Concertgoers, venue staff, even members of a band are now connected to an alarming coronavirus outbreak that happened during a recent concert in Santa Cruz County. The show happened Sunday, July 18th at Felton Music Hall and featured LA-based band Grateful Shred as part of the venue’s summer concert series.
Grateful Shred says on their Instagram page that nearly all of the band and crew are sick with COVID-19 and recovering at home. It also says that many of them contracted the virus despite having their vaccinations. Grateful Shred said in a statement, “Apparently the vaccine does not prevent transmission. But fortunately, it does seem to really help in reducing sickness and preventing hospitalization.”
The venue released a statement saying, “In addition to the band, we have had multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 from people that attended our concert.” At least one venue staffer also tested positive for the virus.
Thomas Cussins, Owner of Felton Music Hall told ABC 7, "Our first concern is to make sure that our community is safe. We were shut down from March 2020 until last month, til’ mid-June. So opening up, we were so excited bringing music back to Santa Cruz County and to Felton, so this is just absolutely devastating to hear people getting these cases here at the hall."
Santa Cruz County Communications Manager Jason Hoppin told ABC 7, "We've only recently become aware of this situation so our communicable disease unit is investigating. We're in the early stages of that investigation, so we're still trying to understand the scope and source."
Santa Cruz County has been recommending that people wear masks indoors but not requiring it. “Part of the reason there is not a requirement is because the solution to this kind of problem is right in front of us," Hoppin told ABC7. "There are vaccines that are widely available. Unfortunately, the groups that we are seeing that are kind of lagging in the vaccination rates tend to be those younger adults, the kind of groups you see going to a concert like this."
Felton Music Hall has canceled this weekend’s shows but they are supposed to be back up and running for August 5th and beyond but everyone must wear a mask and all employees must get vaccinated.