Eleven Napa County residents who attended the BottleRock Napa Valley festival over Labor Day weekend tested positive for COVID-19 according to the country’s health officials, who saw the number as an indicator of successful safety protocols.
“In the 14-day period after BottleRock Napa Valley took place, we are pleased to report that Napa County did not experience any material impact on the number of COVID cases as a result,” said Officer Dr. Karen Relucio. County Public Health Department. Chronicle of San Francisco. “The protocols that the festival producers developed, in collaboration with public health, were extremely effective,” said Relucio.
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Last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic. This year, the festival was held at the Napa Valley Expo on September 3-5 and had nearly 120,000 attendees. According to Relucio, Napa COVID-19 cases in Napa County have dropped by 28% in the two weeks since. On Sept. 17, two weeks after BottleRock’s opening, the county averaged 23 new cases per 100,000 residents in seven days, a rate that has since dropped to 15.
Sonoma County posted similar numbers to Napa, with fewer than 10 cases in residents who attended BottleRock.
The event marked the first major festival in Northern California since the start of the pandemic. Organizers required attendees to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative coronavirus test, and festival co-producers Live Nation and Latitude 38 Entertainment report that 96% of attendees showed proof of vaccination. BottleRock also encouraged attendees to wear masks, although most did not, but attendees wore contactless wristbands for cashless transactions and most of the performances were held outdoors.
“We’re seeing an overall decline in case rates,” said Kate Pack, a senior epidemiologist for Sonoma County during a COVID-19 briefing last week. However, he also said that the number of COVID-19 cases resulting from the festival is likely higher than we know, as county officials can generally only track about half of the reported cases. “I don’t know if we have the full picture yet in terms of BottleRock,” he said.
California currently has the lowest COVID-19 transmission rate in the country. As of Monday, the federal government designated California in the “moderate” transmission category, while most states remain in the “high” transmission levels.
This year’s BottleRock artists included Guns N ‘Roses, Foo Fighters, Megan Thee Stallion, and Miley Cyrus, among others, and BottleRock will be held again in Napa on Memorial Day weekend in 2022. Upcoming festivals in the region include Outside Lands Music and Festival of the Arts in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park over Halloween weekend.
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