The Loudoun Chamber will begin requiring all attendees of in-person, indoor Chamber events, meetings or activities to provide proof they are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus starting Sept. 7, according to an Aug. 31 release from Chamber.
The policy offers exemptions for medical, religious, or other valid reasons, or for those who provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of attending a Chamber activity, the release states. The policy is intended as a temporary measure, and its need will be reassessed monthly through the end of 2021.
The action is due to the growing rate of coronavirus cases in Loudoun and northern Virginia, and to further protect the health and safety of our members, guests and staff, an earlier release states.
“This policy was not adopted lightly, but after weeks of careful consideration, research and discussion. It was a data driven decision based on the undeniable fact that vaccinated individuals are exponentially less likely to contract and transmit the virus to others,” said Chamber President and CEO Tony Howard in a prepared statement.
As reported last week, Loudoun’s COVID-19 community transmission level increased to “high” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which indicates more than 200 new cases of were detected in the county within a 14-day period, and indicates a highest risk for the disease’s spread in schools.
The Chamber said staff are committed to providing members and guests an efficient and seamless way to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine, in a secure and confidential manner, according to an Aug. 25 release.
Additionally, the Chamber is also offering event and meeting attendees the option to record their vaccine status so that proof does not need to be provided more than once.
“This pandemic proved that, while remote meeting platforms and other technologies have their place, humans thrive on face-to-face interaction, something our Chamber specializes in. Without bold action, government restrictions to limit COVID-19 will return and many businesses will suffer,” Howard said.
“My hope is everyone who is eligible gets vaccinated against COVID-19,” he said. “We know from CDC data that the unvaccinated are at exponentially greater risk to contract and transmit COVID-19, are nearly 30 times more likely to be hospitalized and 120 times more likely to die from this virus.”
The latest release states the Chamber will continue to monitor COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Virginia Department of Health and Loudoun Health Department, and adjust mitigation measures in the future, as needed.