Dallas Symphony to Offer COVID-19 Tests to Patrons

Most U.S. orchestras have taken COVID-19 precautions of some kind, but few offer free rapid antigen tests on the door

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Due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in Dallas, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is implementing extra measures to protect audience members and staff alike.

The rise in cases across the U.S. came to a head at the DSO in early January, when two members of the orchestra tested positive for the virus.

Their absence meant that two works by Maurice Ravel had to be removed from that evening's program, since the concert could not proceed in its entirety without the affected musicians.

As such, the orchestra is tightening its COVID-19 restrictions, and now all patrons are required to either show proof of vaccination, have proof of a negative PCR test within 48 hours, or take a rapid antigen test.

The way that this policy diverges from those implemented by other orchestras, however, is that ticket-holders can take a free rapid antigen test on-site at the orchestra's Meyerson Symphony Center, provided they arrive at least sixty minutes before the concert begins.

If patrons happen to test positive, they will of course be sent home to isolate, but the orchestra will also refund the cost of their tickets.

“I had seen the statistics in New York and Boston and other cities,” said Kim Noltemy, DSO President and CEO. “I started thinking about plans for audiences for this surge we knew was coming. I talked with our consultants and presented it to UT Southwestern, and they agreed it was a good plan.”