Westminster Frustrations Mount

By Jessica Freni

Stock Photos

Westminster entries have been all sent out via mail and email. Everyone accepted has been notified. The limit was reached, so unfortunately not all were accepted and the lottery was used.

With just under two months until the show, details (and some obstacles) are slowly emerging. The first source of frustration surrounded Tarrytown House Estate. Many planning to attend WKC had confirmed bookings at Tarrytown House Estate only to discover the accommodations were in fact, unavailable and that the venue was closed from June 1st through August 20th. Alternative suggestions have been some remaining Air BnB or branching out to the surrounding areas ,such as 20 minutes away at Quality Inn Spring Valley or Norwalk CT, or to dtay on the West side of the Tappan Zee bridge- Rockland County. Nyack, Nanuet, Suffern, even into Mahwah NJ -all an easy drive to Lyndhurst.

Questions and rumors surrounded the impact of Covid on attendees, particularly regarding testing or vaccinations. May 4th, WKC put out a plan surrounding “Reel Health”. The official statement from WKC, as follows, “The Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) has engaged Reel Health to provide COVID-19 prevention services for the events on the weekend of June 11 to June 13. Reel Health is committed to making this year’s events as safe as possible. The New York State (NYS) and Westchester County Departments of Health have approved the COVID-19 health & safety plan for these events.

For entry to the Lyndhurst Mansion grounds for the WKC Agility and Obedience Championships and the 145th Annual Dog Show, all attendees must:

  1. Provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination,

OR

  1. Have a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed by Reel Health within 72 hours prior to their first entry time to these events.

You MUST either record your proof of COVID-19 vaccination or schedule your COVID-19 test with Reel Health on the Reel Health Registration Survey for Westminster Kennel Club June 2021 Events. This can be found at www.reelhealth.com/wkc

Needless to say, this statement was met with confusion, frustration and objections. Not only was accessibility to the sanctioned testing an issue, but the cost, $159.00 for testing at one of the four approved sites, $215.00 for telehealth supervised testing and starting at $350 for “white globe testing.” In response to the feedback from exhibitors,  WKC issued a revised covid protocol statement, in full below:

NEW Information as of May 5, 2021: We are pleased to announce that following a series of discussions with New York State Health officials and our COVID-19 compliance consultants, the Westminster Kennel Club will be issuing updated guidance this week to ensure flexibility and additional testing options for attendees at our June events.

Note:

If you are not vaccinated and have not previously completed the Registration Survey, please wait to Register after the testing modifications have been issued.

If you have previously completed the Registration Survey and scheduled a test with Reel Health in Tarrytown, NY, no additional action is necessary at this time. (You will be able to cancel an existing appointment with Reel Health if you select another testing option.)

If you are vaccinated and already completed the online Registration Survey, no additional action is necessary.

If you are vaccinated, please fill out the Registration Survey here.

Information for Westminster Kennel Club Event Attendees

The Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) has engaged Reel Health to provide COVID-19 prevention services for the events on the weekend of June 11 to June 13. Reel Health is committed to making this year’s events as safe as possible. The New York State (NYS) and Westchester County Departments of Health have approved the COVID-19 health & safety plan for these events.

For entry to the Lyndhurst Mansion grounds for the WKC Agility and Obedience Championships and the 145th Annual Dog Show, all attendees must:

Provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination,

OR

Have a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed by Reel Health within 72 hours prior to their first entry time to these events.

You MUST either record your proof of COVID-19 vaccination or schedule your COVID-19 test with Reel Health on the Reel Health Entry Form for Vaccination Submission and Scheduling Tests – WKC June 2021. This can be found at www.reelhealth.com/wkc.

In order to ensure the security of your information, it must be submitted through Google If you do not have a Goggle account, you will be prompted to easily establish one upon logging in to complete your entry form.

During events, all attendees will be required to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and use the Reel Health App to complete a short COVID-19 signs and symptoms questionnaire for each day that you attend a WKC event.

COVID-19 Vaccination

We encourage as many of you as possible to complete your COVID-19 vaccination prior to these events. If you are fully vaccinated, you will greatly reduce the time spent waiting to enter the Lyndhurst property. By definition, fully vaccinated means that at least 14 days have passed since your second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine OR 14 days have passed since your single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine.

We are requesting attendees to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible because each proof of vaccination will be individually reviewed. For this reason, we are unable to accept proof of vaccination submitted after Thursday, June 3. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will require a completed CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Record Card or an equivalent document that lists your full name and date of birth, as well as the name of the vaccine received, date(s) of dose(s) received, vaccine lot number(s), and location or healthcare provider(s) who administered the vaccine(s). Attendees must upload a copy of their completed CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Record Card or equivalent proof of vaccination to www.reelhealth.com/wkc.

Once your vaccination status has been reviewed by Reel Health personnel, you will receive a confirmation email. Upon arrival at the site, you will be asked to present valid identification which we will use to verify that you have been cleared to enter the site. If possible, we ask that you have your confirmation email available in the event of internet conductivity issues.

Planning for COVID-19 Testing

For attendees choosing a pre-event COVID-19 test rather than submitting proof of full vaccination, Reel Health will provide highly accurate, laboratory-based COVID-19 PCR tests. NYS rules require that COVID-19 tests be collected no more than 72 hours before your first day of entry to the event. Due to the large number of attendees, we are unable to accept tests from outside laboratories or other companies.

Reel Health staff will be available to conduct pre-event COVID-19 tests at our New York State testing site in Brooklyn, as well as at the following hotels located in Tarrytown: Westchester Marriott, Sleepy Hollow Conference Center, and Springhill Suites Tarrytown Westchester County. (Please see page 5 for details).

Reel Health is also able to offer remote test collection by sending COVID-19 test kits to your home or place of business. Please note that this option relies on FedEx to ship your completed tests to the laboratory. We cannot control circumstances that may result in delayed or lost shipments. If your test results are not available by the time of the event, you will be denied entry. For these reasons, we recommend that you complete your pre-event COVID-19 test at one of the four testing sites available once you arrive in the New York area.

We also have White Glove COVID-19 testing available. This option will send one of our Reel Health healthcare professionals to your home or place of business to collect your COVID-19 test and then arrange delivery to the clinical laboratory. Once you select a White Glove test, one of our Reel Health testing staff will contact you to coordinate your test.

To sign up for your COVID-19 test, visit www.reelhealth.com/wkc. Please schedule and pay for your test as soon as possible, no later than Thursday, June 3. Test appointment dates and time slots will be available on the website. Additional fees will apply for tests scheduled after Thursday, June 3.