What is Ohayocon’s COVID-19 policy?

You can view the Ohayocon COVID-19 Policy for the full text of the requirements, exceptions, and resources.

Why is Ohayocon requiring attendees to wear masks?

Masks prevent the spread of COVID-19 by protecting others from exhaled virus cells. In line with CDC guidance and the Columbus mask mandate, we require all people at Ohayocon, not just attendees, to wear a mask at all times. The only exception is for approved presenters who are presenting or performing on a raised stage and at least six feet from all other people. (This exception is permitted according to the terms of the city-wide mask mandate.)

Why is Ohayocon requiring proof of vaccination or negative test results?

We require all people at Ohayocon, not just attendees, to provide documentation of full vaccination (at latest two weeks prior to checking in) or negative test results (at earliest three days prior to checking in) so we can be confident that we are minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Are there any exceptions at all?

There are two possible exceptions. First, if you are an approved presenter and you are presenting or performing on a raised stage and at least six feet from all other people, you will not be required to wear a mask (but you must still demonstrate proof of vaccination or negative test result before being permitted to be present at Ohayocon). Second, if you have a legitimate, documented medical reason not to meet either or both requirements, you must contact us so we can refer you to our Accessibility Services department to submit appropriate documentation of your exemption from our COVID-19 policy. In any case, you must meet as much of the requirements as possible. (For example, if you have an exemption from being vaccinated, you must show a negative test result.) Both of these exceptions are in accordance with the city-wide mask mandate.

How long after my last dose do I have to wait before attending Ohayocon?

In line with CDC guidance, we will only accept proof of vaccination that is dated two weeks or earlier from the day you visit the registration center. If you will not meet this deadline, then your only option will be to show a negative test result.

How is Ohayocon going to enforce the mask requirement?

We hope we won’t have to—we hope people will do the right thing. But we can ask you to wear it and confiscate your badge if you don’t. Additionally, venue officials may require you to wear a mask, and if Columbus’s mask mandate is still in effect during Ohayocon, you may be subject to action by law enforcement officers.

What type of masks are permitted?

You should wear a mask that meets CDC guidelines. We may ask you to comply with these guidelines.

Do I have to wear a CDC guideline-compliant mask under my costume mask?

If your costume mask covers your mouth and nose, and has an appropriate filter between you and any holes on the mask where breath can pass through, then you will not need to wear a second mask underneath. As with our prop policy, we can’t make judgments about specific items until we can inspect them in person.

Can I use a self-test?

No. We will only accept tests provided by an appropriate, licensed medical provider. (Pharmacists at drug stores are acceptable medical providers.)

What happens if I don’t agree with the policy?

We recommend not attending Ohayocon, since we will not permit you to register or claim your badge. If you flout these restrictions or disobey appropriate Ohayocon, venue, or law-enforcement officials, we may confiscate your badge and/or remove you from the event without refund. Additionally, if you are found in violation of local ordinances, we may contact an appropriate authority to enforce the law.

I already registered, but I don’t agree with the policy. Can I get a refund?

Unfortunately not, since you agreed when you registered that we may create any binding policy related to COVID-19. If you registered prior to the time we announced this policy, you may transfer your badge to another person by contacting customer service.

Can you guarantee I won’t get COVID-19 at Ohayocon?

No, and waiving our liability is part of the registration agreement when you purchase your badge. We suggest following best practices to avoid getting COVID-19, such as wearing an appropriate mask that covers the mouth and nose, getting vaccinated, and keeping your six-foot distance from others. Due to space constraints, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to move through the hallways in a timely manner while maintaining social distance.

Are there any virtual events that I can attend remotely?

As of Sept. 25, 2021, we know we will be streaming gaming activities. We’ll announce if we will have other activities available for virtual participation.

Am I able to walk around with food or drink and not wear a mask?

We expect that you will be respectful of your fellow attendees and only eat or drink when you are able to maintain a six-foot distance from all others. The safest place to eat or drink is in your own personal space, such as your hotel room. We cannot control the layout or traffic patterns of the food court, and we recommend planning in advance when and where you will take your meals.

I reserved lodging but I won’t be attending anymore. Will they offer a refund or rollover?

Hotels, Airbnbs and other lodging providers are run independently of Ohayocon, and are free to set their own policies. We recommend you contact your lodging provider for assistance.

