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Sundance has various COVID-19 protocols in place for this year’s festival


Sundance is back in person and with a new COVID-19 variant emerging around the world and on the East Coast, health guidelines are in place for attending the festival.

Three years after COVID-19 appeared, another variant is emerging and it’s spreading quickly, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It’s an Omicron variant and is responsible for 70% of current cases in the Northeast.

Phil Bondurant is director of the Summit County Health Department. He said the winter season has brought increased cases of COVID in prior years and this winter will be no different.

“There's a new variant circulating on the East Coast that we suspect will find its way here sometime in the next couple of days,” Bondurant said. It is increasingly transmissible, as we've seen with each of the new variants. But it also has a less severe outcome. And so we're still seeing that boosters are effective against those new variants. They offer a high level of protection and keep people from experiencing severe outcomes.”  

Bondurant said his department has worked closely with Sundance, including its epidemiologists, to help them understand what they can implement under Utah law to protect staff and participants.

“If an individual wants to attend an event, and they're not entirely comfortable being in that setting, you know, the use of masks is a great option to protect individuals,” he said. “ND-95 masks. Different types of masks are available, we have them at the health department, people can come and get them. And we're more than happy to help people feel comfortable while still attending these events.” 

The festival strongly recommends participants wear well-fitting masks to all events. Free disposable masks will be available at all venues. The festival also strongly encourages attendees to be up to date on COVID booster shots as well as the annual flu shot.

Testing is also strongly encouraged for festival-goers before arrival, if they feel unwell, and if they think they've been exposed to COVID. The recommendation is that they procure antigen tests before the festival since testing options are limited in Park City.

For employees and volunteers, the health and safety requirements are more stringent.

Well-fitting face masks are required while working at festival locations and on public transportation and shared festival vehicles.

Employee and volunteer testing is also required in advance and throughout the festival. For sign-up volunteers, testing is required within 24 hours of the first shift. Antigen tests will be provided at employee and volunteer check-ins. Daily health screenings will also take place before each shift for volunteers and employees.

Another procedure for volunteers and staff will be health and safety pin buttons available at check-in.

A green button indicates a person is comfortable with physical contact such as shaking hands and hugs and does not need social distancing of six feet apart.

A yellow button indicates a person is comfortable with physical contact and people standing less than six feet away but only after they are asked.

A red button indicates that a person prefers social distancing of six feet and is not comfortable with handshakes or hugs.