45 EAST STATEMENT
We would like to offer some clarity on the current public discourse. Six of our Bar/VIP staff members tested positive for Covid throughout the day and late into the evening last Tuesday, December 21st. All of these fully vaccinated staff members took their masks off during closing duties, after the venue was closed, and interacted closely with one another after the event on Friday, December 18th. There were no patrons in the venue when this occurred.
None of these employees have returned to work, as the venue has not been open since December 19th, 3 days before any notice of positive tests was received. All employees who tested positive had mild symptoms and are looking forward to coming back to work after receiving negative tests.
All patrons who had close contact with these employees were notified of the positive tests. The only patrons that had close contact as defined by the CDC were our VIP customers at private tables. Close Contact as defined by the CDC is ‘someone who is 6 feet or less away from an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
Also working those nights were 4 Safety Matters Crew Members, 2 Alcohol Monitors, 12 Security Guards, 5 Sound/Light/Video Technicians, 2 Coat Check Clerks, 1 Box Office Clerk, 3 Production Managers, and 2 other Bar/VIP staff. Of these 31 employees, we received zero positive tests. These employees are roaming the venue and mixing with the general population of the club much more than bar staff. Our feeling at the time was that the exposure was specific to the bar staff, who unmasked and interacted with one another after closing.
In total, 6 out of the 37 staff members received positive tests.
Here are the CDC guidelines for employer action upon learning that an employee has tested positive:
“If an employee is confirmed to have Covid-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to Covid-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Those who have symptoms should self-isolate and follow CDC recommended steps.”
These are the guidelines and these are the actions that were taken.
By CDC definition, the majority of patrons in the venue those nights did not experience exposure or close contact. There is no guideline for how to contact a general population that has not experienced exposure or close contact. Further, there is a lengthy waiver that every ticket buyer agrees to upon ticket purchase, which illustrates the risks involved with attending dance music events during the COVID-19 pandemic. (http://www.45eastpdx.com/covidwaiver)
With 6 out of our 12 regular Bar/VIP staff receiving positive tests, we attempted to staff our event scheduled for Thursday, December 23rd with employees and fill-in personnel that did not work the events mentioned above. We had assembled a group of healthy staff members to run the event, before deciding to cancel the event out of an abundance of caution.
We want you, our customers and supporters that make our venue everything it is, to know that we are always following the most current guidelines and vigilantly enforcing them. The mask mandate is enforced constantly, night after night, and with the new variant present it will be enforced even more aggressively. We will continue to follow the guidelines to the absolute best of our ability and would never actionably go against them.
Safety is and will always be our number one priority.
We hope this clarity will help you understand the events of the past two weeks and give some context to the dialogue circulating about our operations.
Thank you and we remain committed to providing safe and fun events for everyone during this difficult time.