Ralph Engelstad Arena employees encouraged to present COVID-19 vaccinations
"We're trying to look to the future and our efforts to collect vaccination information from our employees is just trying to be proactive so that we have it moving forward."
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (KVRR) – A large local venue is preparing for the future as it implements further COVID-19 precautions.
The Ralph Englestad Arena is encouraging its employees to share their COVID-19 vaccination information.
“We’re trying to look to the future and our efforts to collect vaccination information from our employees is just trying to be proactive so that we have it moving forward,” Ralph Englestad Arena General Manager, Jody Hodgson said.
Jody Hodgson, Ralph Englestad Arena General Manager, says it’s only a precautionary measure to accommodate performers.
“If somebody did call and say hey how many of your employees are vaccinated, do you have enough people vaccinated that they can be backstage and get a concert going? We thought we’d rather be proactive and have that information available then scramble and try to find it,” Hodgson said.
Hodgson says it will be up to each individual employee whether or not to take the vaccine.
“Vaccination is a very personal decision and I think that’s something that each person will make given their own health conditions, I think we strongly encourage people to do it based on what’s out there that it may provide a greater layer of protection for them but not a requirement, we leave that decision to each individual,” said Hodgson.
If not vaccinated, employees could potentially be restricted from working in certain areas of the venue says Hodgson.
“A real world situation could occur where a tourist says maybe the security guards that are outside the artist locker room maybe those individuals they might request that those be individuals that are vaccinated. So then we would pick from our lineup of staff which people would serve in that role,” Hodgson said.
Officials from the Fargo Theater say currently they do not have a formal policy on employee vaccinations as they are still awaiting to find out when they will open.
Other venues have yet to comment on employee vaccination requirements, but Hodgson adds… employees will not lose work hours if they aren’t vaccinated.
“There’s actually so few roles that actually interact in that backstage area. Those are tightly controlled areas under normal circumstances. So you’re really talking about a really small pool, 95 percent of our jobs on event night have no interaction of that sort,” said Hodgson.
Hodgson says the health and safety of employees is very important to them and they want to make sure that they are doing the right thing when it comes to fans and employees.