2021 Covid Statement

(Updated Sept. 7, 2021)

This year’s TMY has been redesigned to prioritize your safety with greater social distancing while continuing the festivities you love.

Read below our 15-point Covid mitigation plan. Direct any questions about TMY’s safety protocols to: info@tucsonmeetyourself.org

1. TMY is an outdoor event. Outdoor events can be produced safely, per CDC guidelines and World Health Organization guidelines as long as the event organizers can offer mitigation steps. TMY has re-designed the 2021 festival footprint to comply with the highest standard of mitigations. Both Pima County and City of Tucson have granted TMY permission to proceed with the events, based largely on the care and comprehensiveness of the TMY event plan.

2. The TMY team has experience organizing for Covid safety during a public event. In 2020, TMY presented a hybrid format that included some virtual activities and 5 in person, socially distanced events, before there was a vaccine. TMY was one of very few events to receive approval for public gatherings in 2020 from Pima County health officials. All events in 2020 were conducted safely and successfully.

3. TMY is produced in close consultation with our diverse participants (food vendors, artists, exhibitors, and sponsors, and tribal partners). TMY has no ability to compel any of these partners to participate. Each partner was invited and asked to conduct a risk assessment; each decided on participation accordingly and in dialogue with TMY curators and organizers. Several areas within TMY (for example, folk arts and food vending) will have specific mitigation measures agreed upon collectively, equitably, and inclusively, between festival organizers and participants.

4. We have reduced the density in the festival lay-out (fewer food vendors, exhibitors, stages), thus facilitating a social distance footprint. In all festival areas we have seen anywhere from a 30% to 50% decrease in participation. This organic attrition is a reflection of our thoughtful planning process that empowered participants to make their own decisions. This natural attrition is reinforcing our confidence that we can proceed safely.

5. In the event of wait-lines for food vendors, we are providing rope walkways and signage to encourage and monitor social distance. All food vendors are inspected by County Health Department for safety compliance before they are allowed to open.

6. We are providing 4 reserved parking areas for food take-out only, thus encouraging people to enjoy Tucson “EAT” Yourself while also limiting their time of exposure at the event. The areas will be clearly indicated and promoted in maps available on our website and on social media.

7. Sanitizer will be available all throughout the event.

8. We are requiring masks of our staff, performers, crew, exhibitors, and volunteers, and asking you please to mask up, too. We offer free masks for those who need them at the Festival Info Office in Jácome Plaza.

9. We have hired staff dedicated solely to sanitizing bathrooms continuously all day long, thus maintaining the highest level of safety mitigation in the most vulnerable areas.

10. We are loading our festival website with as many previews of menus and performers as possible so attendees can plan their visit and limit their time at the event. Advance planning and limiting time at the event, in tandem with masking and social distance, are among the preventive actions suggested by the CDC and WHO for those planning to attend large public gatherings.

11. TMY will mark social-distance blocks on the floor and seating area in front of the two performance stages, thus reducing “guessing” of safe distance for those who wish to enjoy the music and dance events. Stage announcers and managers will make frequent advisories about safe distancing guidelines during the performances.

12. TMY will include a COVID prevention education tent and a Vaccination Clinic run on site by the Pima County Health Department.

13. TMY will conduct a widespread social media campaign in the weeks leading up to the festival to educate the public on the safety expectations and safety measures they can anticipate at the event. TMY messaging will urge anyone unvaccinated to weigh carefully and ethically their participation in a large public event, for their own safety and the safety of their neighbors. TMY will urge any immunocompromised person (vaccinated or unvaccinated) to consider passing on participating or attending the festival in 2021.

14. TMY will be increasing its commitment this year to serve in more inclusive ways our disability community. We have staff dedicated to assess areas of the festival where we can be more responsive to accessibility and have created an email account exclusively to respond to accessibility questions, including COVID prevention. Anyone with questions can contact us at: access@tucsonmeetyourself.org

15. TMY will work closely with County Health officials to monitor conditions of Covid spread in Pima County. TMY will comply with any public health official requests for mitigations as needed, including cancellation if necessary. For accurate information on rates of vaccination in Pima County see CDC Tracker here.

Reconnect. Because culture and community are resilient.

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