical Center (See www.elitelv.com) is an urgent care clinic that is open 24/7 and offers PCR testing. However, turnaround times aren’t consistent based upon online review and wait times to get tested even with appointments can widely vary.

  • 150 E. Harmon Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 546-0911


Questions and Answers


I hate masks. Do I HAVE to wear them indoors?

Sorry, if you are not actively eating or drinking, YES, you absolutely do. No exceptions will be made for guests, artists or staff members.

How will you enforce your mask policy?

We will require all persons to wear their face covering as prescribed by law. We will not tolerate abusive behavior directed at our staff or at our guests. Our greeters will offer gentle reminders and our security will offer firm guidance. Persons who consistently violate this policy are subject to removal from the event with no refund.

Do we have to wear a mask at the pool?

No. But if it makes you feel more comfortable, please do. Recent data have shown that the risk of outdoor transmission is very low and you will only be surrounded by vaccinated/tested BBB guests during Bender pool hours.


What qualifies as a mask / face covering?

A face covering is defined as a covering that fully covers a person’s nose and mouth, including without limitation to cloth face masks, surgical masks, towels, scarves, and bandanas. This Directive shall not be construed to require the public to wear medical grade masks.

I have a medical condition that prevents me from wearing a mask. Will I be denied entry? 

In accordance with Nevada Emergency Mandate 024, individuals who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability, or who are unable to remove a mask without assistance are exempt from wearing a face covering as defined above; however, persons exempted under this provision should wear a non restrictive alternative, such as a face shield. All persons must either wear a face covering or a non-restrictive alternative.
You may not enter indoor Bender areas with no face covering whatsoever.

Will there be a wristband or other form of identification showing that person’s vaccination status?

No. You will only be asked to present your proof of vaccine/PCR test to the staff members responsible for verifying your vaccination/negative Covid result.

Will the Bender go beyond mandated requirements?

Due to the timing of contracts made with staff, artists and attendees, the Bender can not mandate any requirements above those made by regulatory agencies.

How will the artists perform if they have to wear a mask?

Emergency Directive 047 specifies that artists do not have to wear a mask while actively performing. They will have to wear a mask when they are not, unless actively eating or drinking like any other attendee.

Has the Bender done anything to ensure that the artists are protected?

Yes. The Bender has instituted several procedures including enhanced cleaning protocols on and off stage, and access restrictions to backstage areas and green rooms. Each artist is encouraged to let BBB know if they feel the need for additional controls and will be required to mask up like attendees when not performing.
 

Will we still be allowed to sing and dance at the indoor shows? 

Absolutely. By ensuring that our attendees are masked, and either vaccinated or tested negative, we can have a great time indoors or out.

Will the artists still interact with the crowd as at previous Benders?

As always, artists are encouraged to participate in autograph signings and to generally interact with guests of the Bender. We have never made this a requirement of our artist community, and they have always done so of their own volition. This year will be no different. We will invite our artist community to interact as they have always done and hope they elect to do so.


What types of COVID-19 tests are there?

Generally 3. The Rapid (antigen) test, the PCR (protein/NA) test, and the antibody test. 

RAPID TEST: The rapid test can be purchased at most local drug stores for $25 (check availability online) and results are received in 15 minutes. They are highly accurate however they are not yet an acceptable testing method for international travel. 

PCR TEST:  The PCR test (can also be purchased online but must undergo lab analysis) is currently the only test accepted for international travel and must be performed in front of a medical professional (can use Telehealth if you choose to self test). 

ANTIBODY TEST: The antibody test is used to see if antibodies resistant to the virus are in your blood. These antibodies can be present due to vaccination or prior exposure to COVID-19. This type of test can not be used to gain entry into the Bender.

Why are vaccinated people not required to test as well as the unvaccinated people?

The practice of requiring proof of vaccine or negative Covid test is a common requirement for event participation worldwide. The logic is that vaccinated people pose a statistically low threat to each other but can pose an elevated threat to the unvaccinated. Meanwhile an unvaccinated person poses a high risk to both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. 

