Covid Policy

Vaccinations are required

As with most policies, we work off of what other conventions are doing. In order to provide a safer environment for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, FursonaCon is implementing the following health & safety policies at FursonaCon 2022. When you arrive to FursonaCon and pick up your badge, you will need to confirm that you understand and agree to abide by these policies on-site, including our vaccination & masking policies.

We have developed these policies in accordance with government regulations, CDC guidance, and currently available scientific data. Please note that as pandemic conditions change, we may update these policies to maximize the safety of our attendees. We will make every effort to communicate changes promptly so that you can make informed decisions about your attendance.

We don’t like having to do this stuff either and we wish it wasn’t necessary.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in maintaining a safe and fun live event.

TL;DR: ANY PERSON PRESENT AT FURSONCON 2022 MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED (2 for Moderna/Pfizer, 1 for J&J), MUST BRING PROOF OF VACCINATION, AND MUST WEAR A MASK. FOR THE FULL DETAILS, PLEASE READ ON!

BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
• Dig out and bring your vaccination proof, and make sure it meets our criteria!

AT THE EVENT
• If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 while at the event, please self-isolate. If possible, get a rapid test. If you are sure you have COVID-19 and need to excuse yourself from the event, please contact us at chairman@fursonacon.com to see about moving your pass to another year.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM US
• We’re serious about checking vaccination proof. Make sure you bring the required documentation with you when you register.
• We’re serious about enforcing masking. Help create a culture of responsible mask use by wearing yours properly and reminding others to do so.
• Hours and programming in some spaces may be reduced or subject to change to accommodate necessary safety practices.

VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS
All attendees at FursonaCon 2022 (including minors, volunteers, staff, guests, contractors, and vendors) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. You will therefore be required to show proof of vaccination in order to pick up your badge on-site. FursonaCon will not store information about your vaccination status; a visual check of your documentation will be completed by our registration staff.

Fully vaccinated at this time follows CDC standards for definition.  Specifically, all shots of your initial shot series (2 for Moderna/Pfizer, 1 for J&J).  However, we strongly encourage you to get a booster.  Lets make it safer for everyone.

Acceptable vaccination documentation includes:
• an original physical vaccination card (No copies), or
• a digital vaccination record issued by a government body, healthcare provider, or authorized COVID-19 vaccine administrator, either displayed on your smart device or printed out (such as VaxYes, Vaccinecheck.us, MyIR, ShowMeVax, or IIS), or
• a third-party app that validates your vaccination record with a government body, healthcare provider, or authorized COVID-19 vaccine administrator (such as the SMART Health Card or Common Pass) The free/self-reported versions of apps like CLEAR and AZOVA are NOT acceptable.

Please plan to bring one of the three options listed above. Regrettably, if you cannot produce an acceptable form of vaccination documentation when you register on-site, you will not be permitted to pick up your badge. If you have any concerns about whether your proof of vaccination meets the above criteria, please email chairman@fursonacon.com BEFORE the event so that we can better support you.

Your vaccination documentation MUST clearly demonstrate that the document presented belongs to you, meaning it must match the name and date of birth on the government-issued photo identification that you use to pick up your badge. If you have legally changed your name since your vaccination, or are in the process of doing so, please also bring proof of your name change.

Your vaccination documentation MUST ALSO clearly demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated according to the current CDC definition, meaning it must show your vaccination type and date(s) so that our registration staff can confirm that you have received your second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or your first dose of a single-dose vaccine, at least 14 days before arriving on-site at the event. This means that for all attendees, staff, contractors, your final vaccination must be on or before AUGUST 25th, 2022. We will accept all COVID-19 vaccines that have received Emergency Use Authorization or full approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO).

If booster shots are recommended for your demographic by the CDC and are available in your area in time for the event, we strongly encourage you to get a booster, too–this can help keep us all safer! 

Again, if you have any concerns about whether your proof of vaccination meets the above criteria, please email chairman@fursonacon.com BEFORE the event so that we can better support you (for example, if you have a non-standard vaccine card, an international vaccine card, a third-party digital vaccine passport, etc.).

Please do not send us physical or digital copies of your vaccination documentation. Any documentation we receive before the event will be immediately destroyed in accordance with data privacy laws.

We will not accept negative COVID tests in lieu of vaccination documentation for individuals who are unable to be vaccinated. We understand that although there are almost no contraindications to receiving vaccination, that some people may have a medical exemption request written by their doctor. We appreciate this, but we will not be allowing any exceptions to our policy. We hope that you understand and will join us when participating in our event won’t endanger your health and life. As a reminder, falsifying government records is a criminal offense, and as our Code of Conduct helpfully clarifies, we have both a civic and a moral responsibility to report any such activities to the appropriate authorities.

All attendees, including children, must be vaccinated in accordance with the policies listed above.

