May 22 Experimental Dance to evaluate an alternative COVID policy 

IMPORTANT: All dancers will be required to wear well-fitting N95 or KN95 masks while inside the Hill & Valley club.

Due to rising rates of new COVID-19 infections in the Bay Area and a recent spreader event at a ‘mask optional’ dance, SFBayContra has decided to increase the masking requirements at our upcoming dance on May 22.

If you no longer wish to attend, you may request a refund of your pre-payment.


Motivation for the Experiment:

The current COVID-19 vaccines are all based on the original strain from late 2019 – early 2020. The Omicron strain and its related variants are missing many of the sequences targeted by those vaccines. As a result, breakthrough infections are common unless people have very high titers of COVID-19 specific antibodies meaning that they have been recently vaccinated/boosted. The breakthrough infections may be so mild that an infectious person does not even realize that they are ill. Although vaccinated people with breakthrough infections may be less infectious than unvaccinated people, their mild disease may make them more likely to come to a dance as they have no symptoms.

At SFBayContra, we feel that unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated people are a bit more likely to get infected, but that the increased risk can be more than mitigated by their pre-testing before coming to the dance.

We have therefore decided to allow either group of dancers to come providing they show documentation of their status. We are trying to be as inclusive as we feel we can be while minimizing the chances of creating a super spreader event.

To this end, we have created an experimental dance as described below. In our minds, the experiment is more to see if we can maintain good attendance while allowing this broader population of contra dancers access to our dance.


The experiment:

Unvaccinated folks and those with incomplete COVID-19 vaccination will be welcomed with a demonstration of a current* negative test result. Those with documentation of a booster shot are encouraged but not required to get a COVID-19 test before coming. Well-fitting masks are required at all times within the dance venue — the only exception is for those on stage who need to remove their masks for a short time to give instructions or play music. These persons will also provide a current* negative test at the door.

* Current test result can be an antigen test the day of the dance, or a PCR test within 72 hours.