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COVID-19 testing at weddings: Keeping your guests safe

Planning a wedding was already a big task, even before COVID-19 turned our wedding-day expectations upside down. While COVID-19 restrictions are loosening and more people are becoming eligible for the vaccine in 2021, the virus is still a very real threat – and it’s important to keep your loved ones safe during your big day. 

While some couples are pushing their ceremonies out for several months (or even years!), you don’t have to wait until the pandemic is over to get married or have your reception with family and friends. Testing is a great way to help hold a safer wedding during the pandemic – and here’s how you can be prepared. 

Check local COVID-19 restrictions for weddings

The CDC recently announced fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities that they did before the pandemic without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, including local business and workplace guidance.  

That being said, there likely may still be COVID-19 regulations in place for weddings based on rules and regulations set by your state, city, and local department of health. Depending on how strict regulations are, you may need to submit an application or permit for your event to your local public health department. And since many health departments are overworked due to the pandemic, it may take several weeks to get approved – so be sure to check in on the status of your application regularly. 

Pare down your guest list

States like New York have expanded their venue capacity to 50 percent (with no more than 150 attendees per event). However, remember that you’ll also need to include vendors, photographers, musicians, and others that you’re hiring to help your big day run smoothly. 

If you just can’t narrow down your guest list, invite just a few close family and friends to the ceremony, and consider holding a larger reception at a later date when more people can safely attend. 

Test guests before they travel

Your guests should quarantine themselves before traveling (New York recommends quarantining for at least 5 days), and you should require a negative test result within 72 hours of attending or proof of vaccination before they arrive. It’s important to establish who is responsible for the cost of COVID-19 testing, and if you’ll provide it for your guests or if they need to get tested on their own. 

Get nasal PCR

Not all COVID-19 tests are created equally. While rapid antigen testing can be helpful if someone is already showing symptoms, it can miss COVID-19 cases in people who are asymptomatic or presymptomatic. Encourage your guests to order nasal PCR COVID-19 testing from empowerDX, so they can get results in just 48 hours with the most sensitive test on the market.

Establish clear guidelines – and stick to them

Ultimately, you want to make sure that everyone is as safe as possible at your wedding – and it’s up to you to communicate your safety standards (like masking and social distancing) to your friends, family, and vendors. Make a list of friendly guidelines and reminders to send out with your wedding invitations (or emailing them to your guest lists a few days before the big day). And on the big day, consider appointing a “COVID-19 Compliance Officer” – a bridesmaid or groomsman who monitors mask wearing, social distancing, and regularly disinfects certain spaces. 

You deserve to celebrate your wedding day safely – and with COVID-19 testing from empowerDX and careful planning, you can create a day that you and your significant other will remember for years to come. 

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