An unidentified attendee of last weekend’s World Fantasy Convention 2021 in Montréal has subsequently reported “a positive Covid result,” and the WFC 2021 committee is notifying others who may have been exposed.
This announcement was posted yesterday on their website and in social media:
Case of Covid at WFC 2021
On Thursday (Nov 11) we received a report of a positive Covid result that was likely contracted during the convention.
All convention attendees are advised to self-monitor for symptoms for at least 10 days, until November 17th. If you develop any symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and get a COVID test. Fully-vaccinated members who are asymptomatic do not need to self-isolate; just continue to use public health measures: maintain social distancing, wash hands before and after any social contact, and wear a mask around other people.
From the information available, the person became infected between October 31 and November 10, most likely between November 5-8. Whether they were infected before or during the convention dates, they may have been infected during the convention.
Of the 39 people tested at the convention before returning home, we have no information that any of them tested positive, so to the best of our knowledge this is an isolated incident. However, anyone at the convention may have come into contact with the infected individual.
We urge those members with questions to consult a medical professional.
The committee responded to one Twitter inquiry yesterday:
And on Facebook they responded to another commenter:
Absolutely everyone at the convention was double (or triple) vaccinated, no exceptions. This was a breakthrough case.
The World Fantasy Convention tweeted an update today:
[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]
Sadly, not surprising.
Breakthrough Covid cases are roughly point five percent of all vaccinated individuals regardless of which vaccine they got according to the latest figures from the CDC. Good news is almost all of those will get very mild infections. Not so for those unvaccinated individuals who if infected, and most will be, run the risk of much more serious infections.
The case may also have been acquired by contact in the airport or on the plane to or from the convention. So while it is connected to WFC, it was not necesssarily acquired there. This is just a heads up for everyone to be aware of their own status and potential for acquiring the virus.
Ann: Do you have a basis for knowing that the unnamed person was in an airport or on a plane?
I was at WFC (and am not the person cited). I flew home by the convoluted routing of YUL-ORD-SEA-RNO (as a consequence of using Alaska Airlines miles), and felt more nervous about the hour or so at ORD (too crowded, many people unmasked) than I did about the entire week I spent in Montreal. In Montreal, I had to show my COVID vaccination card to be seated in a restaurant, mask wearing was near-universal, and in general I felt safer there than I do when going grocery shopping in Reno. Also, I only socialized with other members of the convention, all of whom had to show their vaccination document to register for the convention.
During the convention, people seemed to be doing a good job of wearing their masks except when eating or drinking, which could only be done at certain designated areas. Seating in the program rooms was spread out, and this was a case where the relatively low turnout worked in everyone’s favor by increasing the distance between attendees.
I was tested negative before I flew to Montreal, again when I arrived at YUL, and again three days before I flew back. I’ll stay self-isolating, though, just in case, and take another COVID test in a few days. I’m booked for a booster shot next Friday, in time for my trip to Westercon/Loscon.
I got tested yesterday -just in case-and my results are negative.