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Did the Kennedy Center in D.C. drop the mask mandate as promised?
Holding them accountable by going to the theater to check
I reported exclusively that the Kennedy Center theater in Washington, D.C., announced it would finally drop its mask mandate. But the theater’s spokesman told me the new mask policy would not go into effect for two weeks.
So I went to the theater on Oct 18 to hold them accountable. Watch my new, exclusive report on YouTube below…
Mask optional policy
The mask policy came two days after my report on the unscientific basis of it. On Tuesday, I asked the Kennedy Centers’ director of public relations, Brendan Padgett, how patrons would know they didn’t have to wear a mask anymore. He replied:
All patrons with tickets were e-mailed about the change in advance, the website has been updated with the change (https://www.kennedy-center.org/visit/covid-safety/), and all signage about a mask requirement has been removed.
Padgett also gave me the email sent to patrons letting them know about the “mask optional”, which is this:
Thank you for your patronage of the Kennedy Center! We are looking forward to seeing you soon and wanted to make you aware of an update to our COVID-19 policies.
Beginning October 18, face masks will be optional but welcomed in all Kennedy Center spaces for visitors and staff. Until then, masks remain required at all times for all patrons inside the theaters.
Protocols are subject to change in compliance with revisions to national and local guidelines regarding COVID-19. The Kennedy Center has routinely utilized the latest available information in consultation with the Cleveland Clinic and Inova to evaluate and adjust health and safety policies, and will continue to do so as local and national conditions evolve. Read more about our safety protocols.
Seeing for myself
The shows at the theater on the 18th started at 7 p.m., so I went to the Kennedy Center at 6 p.m. to look to see if the mask signs had been removed. I found none. I also watched to see if the ticket check staff were enforcing the mask mandate before entering the theater. I saw that people without masks were freely entering.
As you saw in the video I published on Oct. 2 about seeing “Hamilton” –below– the Kennedy Center’s mask policy required patrons to wear the mask while sitting in silence in the theater. But masks were not required while talking in lines for security, in the concourse or in any other public area of the building. There was no science behind this policy.
And on Oct. 5, I reported the mask mandate was suddenly removed, which was great news. My exclusive report about the change:
Where do you find masks are still required for no reason?
P.S. — If you watch my new video, I ended it with a walk outside the theater at sunset to show you the beautiful courtyard overlooking the Potomac river.