Last Updated: 10.18.2021 at 10:00 a.m.


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On August 3, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that NYC will require workers and customers to show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment activities under the Key to NYC program. Depending on the industry guidance you are categorized under and whether or not your venue is indoors, this announcement may or may not affect your reopening plans. Many dance organizations are reopening under guidance for gyms and indoor fitness centers, which are included in the activities affected by this announcement. This executive order goes into effect Tuesday, August 17, 2021; enforcement goes into effect Monday, September 13, 2021.

COVID-19 New Vaccine Requirements: Starting August 16, patrons will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination for:

  • Indoor dining
  • Indoor fitness
  • Indoor entertainment and performances
  • Employees at locations offering these activities are also required to be vaccinated.

Key to NYC enforcement takes the form of an inspection process that includes: checking for signage, a person checking proof of vaccination, and written documentation of the protocol. 


August 23, 2021: FDA News Release – FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine: Pfizer-BioNTech 

August 12, 2021: FDA News Release – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Additional Vaccine Dose for Certain Immunocompromised Individuals

August 12, 2021: From Letter from the Commissioner of NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment

Last week, Mayor de Blasio announced the Key to NYC program that will require workers and customers to provide proof of vaccination in order to participate in indoor dining, indoor entertainment, and indoor fitness facilities, beginning the week of August 16. Key to NYC Pass is a first-in-the-nation approach that will be phased in over the coming weeks. Proof of vaccination includes a paper vaccination card from the CDC, a NYC Vaccination Record, the Excelsior Pass, or the NYC COVID Safe App for Android or iOS.  

On August 11, the Centers for Disease Control announced that the COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.

It’s never been easier to get a vaccination. People ages 12 and older are eligible for the vaccine. (Note: People who are between 12 and 17 years of age are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.) Reminder: Labor Law section 196-b allows employees to use sick leave for the recovery of any side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination and section 197-c allows leave to receive vaccinations. 

Revisit the Dance/NYC Vaccines for Dancers Town Hall

COVID Update for the Dance Sector from the NYC Department of Health



Currently, there are three main types of COVID-19 vaccines that are or soon will be undergoing large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials in the United States. Below is a description of how each type of vaccine prompts our bodies to recognize and protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19. None of these vaccines can give you COVID-19.

  • mRNA vaccines contain material from the virus that causes COVID-19 that gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. After our cells make copies of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.
  • Protein subunit vaccines include harmless pieces (proteins) of the virus that cause COVID-19 instead of the entire germ. Once vaccinated, our immune system recognizes that the proteins don’t belong in the body and begins making T-lymphocytes and antibodies. If we are ever infected in the future, memory cells will recognize and fight the virus.
  • Vector vaccines contain a weakened version of a live virus—a different virus than the one that causes COVID-19—that has genetic material from the virus that causes COVID-19 inserted in it (this is called a viral vector). Once the viral vector is inside our cells, the genetic material gives cells instructions to make a protein that is unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. Using these instructions, our cells make copies of the protein. This prompts our bodies to build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus if we are infected in the future.

As COVID-19 vaccines are authorized and then recommended for use in the United States, it will be important to understand what is known about each vaccine. Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19:

As of March 2, 2021, large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials are in progress or being planned for the following COVID-19 vaccines in the United States:

  • AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine
  • Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine​

Starting April 6, 2021, all New Yorkers age 16 or older are able to be vaccinated.

More information on COVID-19 Vaccines can be found here:

CDC | Vaccines for COVID-19 | COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccines for disabled people

COVID-19 information



September 9th: Dance/NYC Field-Wide Call on Key to NYC with DCLA Commissioner Gonzalo Casals



Inform your decision making regarding vaccine policy with resources from the Performing Arts Org Vax Policy Database. The database includes examples of vaccine policies from performing arts organizations across the country.

Conflict Resolution and De-Escalation Training


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