Starting Monday you’ll need more than just tickets to get inside Mechanics Bank Arena. New state mandates mean new requirements for mega-events.
The Bakersfield Fox Theater, Mechanics Bank Arena, including Condors games and all indoor events with more than 1000 people will require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event.
“Last year for most of the season, we didn’t have many fans, and then at the end of the year, we had about a thousand per game,” Bakersfield Condor President Matt Riley said. “We needed to wear masks, we were socially distanced in pods, folks had to consume their food and beverage on the concourse. But now, all that is gone. So we’re really moving in the right direction here.”
Riley goes on to say that with these new requirements, they won't be requiring masks or social distancing, although it's encouraged. However, the California Department of Public Health states masks are required indoors for unvaccinated individuals and encouraged for those vaccinated.
“Most major league arenas indoors: NHL, NFL, soon to be NBA, have announced or will announce these types of policies,” Riley said. “Basically, they’re all just following, as are, our state and county mandate to get in.”
You can prove you are vaccinated either through your physical vaccination card, a photo of it, or documentation from a healthcare provider along with your government-issued photo ID, according to condors hockey officials.
The Kern County Department Of Public Health has seen a 16.4 percent increase in the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines administered in the past three weeks, since the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine, according to spokesperson for the Kern County Department of Public Health Michelle Corson.
“We’ve seen slow increases week by week, and we just leveled off, but generally speaking, we’ve seen an increase in vaccinations over the past month,” Corson said.
Meanwhile, Inovia Pharmacy in Bakersfield has noticed an increase in vaccinations and testing as well, since employers and sporting events are beginning to require them, according to pharmacist, co-founder and co-owner of Inovia Pharmacy, Yasser Haykal.
“Also, the increased number of cases are encouraging individuals to get vaccinated as well,” Haykal said.
As far as a negative COVID-19 test, officials say at-home tests don’t count, but PCR and antigen tests do. Both are reliable, but antigen tests are more readily available and quick, according to Haykal. Results for antigen tests are ready in 15 minutes, versus 24-72 hours normally for PCR tests, although those times depend on where you get the PCR test.
“[At Inovia Pharmacy] we do it in house now, we don’t send it to any other lab, Haykal said. So with our new equipment, we can actually provide the results within two hours.”