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Questions Regarding Elevators, Vaccination, Masks


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Hello! It has been a while since I've been on here. I tried contacting the help desk a few times but I'm not sure my questions ever went through so I thought I would try my luck here!

1. My friend tried reaching out via Twitter for this one. She unfortunately has developed knee issues and cannot handle stairs. Escalators are a hit or miss and are often too bumpy for her to stand without risk of falling. We searched through the main FAQ on the website but found nothing regarding elevator usage restrictions or not. We have seen plenty of people use the elevators without any special badge or anything but we weren't sure if any rules had been updated and if she needs to do anything special to get permission to use the elevator or not. She just didn't want to cause any issues with Staff in the event that she does, in fact, need a special badge or something for this. I wanted to accompany her to make sure nothing happened and I would like to know if I also would need a special badge or something to assist her.

2. I saw on Twitter and Facebook that COVID-19 updated regarding masks and proof of vaccination. They said back in March that in a couple weeks we would have more information regarding the apps, QR code, or how proof of vaccination would work. I have checked weekly but haven't seen anything updated. I'm sure there is a lot to work out but I thought I would ask just in case! My husband and I are both fully vaccinated and live in MD. I don't feel entirely comfortable bringing my actual card with me in case I lose it because my work requires me to have it. MD has MyIR and I was wondering if that would be acceptable?

3. I have absolutely no problem wearing masks and plan on doing so in the con. I recall last year, before the convention, we were told that masks could be removed for pictures but at the convention things seemed to change. I suspect that had to deal with DC being under full mask mandate a week or so prior to the con again. Is that rule going to be returning or not? I also would like to know at what point the mask mandate for the con is no longer relevant for the Marriott Marquis. Currently, as of writing this, all vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask at the Marriott Marquis. I wanted to check because I currently have a photoshoot scheduled in one of the areas there and I wanted to make sure it would be acceptable to remove my mask or not for pictures or if they are required. 

I hope it's okay that I put all of this into one post, I didn't want to spam the forum with multiple topics! Thank you so much!

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Not staff, but Otakon usually requires you to have an Accessibility ribbon to use the elevators. I have seen people with strollers use them but I don’t know if that is technically permitted or they just let that slide. Either way, you would not want to bring kids in today’s environment anyways.

Check the Member Accessibility section on the Member Services section on the website. If she uses something to walk with that is proof enough but if not, try to get a doctor note close to the con.

Finally, don’t plan on removing masks indoors unless it’s at a specific dining area.

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1. Some of the elevators (most notably the one to enter the dealer's room) do require an accessibility flag to use, so yes, your friend will need to see the member accessibility booth by registration to get one. If you go with your friend, and will be helping them at certain points, you can request a companion flag to be with them, which will allow you to join them in the elevator among other things.

2. I do know there are plans to accept at least one app, unfortunately, I do not remember which it was, so I will leave this for someone with that info.

3. As of right now, a mask will be required in any area requiring an Otakon membership to enter, except for designated eating areas. The FAQ does mention that “except for areas designated with signs”, they will be required. I do not know if these signs will be present in the photo shoot areas, but if one is not present, err with caution that masks will have to remain on. Areas outside of Otakon (such as the hotel lobby) will be subject to their own policies, though we would recommend remaining masked in any busy or crowded area outside the con. (And of course, should situations change, and DC changes policy, that would also impact us.)

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I'm not staff, but if things are done the same way they have in the past -- when you enter the WEWCC, the registration area will eventually be on your left.  Right before the big "Registration" sign, there will be a big sign saying Accessibility, or Member Accessibility, or something like that.  In the accessibility section, they'll give you a ribbon to put on your badge that says accessibility (or a different word?).

 

Most of the staff recognizes the accessibility ribbon, and all you have to do is show them the badge and they'll let you use the elevators.  There's one place where I've had problems with the staff letting me use the elevators (and I think it's mainly the WEWCC staff).  It's when you're walking on the main hallway/concourse at the "Exit Hall B" area.  There's an elevator there which they let accessibility people use (so it's an "entrance" (not an "exit") for accessibility people).  Usually the staff recognizes the accessibility ribbon and lets you right on through to the elevators.  But there's been quite a few times where the staff member tells me that this area is for "Exiting" only.  I just remain polite (which is hard to do after a while), show them the accessibility ribbon and keep explaining what the ribbon is for.   The staff person usually lets me through after asking for a while.  Once though, there was a staff fella (I think he was with the WEWCC? he had a red jacket on), who wasn't going to let me through.  I finally asked to see a supervisor.  And the guy agreed (he was always polite the whole time).  A supervisor just happened to be walking nearby and he flagged the supervisor over.  The supervisor explained about the accessibility ribbon to the other guy, and they let me through to use the elevator.  Whew!

 

So, I just prepare myself to expect a delay, just in case there is one -- this way I don't get upset.  If there is a problem, I just have to remember to be polite, and they'll eventually let me through to an elevator.  But most of the time, there's no problem and the staff lets me right on through to use the elevator. 😀

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P.S.  Forgot to mention when you're entering the WEWCC, I think they have a separate line for Accessibility people, but if they don't, try going up to the entrance doors and explaining to the staff that you're an accessibility person.

 

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It does state on the accessibility section on the website to bypass any line and go straight to a staffer to tell them you need to go to accessibility and they will get your badge and ribbon sorted out there. However, after you get your badge, even if you are not staying at the Marquis, it is usually much easier just to enter through the entrance there anyways.

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On 5/17/2022 at 12:53 AM, marii said:

I also would like to know at what point the mask mandate for the con is no longer relevant for the Marriott Marquis. Currently, as of writing this, all vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask at the Marriott Marquis. I wanted to check because I currently have a photoshoot scheduled in one of the areas there and I wanted to make sure it would be acceptable to remove my mask or not for pictures or if they are required. 

The current policy (which I don't expect will change at this point) is that masks will be required to be worn in all convention areas in the Walter E Washington Convention Center and the Marriott Marquis.  The "convention areas" of the Marquis would include spaces on the M2 level - Photoshoot areas and the connector to the Marquis.   I don't know how individual photoshoots will be handled, but maybe someone in that dept will chime in.

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