The conference did not impose a vaccine mandate or social segregation and stated that participants were required to wear masks in “certain public settings.”
The transmissibility of the COVID-19 Omicron variant appears to have infected a large number of attendees at the ETHDenver developer conference, as attendees reported symptoms and positive test findings following the event.
Numerous social media posts from ETHDenver attendees following the conference’s conclusion on Feb. 11–20 indicate they tested positive for the virus. According to a local news source, the event drew over 12,000 people from 100 nations, resulting in numerous diseases among both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
Finally got my first COVID infection courtesy of #ETHDenver pic.twitter.com/TDR3OEteI5
— T h i r k (@theThirk) February 22, 2022
According to the COVID policies at ETHDenver, guests and staff were required to “do a quick [antigen] test on-site prior to picking up their badge” and were advised not to enter any of the event’s in-person venues if experiencing symptoms. However, the conference did not impose a vaccine mandate, stated that participants were required to wear masks only in “certain public settings,” and made no mention of social distance.
Despite these precautions, a significant number of registrants shared photos of positive COVID-19 testing or indicated said that they were suffering symptoms. The testing line required ETHDenver visitors to wait outside in the bitter cold, and images from the event appear to indicate that those wearing masks were in the minority. Additionally, the event is winding up a three-day skiing retreat in Breckenridge.
To those at #ETHDenver who saw me – just tested positive for covid by swabbing the back of my throat for an antigen test. PCR nose swab was negative yesterday. If you feel a little tickle, play it on the safe side. pic.twitter.com/qOj45fbPC4
— KapSlap.eth ᵍᵐ (∞,∞) (@KapSlap) February 23, 2022
Nothing like a long COVID testing line to kick off your day #ETHDenver pic.twitter.com/9jLodFab7h
— Bethany Crystal (@bethanymarz) February 17, 2022
“None of this is shocking,” Time staff writer Andrew Chow stated of his positive COVID-19 test upon his exit from the crypto conference. “For hours on end, thousands of people from around the world descended on a few interior areas […] and conversed loudly in each other’s faces.” There were few people wearing masks, and social separation was non-existent.”
Numerous states in the United States have eliminated mask requirements in recent weeks, as the number of daily COVID cases declined from more than 1 million in January to around 80,000 on a seven-day average at the time of writing, according to data provided by the New York Times. Denver County appeared to have followed the national pattern, with a weekly average of 177 cases as of Feb. 23.
“Attendees joked that ETHDenver 2020 had been one of COVID-19’s initial superspreader events. The 2022 edition was a reminder that the pandemic is still fully in swing, no matter how much people want to put it behind them.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals wear a mask in “areas of significant or high community transmission.” Additionally, it recommends that “everyone five years of age and older” take a COVID-19 vaccine.
While immunizations have been widely available to the majority of Americans for more over a year, past large mass gatherings have achieved comparable results. Some media publications dubbed the Bitcoin 2021 event in Miami a “super spreader event” after numerous guests tested positive for COVID-19 upon their return home – the Florida conference drew more than 12,000 attendees.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.