More entertainment venues are requiring people to be vaccinated or test negative before seeing a show. Now, one place is getting creative to help make sure people can get inside.
Before people rocked out at Toad’s Place in New Haven on Sunday, they had to either show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test result.
“It makes me more safe. It makes me feel really safe,” said Hunter Woodworth of New Jersey.
And keeping concertgoers, musicians and staff safe is key, according to general manager Ed Dingus.
“We were out of work for almost 18 months with the pandemic because of COVID restrictions. So we want to be able to keep going and a place to come and enjoy shows like these and as well my people continue working,” said Dingus.
But if people don’t carry the required documents, there is another option.
Toad’s Place is selling a limited number of rapid COVID-19 tests for $10 at the door. The option is for patrons who don’t show proof of vaccination or testing and the tests are offered on a limited first-come, first-serve basis.
“We wanted to give as much of a possibility for people to enjoy the show. So it helps us for the customer to be able to come in,” said Dingus.
Dingus says they sell about 20 tests each night. They ran out on Sunday and finding enough supply has been a challenge.
“We can’t order them online anywhere. So we’re having to go to the pharmacies and Walmart’s and stuff like that and get lucky and get three or four tests at a time as to whatever they’re limiting to. Some stores are two at a time. Some are four at a time. So whatever we can find, we get as many we can,” said Dingus.
People – regardless of vaccination status – are also required to wear a mask indoors unless eating or drinking, per city rules. That and the vaccine/testing checks are layers of security to hopefully keep the music going.
“I’m fine with it. As long as everybody is doing what they have to do, there’s nothing to worry about,” said Ray Rente of New Jersey.
Customers can also purchase their own rapid tests and administer it at the door the night of the event.
All rapid antigen tests must be from a healthcare facility or pharmacy, if not performed physically at Toad’s Place.