Indoor venues in San Diego to start checking COVID status

san diego sports arena pechanga arena_3.png
COVID-19 vaccination card
Posted at 2:59 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 20:59:12-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Indoor venues in San Diego County have one month to figure out how they'll verify vaccination status or negative covid tests for guests at larger events.

On Sept. 20, the state Department of Public Health will require indoor venues hosting 1,000 or more people to verify that attendees are fully vaccinated or that they have tested negative for Covid within 72 hours. It's the latest in the state's effort to combat the spread of the Delta Variant. Self-attestation will not be allowed, and there will be no oversight or reporting requirements.

Venue operators in San Diego emphasized safety but said they were not yet sure how they would implement the changes.

Pechange Arena said is reviewing the guidelines.

"The safety of our guests remains our top priority and we intend to follow these new protocols. More information will be directed to our guests as it becomes available," the venue said in a statement.

San Diego State University, which operates Viejas Arena, said it was also still assessing the instructions from the state. The university is requiring students, faculty and staff be fully vaccinated to get onto campus in the fall.

"SDSU continues to work closely with both state and local public health experts and entities and also strictly follows local, state and federal COVID-19 guidelines," the university said in a statement. "We are also in communication with our partners, to include Live Nation, as they develop their processes for implementing the updated guidelines, and following LiveNation’s own announcements about a vaccine requirement for all events after October 4."

RELATED: California requires proof of vaccine or give negative COVID test for large indoor events

Event hosts are also contracting with private companies to do verification. Safe Expo, based in Chicago, is doing verification for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons annual meeting starting Aug. 30 at the convention center. The convention is requiring proof for 15,000-plus guests on its own accord. Currently, the state requires self-attestation for events with 5,000 or more people.

Safe Expo president Matthew Laws said its online system allows people to upload their vaccination cards ahead of time. They can also present documentation showing a recent negative test from a medical provider upon arrival. The company hosts testing on-site, and has done 25 events so far.

"You could count on one hand or two hands the number of people that have sent in something that we're not going to accept because of fraud," Laws said.

Laws said if someone really wanted to create a fake vaccination card it would be hard to spot. However, he said its system did catch people re-uploading cards with altered dates.