We look forward to hosting you at Ohayocon. In order to promote safety, we are implementing the following policy about COVID-19. Agreement to this policy is included in your agreement to all convention policies when you register, and is pursuant to the COVID-19 Terms and Liability Waiver on the registration form. Like all of our policies, this is subject to change. We will do our best to leverage our media platforms to communicate changes.

If the CDC or another appropriate authority updates guidance related to COVID-19, we may amend this policy to accommodate such changes.

This policy applies to everyone present at Ohayocon, including but not limited to attendees, exhibitors, guests, volunteers, staff, and contractors.

(You can also read our COVID-19 Policy Questions & Answers resource.)

Requirements

In order to be admitted to and remain at Ohayocon, all attendees five years and older must provide either:

  • proof of full vaccination at least two weeks prior to the day of arrival at the registration center, or
  • proof of negative COVID-19 test administered by an appropriate, licensed medical professional within three days of arrival at the registration center.

Additionally, all attendees two years and older must wear an appropriate mask that covers the mouth and nose at all times.

How to show proof

You can show proof of vaccination or negative test on either a smartphone or a physical copy of the vaccination card along with an appropriate ID matching the name on the documentation. You must show this when picking up your badge.

Exceptions

Masks are not required for approved presenters when performing or presenting on a raised stage and at least six feet from all others.

If you believe you qualify for an individual exception for a documented medical reason, please contact us so we can refer you to our Accessibility Services department. You will still be required to meet as much of the Requirements section as possible. (For example, if you have an exception from being vaccinated, you will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test within three days of your check-in date.)

Becoming symptomatic during Ohayocon

If you become symptomatic at any time during Ohayocon, isolate yourself from others. If possible, we recommend returning home to self-isolate and seek medical care.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion or runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea

Resources

Questions & Answers

We have written a page of anticipated questions and answers that you can read.

How to get a replacement vaccination card

This article from the Cincinnati Enquirer explains how to replace your vaccination card if you live in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana.

Where to get vaccinated

You can find a vaccine provider via vaccines.gov.

General information about COVID-19 vaccines

You can find information about vaccines on the CDC website.

How to contact us

If you have questions about our policy, we invite you to use our contact page to send us a message.

Ohayocon does not tolerate assault or harassment in any form. This policy applies to everyone present at Ohayocon, including but not limited to attendees, exhibitors, guests, volunteers, staff, and contractors.

Harassment

Harassment is generally defined as unwanted behavior that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment for the person being targeted. It can be physical or psychological. If someone tells you that your comments or behavior are unwelcome, you must stop immediately. If that person tells you to leave them alone, you must cease contact. It doesn’t matter whether you think your behavior was harassing: harassment is defined by the victim and you must respect their boundaries.

Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • making comments about a person’s appearance, sexual or vulgar statements, offensive jokes, or anything disparaging a person’s gender, race, religion, sexuality, identity, disability, etc.;
  • bullying and discrimination;
  • whistling, catcalling, and any kind of non-consensual flirting or sexual advances;
  • following someone or impeding their path;
  • attending a person’s panels solely to heckle them;
  • photographing or recording someone without their permission;
  • exposing oneself or miming sexual acts;
  • harassing someone because of the bathroom they feel most comfortable using, known as bathroom policing;
  • touching someone without their permission;
  • repeated texting, phone calls, or emails, after being told to stop;
  • any persistent action that creates a hostile environment for the person or persons being targeted.

If a person is in cosplay, that does not give you consent to photograph or touch them without their permission. There is a real person underneath the costume and makeup. If you are in cosplay as a character that might harass others, that does not give you a pass to harass real people even if you are “in character.”

Explicit Behavior

Costumes must cover any area usually hidden by a bathing suit. Please see our costume policy (ohayocon.org/policies/costumes — opens in new tab) for more details about what is appropriate for public wear. Flashing or mooning other people is considered harassment and will not be tolerated. Please be aware that businesses and other venues in the area may have stricter dress codes (e.g. shirts required before entry).

Any clothing, signs, props, or other materials containing explicit content must not be visible inside our convention space. Anyone in the Exhibit Hall selling explicit content must have it covered or out of view and must prove legal status of a potential customer with a valid photo ID (link opens in new tab) before showing it. Customers must then keep the purchase in a pocket, bag, or case that does not allow it to be seen by other attendees.

