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Local businesses institute COVID policies as cases around the state balloon

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 8:41 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Some of the top local entertainment and performing arts venues are changing their COVID-19 policies to prevent the spread of the virus.

It’s a trend happening across the country as they welcome patrons back indoors.

Big changes are on the way at Duling Hall due to the pandemic. If you want to attend one of the concerts or events, when you walk through the doors and show your ticket, you will also have to show proof that you have been vaccinated.

”It just comes to common sense and protecting people we are around,” said owner Arden Barnett.

Barnett says this new rule will go into effect Monday, August 30. He says if a patron can’t show proof he or she is fully vaccinated, They must show a negative COVID-19 test taken in the prior 48-hours.

“We want people to come to the shows and feel comfortable,” he explained. “We have 35 shows on the books, and we need people to show up. We don’t want to go back to the lockdown and canceling or postponing, and this is the best way to do that.”

Duling Hall is one of the first venues in Mississippi to implement a vaccine mandate. Similar guidelines are in place at businesses From New Orleans to San Francisco.

Over at New Stage Theater, signs reminding people they must mask up before entering now adorn the doors.

This is just one of the COVID-19 protocols put in place as they prepare for their 56th season.

“With everything going on right now, things are subject to change as things change in the community,” said Artistic Director Francine Reynolds.

Aside from the regular performances where the only requirement is that people mask up, two special shows are also being offered: one that will require vaccine proof, the other will be a socially distanced performance.

“We want to offer people as many options as possible so they can come to the theater,” said Reynolds.

The City of Jackson released a statement about events at Thalia Mara Hall.

Due to the fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to the recent Delta variant case surge, we are monitoring the situation daily and having conversations about whether we will revise our COVID-19 protocols. We have noted the national trends of adjustments made by performing arts venues and are taking the same into consideration.

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