What if I can’t find my vaccination card? 

Records are kept with your local health department and can generally be accessed online. It is highly recommended that you secure your testing record prior to coming to the Westgate. If you show up without it, you will be sent off-site for testing at your expense.

Are Bender staff vaccinated?

Yes. Every staff member was required to submit proof of vaccination upon employment. No exceptions were made.

What should I do if I feel sick? 

If you feel you are in a life threatening situation, call 911 immediately. 
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, Quarantine yourself to your room until a rapid antigen test can be performed. You may have Door Dash or similar company deliver a test to your room (they can be purchased at CVS or Walgreens). For this purpose you may use any style test, including “pregnancy test” style tests. 
• Cough
• Chills
• Sore Throat
• Muscle Pain
• Fever
• Shortness of Breath or
• Difficulty Breathing
• New Loss of Taste or Smell
• Congestion
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Runny Nose
• Nausea/Vomiting
• Diarrhea

What happens if I test positive for COVID during my stay?

Do not leave your room and immediately notify the Team Bender Covid Response Coordinator at (702) 480-9979.
 If it is very late and/or you can not get through to the covid coordinator, contact the hotel front desk. 
By law, Team Bender must notify the Westgate Risk Management coordinator who will in turn notify the local health department. Questions will be asked of who is and has been in your immediate party so that they can be notified to be tested.
The Southern Nevada Health District has processes in place that require you to be relocated to Arizona Charlie's Boulder Highway Hotel for mandatory quarantine. 

What are the details concerning the mandatory relocation? 

After testing positive for Covid, the Southern Nevada Health District will call you prior to leaving the Westgate, to ask you questions about who you have been closely associated with and to give you access information to Arizona Charlies Hotel on Boulder Highway. This location has services in place for a comfortable stay serving 3 meals per day and medical oversight (telemedicine). The Health District has a contract with AMR ambulance services to meet you at your room, escort you from the property, and transport you to Arizona Charlies. If you are a local, you need to immediately leave the property to quarantine at home.

Do you have to be taken by ambulance?  How much does that and the hotel cost? 

Unfortunately, yes.  The Southern Nevada Health District has policies in place to limit the spread of Covid in our community. They have partnered with AMR Ambulance Services in Las Vegas to provide transport.
Clark County, Nevada has contingency funds in place to pay for your ambulance and hotel charges at Arizona Charlie’s.


What about other people at the Westgate Hotel? Are they tested?

 Although vaccination rates in the U.S. continue to climb, hotel staff are required to be tested and/or vaccinated, and the bulk of the hotel will be occupied by BBB attendees, we can not guarantee the other guests at the hotel are COVID free. The BBB is organized such that most of our public spaces (show rooms, pool stage, check in areas, merchandising, etc) will only be occupied by registered and credentialed BBB attendees. 

However some areas of the hotel (gaming areas, restaurants, shopping, elevators, hallways, etc) will be of a mixed population. The hotel has implemented policies and procedures that routinely fog disinfect public areas, wipe down high touch areas, and hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the property. But please do your part. Wear your mask, don’t touch your face, and use common sense when utilizing hotel common areas or conversing with people who are not BBB guests.

What has the Westgate done to ensure our safety? 

Detailed information on what procedures the Westgate Hotel has installed to make your stay a safe and healthy experience (room cleaning protocol, public spaces disinfectant fogging, high touch area policies, etc), can be found at www.westgateresorts.com/cares 

Will the Bender offer refunds or deferments in light of these events?

Our No Refunds policy remains in effect.

You have made previous statements regarding your Covid-19 policy. Are those still in effect?

Our previous policy was made under the then prevailing mandates set forth by Clark County, Nevada. On May 13, the County Commissioners elected to abandon this plan in light of positive developments regarding the efficacy of masks against the then predominant strain of Covid. Since May 13 we have been operating with no Covid related restrictions until July 27, when Governor Sisolak issued Emergency Directive 047 as referenced above.

Could these policies change again?

Yes. The circumstances regarding Covid-19 are fluid and may continue to evolve between now and the Bender.