Know Before You Go: Vaccination and Masking Protocols for Cultural District Events

Know Before You Go

Updated: August 19, 2021

As we return to theaters and events this fall, Pittsburgh’s Cultural District organizations outline layers of defense against COVID-19 and the safety practices for guests, staff, volunteers, and artists—the latest of which is a vaccination and mask requirement.

These policies begin September 17 and are in place at least through November 30, 2021; they will continue to be regularly evaluated based on community health data, and public health and government guidance. An up-to-date plan will be shared with you prior to your performance. Thank you for your cooperation as we prioritize the safe return of our guests, staff, volunteers and artists.

Vaccination and Masking Requirements

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All guests ages 12 and older will need to be fully vaccinated with the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and must show proof of vaccination at their time of entry into the theater with their valid ticket.

"Fully vaccinated" means on the day of the performance date as shown on the valid ticket, a guest is:

  • at least 14 days after their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or
  • at least 14 days after their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Proof of vaccination must come directly from the healthcare provider that performed the vaccination. Guests may display proof on a smartphone or present a physical copy. Use of a Digital Vaccination Passport App is also acceptable.

The only exceptions are:

  • guests under the age of 12, who must be tested and accompanied by an adult that meets our venue’s vaccination requirements; or
  • guests who need reasonable accommodations due to a medical exception or a sincerely held religious belief
  • Please note: some third party renters of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust facilities may have their own vaccination requirements. Direct communication from the presenting organization before your event will have the most up to date information on entry requirements.

For guests who are not able to be vaccinated for one of the reasons listed above, they must provide one of the following instead of evidence of vaccination:

  • negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 24 hours of the performance start time, or 
  • negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time.

Together with the proof of vaccination, all guests 18 years or older must also present a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport. Guests younger than 18 may use a government-issued photo ID or school photo ID. Guests under 12 must be tested and accompanied by an adult who meets the above requirements.

Entry will be denied for guests who do not provide the documentation as required above.

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Masks are required to be worn by all if Allegheny County is in the “substantial” or “high” transmission rate of community spread on the day of their performance. (Click this section to read more.)

For Allegheny County’s community spread status, visit the CDC website. Some events are subject to exception from this rule requiring audience members to remain masked regardless of community spread. Ticket buyers will also be contacted to confirm attendance requirements prior to event.

 

Additional Layers of Defense

Realizing that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has implemented additional layers of defense in our venues.

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‘Gold Standard’ in cleaning

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is the first performing arts venues in Pennsylvania to receive Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Star Facility Accreditation for stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention in its facilities. At this time accreditation has been provided for the Benedum Center, Byham Theater, and Greer Cabaret Theater with GBAC STAR accreditation pending for the Harris Theater and O’Reilly Theater.

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Safe entry procedures

We have implemented contactless ticketing. We encourage you to purchase tickets online, which will allow for a more contactless in-theater experience. The Trust is implementing contactless scanners, meaning guests will be able to scan their own mobile, print at home, or physical ticket upon arriving on-site to gain admission to the performance.

In accordance with public health guidance and applicable law, COVID-19 related health protocols may be in effect at the time of performance, including the completion of a brief health and safety questionnaire. Guests will be contacted prior to their event with any required health and safety entry procedures.

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Clean Air in Our Venues

We have improved overall air quality, expanded the use of high-efficiency filters, and added new HVAC technologies. The Trust has reviewed and improved air quality in all our venues. We have also equipped all HVAC systems with upgraded, Merv-16 rated filters, which have been identified to be much more effective in trapping microscopic particles, including COVID-19.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are these measures being put into effect and for how long?

Amid rising COVID-19 cases and the increasing threat of the Delta variant, we are taking this step to provide the highest level of public safety for audiences, staff, volunteers, and artists.

The vaccine and masking policies begin with the return of indoor performances on September 17, 2021 and are currently set to run at least through November 30, 2021. Health and safety policies will continue to be regularly evaluated and adjusted based on community health data, and public health and government guidance.

Do I need to show my vaccine card every time I see a show?

Yes, we will need to verify your vaccine status for every Pittsburgh Cultural Trust indoor performance you attend, to ensure the ticket holder is the person vaccinated.

What vaccine documentation are you accepting?

The following documentation is acceptable:

  • Vaccination card (which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided and date last dose administered) OR
  • A photo of a vaccination card as a separate document OR
  • A photo of the attendee’s vaccine card stored on a phone or electronic device OR
  • Documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider electronic health record or state Immunization Information System record.
  • Matching photo ID required at the door. Self-reported vaccination records that are not verified by a health care provider cannot be accepted.

I am not vaccinated. Are there any exceptions? Can I take my own rapid test and bring the results as proof of a negative test?

In order to attend an indoor event presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust you must be vaccinated. The only exceptions are:

  • guests under the age of 12, who must be tested and accompanied by an adult that meets our venue’s vaccination requirements; or
  • guests who need reasonable accommodations due to a medical exception or a sincerely held religious belief

For guests who are not able to be vaccinated for one of the reasons listed above, they must provide one of the following instead of evidence of vaccination:

  • negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 24 hours of the performance start time, or
  • negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time.

Covid tests must be administered by an official testing center. Self-administered tests will not be accepted.

I'm vaccinated. Do I need to wear a mask?

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a four-tiered system that measures the level of community transmission in each county: low, moderate, substantial, and high. Masks will not be required at times of low and moderate community transmission on the date of the performance. It is advised to always carry a mask when attending Cultural Trust performances at this time. For information on the current level of community spread in Allegheny County, please visit the CDC's website.

How are you verifying vaccine cards are not fake?

We have a fundamental belief that most people are good and honest. In addition to the acceptable forms of vaccination proof we have listed in our protocols, we will be checking for matching ID. The Cultural Trust is implementing training for both our Covid Compliance Officers and security screeners to recognize proof of vaccination and violations. Those misrepresenting themselves as vaccinated are reminded that doing so is a federal crime. Please note that vaccine verification is one of many layers of safety that are being deployed for guest health and safety.

I’m bringing my 11 and under children who can’t get vaccinated. Do they need a test?

Yes. Guests under the age of 12 must be tested and accompanied by an adult that meets our venue’s vaccination requirements; and the adult must provide proof of the following:

  • negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 24 hours of the performance start time, or
  • negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time.

My 12-17 year old is vaccinated but does not have an ID – what should I do?

Guests younger than 18 may present a government-issued photo ID or a school photo ID as an alternative. Guests younger than 18 who do not have either a government-issued ID or school photo ID can only attend performances in the company of an adult who provides the required ID and vaccine documentation for themselves and can confirm the validity of the minor’s test results or vaccination verification.

My child is too young and won’t wear a mask?

Everyone regardless of age and vaccination status will be required to wear a mask.

Will there be separate section for vaccinated vs unvaccinated patrons?

No. All events will be sold at full capacity.

I am not willing to take these precautions to enjoy live theater. I want a refund.

We are able to offer exchanges into future events, credits, or refunds. Please contact Guest Services at 412-456-6666. Season subscribers please contact 412-456-1390 for assistance.