SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As the Sacramento region gears up to host events like concerts and the Farm to Fork festival this fall, state safety requirements are still up in the air.
But some local businesses are preparing for the possibility of mandated rapid COVID-19 testing before entry.READ MORE: Homemade Pipe Bomb Found In Front Of South Sacramento Elementary School
Kate Whelan is a local event planner and the founder of the California Events coalition, an advocacy group considering plans to bulk purchase rapid COVID-19 tests for clients.
“A lot of our clients are very cautious and considerate about safety for their events. It’s not just about their personal safety and how they feel about it, it’s about the general consensus of those attending the event,” Whelan said.
Whelan said it’s also something state officials might require. The coalition is honing in on a rapid test made by an Australian company that can produce COVID test results within 10 minutes that are 98% accurate. It’s called the Sienna COVID-19 antigen rapid test.
“It’s a lot faster than the tests we have been experiencing here thus far,” Whelan said.
That’s a crucial part of making it useable at a large event.READ MORE: Sutter Health Short On Vaccines As Blue Shield Takes Over Distribution
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Visit Sacramento President Mike Testa said he’s hoping popular events like Farm to Fork will go forward this year.
“We are potentially eight months away from those and a lot can change in those eight months,” he said.
Testa said that’s what makes it so difficult for many businesses and local organizations to invest in any sort of safety precautions right now. He said restaurants dealt with this when they bought tents for outdoor dining, only to have that allowance taken away when COVID cases surged.
“When you have to make a financial decision without the data and without the knowledge of knowing it’s a good investment, in more cases than not people have said I’m not going to take that financial risk,” he said.MORE NEWS: Evacuations Ordered In Response To Hazmat Situation In North Sacramento
CBS13 reached out to Golden 1 Center about the potential of rapid COVID-19 testing. They won’t address the issue specifically but said they will work with state and local health officials to welcome fans back when it’s allowed.