A SPECIAL NOTE FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS OF CHILDREN NOT YET OLD ENOUGH TO BE VACCINATED
Please know that you and your family are enormously important to us. Children under 5 are unable to be vaccinated. While we certainly want you to be at our event, if you have a child under the age of 5, we strongly encourage you to not come to our event this year. We will be doing everything we can to ensure a safe environment, but with 18% of all COVID cases being in children, having your young child present puts them at considerable risk of infection and death. Please consider that in your decision to come or not.

MASKING REQUIREMENTS
Acceptable face coverings must be worn properly at all times in any FursonaCon event space. Yes, even if you are vaccinated, which you also must be to attend.

Acceptable face coverings:
• Are entirely made of tightly woven material (mesh masks, damaged masks, or masks with ventilation valves, are NOT acceptable unless paired with another mask that meets the requirements).
• Certain powered respirators that have filters are permitted (i.e., Razer Zephyr, Xupermask, and similar).  The filters must be installed. We may ask you to step to a safe area to have you show the filters installed.
• Have 2+ layers of material.
• Fit snugly around the sides of your face, above your nose, and under your chin (bandanas or face shields are NOT acceptable unless paired with another mask that meets the requirements). The only faceshield we will accept will be one that completely seals around the face and has a filter built in.

Must be worn properly:
• Fully covering your nose and mouth (wearing your mask under your nose, dangling from your ear, etc. is NOT acceptable).
At all times!
• However, you can take your face covering off to eat or drink. But please only do this while you are actively eating or drinking (carrying food or drink around does not count). We also ask that you stand still or sit to eat or drink, and that you limit eating and drinking to less crowded areas whenever possible.
• Guests, performers, and panelists must keep their masks on during their activities.
• Face coverings must be always worn, even during activities that require high physical activity (e.g., rhythm games, LARPing).
• As far as having fursuit heads on, we ask that you use your better judgement on how to approach keeping yourself and attendees safe while in suit.

In any FursonaCon event space:
• This includes the entire convention center area, though we are limited to what we can enforce in the public spaces such as the bar and hallways as those are open to the public.
• Attendees are also expected to follow venue policies. At present, these do not exceed our own.

Attendees should provide their own face coverings for the duration of the event.

When in doubt, please listen to FursonaCon staff. It is always in our Code of Conduct that we expect all attendees to cooperate fully with our staff, hotel staff, and any local security or law enforcement personnel. If you feel compelled to give us sass about your mask, you should be aware that the consequences may include revocation of your badge without refund, removal from the premises, and/or an attendance ban from future ESSI events.

INCREASED SANITATION
Although it is each person’s individual responsibility to maintain their own hygiene, we will be increasing sanitation based on CDC, government, and industry best practices throughout the event space, especially in high-touch areas such as the game rooms. We highly, highly recommend that attendees bring their own hand sanitizer, and as mentioned above attendees are expected to provide their own face coverings.

Many event spaces will have modified hours and/or more time between scheduled events in order to allow spaces to be aired out and sanitized where appropriate. Some room layouts may be more spread out to ensure appropriate spacing which may decrease seating.

Please be aware that specific event spaces may request or require additional sanitation precautions from you as a condition of your participation–for instance, you may be asked to clean off a machine after using it. We will also have sanitation supplies available if and where this is the case!

SOCIAL DISTANCING
We do not plan to reduce our attendance capacity at FursonaCon 2022 unless the venue itself or local, state, or federal mandates require a reduction. This means that true social distancing will not be possible in many areas, especially hallways and elevators. This is why mask wearing is required at all times. Please plan your attendance according to your own comfort level and your own personal health & safety needs. Some event spaces may have modified layouts to allow for greater distance between attendees where possible.

Please assist us in our efforts by being mindful of not congregating in the main hallway and by cooperating promptly with FursonaCon staff if you are asked to move along.

We highly recommend that you enable your exposure notifications for Virginia or that you download Virginia’s contact tracing app and enable it while on-site at the event (in addition to any other contact tracing services you may have. This will help the entire community if an exposure occurs at the festival. More information about the app is available on Virginia’s COVIDWISE website.

FursonaCon is implementing all of the above policies in order to ensure the protection of everyone attending the event. We will continuously monitor pandemic conditions in order to adapt and communicate with our community accordingly. If the venue itself, or if local, state, or federal mandates require a reduction in capacity, we will immediately cease badge sales and begin refunding badges as necessary, minus required fees from our payment processors. In the event of a drastic change in capacity due to the pandemic, this will help FursonaCon to make it through to another year–we appreciate your understanding!

COVID REFUND POLICY
If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 or are alerted of exposure to a confirmed case in the 10 days preceding the event, we ask that you stay home unless you receive a negative PCR test result before your arrival. We’re not able to police this, obviously, so we really need your help in keeping the community safe! If you receive a positive test result yourself in the 10 days preceding the event, we ask that you PLEASE stay home, both for your own safety and for the safety of others.

We typically do not offer refunds on badges, but we may be able to make exceptions in extenuating circumstances such as these. If you would like to request a refund for reasons related to COVID-19, please contact chairman@fursonacon.com no later than September 7, 2022 (the day before the event).

Now that's over with, let's have some fun