Many facets of life have been upended by COVID-19, and Pagan Spirit Gathering was not spared. After two years of Virtual PSGs, we're looking forward to opening the gate in June and Welcoming Home this sacred community in-person.
In-person PSG involves singing & chanting, joyfully-raised voices, long hugs, and day after day of mingling and meeting new people. After much consideration, the PSG Executive Circle is in agreement that to do this responsibly for all concerned, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required for all eligible persons prior to registering for PSG. We require this to protect our community, and make it possible for those at high risk for severe complications to emerge from lockdown along with the rest of us.
The PSG Community contains many healthcare workers who have pulled a hard watch these past two years, and we owe them our deep gratitude as well as our best effort to avoid contributing to their crushing workloads.
What do we mean by "full COVID-19 vaccination"?
Full COVID-19 Vaccination means a completed primary vaccination series for everyone 5 years of age and older - either
- Two doses of an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or
- One dose of Janssen (Johnson and Johnson)
We highly recommend, but do not require, updating with vaccine boosters for those eligible. CLICK HERE to earn more about CDC booster recommendations.
We use the CDC Interim Clinical Considerations as our reference, as those are responsive to the shifting nature of the pandemic and the evolving nature of the science. We will also accept other vaccinations recognized under the CDC guidelines, such as AstraZeneca, Novovax etc.
What forms of vaccination proof are accepted?
- A photo, PDF, or screenshot of a completed CDC COVID Vaccination Record Card, or other formal state COVID immunization record (e.g. Wisconsin Immunization Registry), or
- A digital QR code provided by certain states (e.g. New York, California) or in EHR systems like MyChart, compliant with the SMART Health Card Framework.
All vaccination proof will be held in confidence, will be used solely for processing PSG registrations, and will be deleted after use.
What exemptions are possible?
- Presently, those under 5 years of age cannot be vaccinated; those youths are welcome with their fully-vaccinated families.
- A very limited number of medical exemptions may be granted. Anyone applying for an exemption must provide supporting documentation from their health care provider, and this documentation will be closely reviewed with the assistance of appropriately-skilled professionals. We may request additional documentation, and may require other mitigation strategies as a condition of admission. Those applying for an exemption may not complete PSG registration until mutual agreement is reached.
Will religious exemptions from vaccination requirements be accommodated?
No. Circle Sanctuary is a church, and PSG is a church event. We believe the precept of "harm none" compels each of us to take active measures against this disease, including masking and vaccination. As the COVID pandemic is a global and deadly public health concern, we believe there is no reason -- grounded in our religious teachings -- to refrain from the most effective means to address it.
Would you accept proof of a recent negative COVID test instead of vaccination?
No. Each of us will travel many miles to PSG, and every gas station, hotel, and restaurant between your home and the PSG site provides opportunities for exposure which a test would not catch. That exposure -- through the journey to PSG -- is a leading reason why we require vaccination: we will each take risks to be there, and vaccination is the best way to mitigate that risk.
Would you accept natural immunity, such as prior COVID infection, instead of vaccination?
No. Per the above CDC guidelines, immunity gained through infection is neither as reliable nor as durable as immunity given through vaccines, especially with the latest strains. Those guidelines also state clearly that vaccination is appropriate upon recovery from COVID.
Do you make any exception for beliefs that are contrary to the idea of vaccination (such as distrust of government, belief that vaccines are harmful or ineffective, alternative ideas about how to achieve immunity)?
We are aware that a considerable number of people have passionate feelings against taking the vaccines. You have the right to those beliefs, and do not have to take a vaccine -- but in doing so, you are choosing not to attend PSG 2022. We did our own research, and have concluded that vaccination according to the CDC guidelines is the only way to bring us back together in Sacred Community during this pandemic.
What happens if the CDC recommendation changes?
We will keep this web page detailing COVID-19 requirements for PSG attendance updated. We are closely monitoring CDC recommendations to address the COVID pandemic, and will take any changes as they come. COVID is a dynamic and shifting threat, and we will follow the best available guidance as it evolves.
What about medical privacy, and HIPAA?
As a private organization, we are asking you for your consent to see the medical record pertaining to vaccination, and you have the option to decline. This is a voluntary disclosure, which is allowed under medical privacy laws. You may withhold this information, and thus choose not to attend PSG 2022.
All vaccination proof will be held in confidence, will be used solely for processing PSG registrations, and will be deleted after use. Any medical information voluntarily provided in support of an application for a medical exemption will be shared only with appropriately-skilled professionals solely for determining the exemption status, and will be deleted after use.
Please email us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
These PSG guidelines were updated April 16, 2022.