Reporting

Please report any incidents of harassment as soon as possible. We take all reports very seriously, regardless of who is involved. You can report harassment even if you are not directly involved, and we do not tolerate retaliation for filing a report.

You can report harassment by any individual to our Public Safety department in the Clark Room (on the second floor of the Hyatt). Please try to report the incident to Public Safety as soon after the incident as possible and provide a description, name, or photograph of the person. The sooner our team has as much information as possible, the sooner we are able to act. You may also report incidences by sending email to customerservice@ohayocon.org.

Consequences

Any violations of our harassment policy will result in immediate penalties dependent upon the severity of the action. Such penalties include, but are not limited to:

  • a verbal warning;
  • confiscation of your badge and ejection from Ohayocon, without refund;
  • contacting law enforcement when appropriate.

Questions & Concerns

We welcome your questions and constructive criticism. If you would like to speak with us about this policy, please email customerservice@ohayocon.org or complete the contact form at ohayocon.org/contact.

We appreciate your cooperation and wish you an excellent weekend at Ohayocon.

Cosplay is NOT consent. If you wish to take a photo of or with someone who is in cosplay, please ask the cosplayer for permission first and be respectful of personal boundaries when working out the photo ops. Just because they are dressed up as a particular character does not mean that they are required to act in any manner that is uncomfortable to them.

Be mindful of the space. Do not block hallways or public areas while taking photos. If you are taking a photo, please move to one side of the hallway against a wall, or move to another area. Photography and video recording are not permitted in the Room of Relaxation, video rooms, Dealers Room or Artist Alley. Additionally, if an Ohayocon volunteer acting in good faith requests that you move to a nearby location, please respect that decision.

Please feel free to take commemorative photos for your own enjoyment. You are free to share your pictures in the manner of your choosing, but you are on your own regarding the appearances of individuals in your photos. (That is, we are not giving you permission to share photos of anyone in particular, and if there is a dispute with someone wanting you to remove a picture with them, that’s between you and them.)

We do not permit you to sell photographs, raw or edited, at or during Ohayocon. You risk forfeiting your admission if you do so. After the convention and off-premises, we do not care as long as you are not using our branding or image and you are not telling people that your photos are “official” or that you work(ed) for Ohayocon. (You are permitted to make appointments for photoshoots as a paid service as long as the payment is done off-premises and not during Ohayocon.)

We prohibit you from setting up photo booths unless you have an agreement with us in advance, and we will likely refer you to our Dealers Room staff so you can negotiate purchasing vendor space. At-con photography is generally not considered for Artist Alley. If you have any questions about our policy, please send us an email.

Set Up & Clear Down

To keep things on schedule, Shoot Captains should arrive at their designated photoshoot locations 5 minutes PRIOR to the shoot to plan and organize any photographers and participants in the photoshoot as they show up. This is so that the shoot can begin promptly at the scheduled start time.

Shoot Captains should remain aware of how much time is left in their shoot and start wrapping up at 5 minutes until the end of the shoot.

Ultimately, Shoot Captains are responsible for the state of the photoshoot area and it is expected that the location be left as it was found. It is encouraged that all participants assist in the cleanup of their photoshoot location as to make the process go faster.

Scheduled Shoot Priority

In the event that a photoshoot location has down time between scheduled shoots, attendees are free to utilize these areas for random photo ops. However, remember to be respectful of any scheduled shoots. Once it is time for a scheduled shoot to begin, that group has priority to use that location and it is expected that anyone not participating in the theme of that shoot is to leave the area. Failure to comply will result in the Ohayocon public safety department removing you from the area.

A link containing the Times and Locations will be available on the Ohayocon Website and Official Ohayocon Photoshoots group on Facebook.

Be Courteous and Respectful

Please observe the Personal Interaction Policy, as well as all other policies, outlined in the Cosplay Rules.

If you are attending a photoshoot, please be courteous to other participants and photographers; do not block shots, do not touch items or equipment that does not belong to you, do not be loud and/or obnoxious to anyone.

Please be respectful to your Shoot Captains and follow their direction throughout the photoshoot. They have volunteered their time to organize this shoot and everyone wants it to go as smoothly as possible without disruption.

If you disagree with the way the shoot is being run or do not feel comfortable with the set up for a particular photo op, excuse yourself from any part of the photoshoot.

Feel free to bring any and all feedback to the Cosplay Feedback Panel on Sunday or fill out our feedback form post con.