Capricon COVID Policy

Capricon is not just a science fiction and fantasy literary convention. We are a community, and the safety and wellbeing of our community is paramount. We believe that the best way to promote the wellbeing of all of humanity is to follow the science in keeping people healthy. To this effort, it has been decided that All attendees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend the convention. At the time of this writing (October 16, 2021), children under the age of 12 cannot be vaccinated. However, if an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) or authorization is made for additional age groups, this policy will be updated to reflect the current science and guidance of those authorizations. As such, children under 12 are able to attend with an approved negative covid test.

Proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination is MANDATORY.

For all attendees, your documentation needs to be directly from the healthcare provider that completed your vaccination, and you can display your proof as a photograph on your smartphone, through VaxVerify, or by presenting a physical copy. Completed vaccination means that you have obtained the maximum number of injections required by your vaccine choice by January 20, 2022. This will allow for the minimum number of days after injection before your vaccination is fully effective. 

Children under 12 must submit a negative covid test within 72 hours of the start of the convention. Details on accepted covid tests can be found in the FAQ.

Anyone 18 years or older must also present a government-issued ID such as driver’s license or passport that matches the name on your vaccination record. Those younger than 18 may use a government-issued ID, birth certificate, social security card, school ID, or locally-issued ID. 

Face Coverings

COVID-19 vaccines are an important tool to help stop the pandemic, but they don’t mean we can stop taking all precautionary measures. Properly worn masks covering nose and mouth are required for all convention members and guests in all convention spaces, except when actively eating or drinking while stationary.

Proper use of approved masks in all convention spaces is MANDATORY.

Appropriate facial coverings must be worn by all attendees over 2 years of age in all convention spaces, including hallways. 

*per local guidelines, masks must be worn at all times in public spaces. 

Enforcement: Staff will be trained to watch for appropriate use of masks. If an attendee is found to not be wearing a mask or wearing it inappropriately, Staff will give a verbal warning and will visibly mark the badge of this person. If a second infraction occurs, Staff will inform the attendee that they must leave the convention space, visibly mark the badge a second time, and confiscate the badge. The badge will be turned into Operations and the person will not be allowed to purchase a new badge. Two (2) visible marks on the badge will be equivalent to no badge at all. 

Refund Policy: Badges purchased prior to the announcement of this vaccination requirement (October 16, 2021) can be refunded or rolled over by emailing registration@capricon.org with the names of those wishing to be refunded. 

If you should fall ill before the event and become unable to attend, a full refund or rollover of your badge will be provided. Let us know by sending an e-mail to registration@capricon.org

This policy is based upon the following statement in Phandemonium’s Code of Conduct “Any action or behavior that is illegal or causes significant interference with event operations, excessive discomfort to other attendees, or adversely affects Phandemonium’s relationship with its guests, its venue, or the public is strictly forbidden and may result in revocation of membership privileges.”

This policy is a living document and will be regularly updated with the latest guidance from the local, state, and federal levels as they pertain to our event. 

Please check back for the form to fill out with your vaccination information for easier check-in upon arrival to the convention.

The FAQ:

Q: What do I need to show proof of vaccination?
A: Attendees will be asked to show proof of full vaccination from an F.D.A. or W.H.O. approved vaccine on their smartphone, the app VaxVerify, or through a physical copy, along with an appropriate ID matching the name on the documentation. 

For all attendees, your documentation needs to be directly from the healthcare provider that performed the vaccination, and you can display your proof on your smartphone or present a physical copy.

Anyone 18 years or older must also present a government-issued ID such as driver’s license or passport. Those younger than 18 may use a government-issued ID, birth certificate, social security card, school ID, or locally-issued ID.

We accept proof of vaccination of any vaccine approved by the World Health Organization.

Q: Will I be required to get the booster shot?
A: While not currently required to attend Capricon, it is recommended by the CDC for individuals deemed “high-risk.” You can find more information about the booster shots here: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/cdph/provdrs/health_protection_and_response/news/2021/august/cdph-statement-on-covid-19-booster-shots.html

Q. What if I am not healthy enough/eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Please consult your physician for information regarding vaccine safety and your safety in being in public spaces. We have determined that vaccinations are required for every attendee that can be vaccinated as covered by an authorization or EUA for the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are not eligible for vaccination and are over the age of the current covered groups, it may not be best for you to be in the crowded spaces of Capricon. We are sorry to say that you will not be able to attend this year. Please consider joining us virtually. We look forward to seeing you in person at Capricon 43. 

Q: I am an international traveler. What do I need to know before coming to Capricon?
A: Please ensure that you have reviewed any advisories or restrictions that may be in place for travel to the United States and for travel to Illinois, including Chicago. Visit https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid-19/home/emergency-travel-order.html for more information on Chicago and Illinois’ travel advisories.

Q: What if I cannot find my vaccination card?
A: Please contact your vaccination provider or your local health department for a replacement card. We cannot make exceptions for lost cards.

Q: I have personal concerns about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or do not agree that COVID-19 is a threat to my health.
A: While we are a science-fiction convention, the science says the best way we can protect our attendees this year is by being vaccinated. Regardless of personal reasons or feelings about the COVID-19 vaccination or COVID-19, those who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they are children not in the current covered age group, will not be able to attend Capricon 42 in-person. Please consider joining us virtually. We will hopefully see you next year!

Q: What is the current age of children not covered by the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or authorization?  My child is under “x” age. Do they need to provide proof of COVID-19 Vaccination?
A: As of October 16, 2021 children under the age of 12 are not eligible and therefore do not need to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. If this policy changes due to a EUA or authorization for additional age groups, it will be updated here.

Q: What covid tests are accepted for children under the age of 12?
A: Children under the age of 12 must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Examples of available NAATs for SARS-CoV-2 include but are not restricted to reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP), transcription-mediated amplification (TMA), nicking enzyme amplification reaction (NEAR), and helicase-dependent amplification (HDA). These test results must match the legal name on your identification that you provide at registration when you pick up your badge. 

Here is a list of Illinois testing sites available to all regardless of symptoms.

Q: I still have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine!
A: If you still have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, we recommend visiting the CDC’s page Myths and Facts About COVID-19 Vaccines for more information.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

Q: What type of face coverings are accepted?
A: A mask should completely cover your nose and mouth with material that can effectively filter droplets and aerosolized particles. It should fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps. Nose wires are recommended to improve fit, and multiple layers are generally more effective. Face shields are not an acceptable alternative to masks, although they can be worn in addition to masks if you desire. For more information on masking, please visit the CDC Guide to Masks. Gaiters, bandanas, and face shields are not considered appropriate facial coverings.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

Q: Can I be exempt from wearing a mask for health reasons?
A: Per the CDC, most people with underlying medical conditions can safely wear a mask. As such, we will not be making exemptions to this rule, except when actively eating or drinking while stationary. We encourage you to work with your medical professionals to try and find a style of masks that works for you before the convention. If you feel you are unable to comply with any portion of this policy, we ask that you stay home and join us in our virtual Capricon space. 

Q: Will there be exceptions to the mask policy for musicians or performers?
A: We are aware of the level of difficulty that masks add for musicians and performers. At the time of this writing, we are exploring options but there are no one-size-fits all solutions.

Q: What if I lose or break my mask?
A: Capricon advises bringing multiple masks to the convention, and having a second mask in your pocket or purse at all times for back-up. We will have surgical masks available for free at the Info Desk and Registration for emergencies.