This report updates our initial report with information received since its publication. In addition to four new case reports, other updates are noted with a bold “Update:” tag.
The Norwescon COVID safety team would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all of you who helped us keep Norwescon 44 as safe as possible. All attending staff, members, pros, panelists, performers, artists, and dealers were vaccinated, and masking was followed well by everyone.
While we did our best, we knew that 100% protection was unlikely. In addition to encouraging all of our attendees to use the WA Notify exposure notification system for the fastest possible exposure notifications (or similar local system for those of you who visited from out-of-state), we have also asked our attendees to let us know of any positive test results received at or within two weeks following Norwescon 44.
Update: We share in the disappointment and frustration that some members chose to attend after testing positive. We thank all of our members for staying masked to protect themselves and those around them, and hope that any at-con transmission was minimized by the protection measures put in place. We encourage all of our members to consider the health and safety of those around them when considering attending events and to make responsible decisions.
These are the reports we have received as of Friday, April 29:
Cases 5–8 (received as of 4/29/22):
Case 5: Reported on Tuesday, April 26. Started experiencing symptoms on Tuesday, April 12 (two days pre-con) and tested positive on April 13. Attended the con Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17. Has reported to the health department and had exposure tracking active. Spent their time playing Games in Maxi’s.
Case 6: Reported on Wednesday, April 27. Attended April 14-17. Started experiencing symptoms and tested positive on April 19. Has not reported the case to the health department and did not have exposure tracking activated. Spent time in the Cascade Panel rooms and the first few hours of the Saturday night dance. Was masked the entire time. Suspects they caught it on the plane flight home.
Case 7: Reported on Wednesday, April 27. Attended April 14-17. First experienced symptoms on April 26, tested positive on April 27. Has not reported to the health department and did not have exposure tracking activated. Spent time all over: various panel rooms, the lobby, the bar, a room party, pretty much everywhere but gaming. Suspects exposure was not at con; also went to crowded public events on April 22 and 23 and didn’t start experiencing symptoms until April 26th. Reported because it was still within the two-week post-con window.
Case 8: Reported on Wednesday, April 27th. Attended April 16-17. First experienced symptoms and tested positive on April 19. Have not notified the health department and did not have exposure tracking activated. Spent time in the lobby, dance, and the bar.
Cases 1–4 (received as of 4/25/22):
Case 1: Reported status to the hotel on the first day of the convention (April 14) and stayed quarantined to their hotel room for the duration of the convention. The hotel passed the information along to us.
Case 2: Reported on Thursday, April 21. Started experiencing symptoms and tested positive on April 19 (two days post-con). At-con time was spent at panels in the Cascade rooms, occasionally on the first floor/lobby area, and the elevator to their tower room. Reported case to the Health Department and had exposure notification tracking active.
Case 3: Reported on Friday, April 22. Started experiencing symptoms on Tuesday, April 12 (two days pre-con), tested positive on Friday, April 15, and stayed at the convention through Sunday, April 17. Was present throughout the convention, particularly the space-focused panels, and had dinner at Denny’s on Friday. Reported case to the Health Department and did not have exposure notification tracking active.
Case 4: Reported on Saturday, April 23. Started experiencing symptoms and tested positive on Wednesday, April 20 (three days post-con). Wandered around the convention but stayed distanced as much as possible. Reported case to the Health Department and had exposure notification tracking active.
As part of our COVID safety protocols, we aimed for a 1,000 person cap for Norwescon 44, including all staff, members, and attendees. Because there are always some adjustments in the final approach to con in attending pros, panelists, performers, artists, and dealers, and because we were also managing a waitlist to account for members who either chose not to attend in person or hoped to acquire a vacated membership, we were allowing for up to a 10% variance (up to 1,100) in final on-site attendees.
Our final on-site attendance count was 1,010, putting us at 1% over our target cap.
During the convention, we received one report of a WA Notify “potential exposure” notification from one of our panelists, who then stepped away from their remaining panels and left the convention. Update: This panelist has let us know that they have had two negative tests (one home test and one PCR). We are very happy to hear that their tests were negative, and we thank them for stepping away when they learned of possible exposure.
We would once again like to thank all our attendees for their consideration and concern for their fellow attendees and Norwescon as a whole. In addition to the on-site safety protocols, we had several members who let us know shortly before the convention that they had either tested positive or simply were not feeling well and who released their in-person memberships. We thank all of you for your assistance in helping to protect the Norwescon community.
Update: We do recommend that all attendees who have tested positive and have not yet reported their case to their local health department do so. We also recommend enabling exposure notification tracking (WA Notify for our local members).
We will keep our COVID Positive Report Form open through May 2 (14 days following the Monday after the convention, to account for our volunteers who stay on-site to help break down and load out the convention). We ask all our attendees to continue to keep an eye out for any symptoms, self-test if at all concerned, and let us know of any positive results.
We will issue at least one update to this report with any further received reports following the closure of the reporting form. More updates may be released before then if there is need.
Thank you all for a wonderful Norwescon 44, and we look forward to seeing you again at Norwescon 45, April 6–9, 2023, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport!