Covid vaccination or test required at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios Hollywood

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Beginning Thursday, Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia and Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City will begin requiring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or negative virus test results from all guests 12 and older. Six Flags is requiring it on certain days, while Universal Studios is asking guests to always be prepared to show their vaccine proof or test results.

Read more from KTLA/Los Angeles.

Do the people making these rules realize how stupid they make themselves sound?

At Magic Mountain, the rule is that face coverings are required indoors, which is in recognition of the fact that viral spread basically doesn't happen outdoors (the NFL has been demonstrating this for a few weeks now). Okay, I can understand that.

But on selected days, they are switching to requiring face coverings at all times, indoors and outdoors. But only on those days when they are requiring proof of immunization or a negative test result to enter the park.

So on the days that they have taken extreme measures to insure that *there is (statistically speaking) NO virus in the park*, instead of taking advantage of that condition and abolishing the face covering rules entirely on those days, they are doubling down on them. Logically, shouldn't it be just the opposite?

To me, this screams out, "Not only do the vaccines not work, if you are in an environment where everybody has had the vaccine or a negative test, you are at an elevated risk of catching the virus!!! PANIC!!!" This is how you empower all the arguments of the anti-vaccine crowd. That's's not only anti-science, it's anti-vaccine.

And my parents can't understand why I don't want to live in California...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

Jeff's avatar

The messaging may imply vaccines don't work, but that's not what they say. There is legitimate data that suggests vaccinated people can become infected, and that Delta is more transmissible. That isn't wrong. The disregard is more for the context: How much more likely are you to spread the disease in this situation versus having all-vaccinated people not wearing masks? I think anecdotally we can say the risk profile isn't that much different (my anecdote is that I've been living with someone who has Covid for the last week, and I'm not infected as a vaccinated person).

If you think this is political, maybe you could argue for that because California, but the amusement operator is thinking it's business. The existence of a state mandate potentially introduces liability, that a stated hazard exists and now they must mitigate it. I've had to deal with that with our HOA with regard to facilities and meetings, so our attorney has always been on the cautious side. The business doesn't care, and it's easier for them to be more cautious than not.

I think the question going forward is what is the criteria for not requiring masks? In the earlier summer, Disney seemed to feel that it was at a certain level of infection rates. When those rates got more ridiculous, they stuck with the science and did interior masking not because of risk to the vaccinated (which includes all those kids under 12), but because they couldn't determine who was vaccinated and who wasn't. This LA situation already takes the vaccination question out of the equation.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

ApolloAndy's avatar

I don't think it's contradictory at all, Dave. Presumably there's some acceptable risk level which is a function of crowds, vaccine requirements, and masks (and some things which are not relevant for this discussion like infection rates). If they anticipate crowds will be exceptionally high (historically the case for Fright Fest) then it stands to reason that they would use both available levers, vaccine mandates and stricter masking, to maintain the acceptable risk level that they want for the park. Neither is bulletproof so using them both in conjunction is a reasonable strategy. I don't see any contradiction or bad science.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Jeff's avatar

But the levers aren't all the same, depending on the context. How many infections are prevented by mask wearing, outdoors even, when everyone there is vaccinated? It's at best a rounding error.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

ApolloAndy's avatar

Oh, I totally agree with that. I am often at odds with my wife about whether I should be wearing a mask outdoors (or even going to outdoor gatherings like amusement parks). But that's a different argument than "one action contradicts the other action."

Last edited by ApolloAndy,

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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