By now we are all getting used to the “new normal” of the pandemic. Temperature checks, face masks, physical distancing and more are now a part of our routine. However, “new normal” doesn’t mean permanent nor did it ever. The question operators are looking at is: how do we get out of this? The odds of just waking up one day and flipping a switch where we go back to the way life was overnight are literally zero.
While a vaccine is a step in the right direction, with many not wanting to take it (nor a date on when it will be available), what do you do to try and return to the “old normal”? Theme Park University is closely monitoring stories about rapid testing. We believe that this could be the answer to safely gathering large groups such as cruise ships, theme parks and concert venues together sooner than later.
For example, the Wynn Las Vegas plans to start implementing rapid testing as soon as Thanksgiving 2020. According to an article written by Matt Maddox, CEO of Wynn Resorts, they want to try this out with their concert venue for this upcoming holiday season. Here is what he said:
Imagine the following: Lionel Richie is playing at the Encore Theater at 7 p.m. Between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. that day, you and your friends each provide a saliva sample at our on-property testing centers. The barcodes are scanned and you download the free UMC (University Medical Center) app and go about your day. All the information is hosted by UMC and the data is private. When the test results come back at 6 p.m., a negative test triggers a green light on the app and you can attend the show. And because the same process will apply, you can also head into a securely populated convention the following morning.
If, by chance, someone is infected after they take the test, science tells us that it takes approximately 48 hours for that person to become communicable. We are not planning on creating a full “Wynn bubble” by testing everyone in every environment, but instead requiring a test for employees to work or guests to attend a show, convention, nightclub or other crowded space that exceeds the “mass gathering” state-mandated limits. Clearly, we will need approval from the state to execute this plan, but having worked closely with leading medical experts around the country, I believe that this approach can accelerate Nevada’s recovery, and not just for the Las Vegas Strip, but also to reopen our schools.
Again, this process can be repeatable for other forms of large venue events. Places like theme parks, stadiums or even cruise ships can implement various forms of rapid testing to create a small secure area where guests could feel comfortable being in a big space again and not have to worry as much about spreading COVID-19.
We will continue to monitor rapid testing and how it can impact large scale attractions and venues. It’s our belief that this could be the first major step in becoming “normal” again. Your thoughts?
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