Hello CONvergence Convention Community,
This message is intended to outline the Masking Policy for the CONvergence 2024 convention. This topic is of high importance to our community. We have received many heartfelt communications looking for input and information on this subject from the CONvergence Convention Committee (ConCom) and from those who attend our convention.
Over the past several months, we engaged in extensive research, market data collection, a survey of the CONvergence ConCom’s opinions and preferences, and a review of the many email communications we have received.
After careful consideration of all of this information we have established the following policy for the 2024 CONvergence Convention cycle.
Recent masking studies show that individual masking choices have a greater impact on personal health than previously thought. Because of this it is strongly recommended but not required that all attendees ages 3+ wear masks during the convention.
This is especially important if:
- You had symptoms or a positive test 5-10 days before the convention.
- You were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the 10 days prior to the convention.
- If you have concerns about COVID-19 and/or the indoor air quality.
In addition, if you are immunocompromised or at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness, consider asking your health care provider for advice on additional COVID-19 precautions you should take.
We will continue to provide N95/KN95 masks for when members find themselves in need of one.
Furthermore, It is strongly recommended that all attendees be fully vaccinated.
- We hope to once again have updated vaccinations available at con on Saturday afternoon for those who have been unable to find them.
- The Bridge Access Program should now pay for vaccines for those without the means to pay for them.
It is strongly recommended that attendees have a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the start of CONvergence 2024.
CONvergence reserves the right to update this policy with more stringent guidelines if the Wastewater Virus Data for Minnesota shows surge conditions at the time of the convention.
Why are we doing this?
- We now have research evidence that individual masking is effective in preventing infection.
- All current recommendations at state, federal, and global levels focus on individual mask use.
- Masking combined with vaccination is the most direct way for individuals to protect themselves from COVID-19 when opting to attend large events.
- Our research, including internal polling of the CONvergence Convention Committee, indicates that there is a strong preference for individual masking choice.
If you have any questions or comments about COVID-19 policies at CONvergence 2024, please contact the CONvergence board of directors.
We know that this information may be difficult and/or distressing to many members of our community. We want to assure you that this decision was not made lightly. It was difficult, complex, and with the knowledge that any decision we could make was likely to come with significant strife and the strong potential for backlash one way or the other.
We have made the decision that we believe is in the best interest of the attendees, members, and the recovery and continued longevity of CONvergence.
We understand that some of you may not attend due to this policy and we understand, but hope you will be able to join us at CONvergence 2024 if you can.
Convergence Events 2024 Board of Directors
Charmaine Parnell – External Relations & Communications
CJ Mantel – Systems
Eric Knight – Facilities
Luis Beltran – Hospitality
Tim Wick – Productions
William Verburg-Cunningham – Activities