OSF to require masks starting August 4

ASHLAND, Ore. – One of the largest tourist draws in Southern Oregon is reinstating some COVID-19 restrictions.

Earlier this month, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced it will welcome back full-capacity audiences to the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre starting July 14. Social distancing and mask requirements would be removed as long as attendees could prove they’re fully vaccinated or could produce proof of a negative COVID-19 test. The change allowed OSF to sell 900 more tickets to every performance.

Photo: OSF

“The audience members singing along, clapping along and for that to happen with nearly 1200 people in the house or even 600 people as compared to 200 people is a pretty significant step forward in the experience,” said David Schmitz, OSF Executive Director.

However, Jackson County has seen a record increase in COVID-19 cases late this month. The news prompted OSF to change protocol and require mask use during performances beginning August 4.

The festival said, “OSF’s protocol change, made in light of the transmissibility of the Delta variant,  follows the CDC’s recommendation this week that even vaccinated people resume wearing masks where COVID-19 cases are high, as they are in Jackson County. For upcoming performances of Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, and for summer concerts, attendees must still also present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, although social distancing is not being reinstated.”

For tickets or information, visit osfashland.org or call the OSF box office at 800.219.8161

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