PAX West Plans No COVID Protocol Changes After Event Enforcer Dies

PAX East took place in Boston last month.

We’re just about a month removed from PAX East, the Boston-based event where positive COVID-19 cases on the show floor went unacknowledged by organizer Reedpop, and an event enforcer contracted and died from the virus. Today, Reedpop announced dates for PAX West in Seattle and PAX Unplugged later this year, and also confirmed its plans regarding safety protocols: nothing.

For whatever it’s worth, West and Unplugged will still require vaccination and masking (other than designated eating areas), but those were the same rules the event enforced a month ago which were unable to prevent the death of PAX enforcer Dawn Wood, who died from COVID complications. Nothing in the event’s updated safety protocols include any updated measures, such as on-site testing, or even requiring people to present a recent negative test before entering the venue.

Reedpop and Penny Arcade are encouraging attendees to wear masks outside of the event as well, but stops short of mandates that will bring immediate attention to attendees’ COVID status before they enter the venue and potentially spread the virus to others. Masks and vaccination are a good first step, but even those can’t stop the spread entirely. The responsibility is still on individuals to be forthcoming, rather than PAX confirming people are testing negative before allowing them into the convention.

“We implore all attendees of PAX West and PAX Unplugged to follow all health and safety requirements at the shows,” said Penny Arcade co-founder Jerry Holkins in the announcement. “We’d also ask everyone to take all necessary precautions when outside the event–mask up in indoor settings, get tested alongside any travel or lodging partners, greet friends with elbow bumps or a wave, and please consult your doctor if you are at increased risk for illness or experience any symptoms.”

More on PAX during COVID:

PAX West will take place in Seattle from September 2 to September 5 at the Seattle Convention Center, with PAX Unplugged following three months later on December 2 to December 4 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. We reached out to Reedpop asking for clarification on whether it plans to change or update any of its policies after the events of PAX East, but did not hear back before publish time.