With new cases of the delta variant of the COVID virus rising every day, cities and states across the country have began instating new mask and virus testing mandates. With more seemingly coming, there is now internal concern within AEW about plans going forward.
While speaking to sources within, I was told that AEW is extremely concerned about the recent surge in COVID cases possibly disrupting their events for Chicago, NYC, St. Louis and beyond. Over the last week discussions have ramped up internally as COVID cases have began to explode across the country. This has caused AEW to begin conversations about what to do if there is a shutdown, up to and including a potential prolonged return to Daily’s Place in Jacksonville once again.
Additionally, I was told that it’s an “all hands on deck” type situation currently. But, “ultimately Tony has to make a decision about what is right for the talent, staff, and [especially] the fans”. With the CDC now recommending national mask guidelines, the concern is that it’s only a matter of time before they recommend the banning of large gatherings.
I was told that right now their biggest concerns are the status of the upcoming shows in Chicago and New York City, as both cities have been proactive in regards to preventive measures as an attempt so stop the recent surge of new cases.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has recently said that the number of Chicago’s daily cases reported could necessitate the reinstatement of the city’s mask mandate, as well as other potential restrictions. As for New York, the city will now require it’s municipal workers to get vaccinated or they will face weekly COVID-19 tests. As for St. Louis, the city and county has also reinstated an indoor mask mandate on Monday, in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19.
So, internally AEW is continuing with their existing plans. But, they are paying close and constant attention to what local authorities in Chicago, and in Cook County, as well as other parts of the country are doing, as the company has potentially some of the biggest events in their history slated over the next few months.
We will keep you updated if we hear anything more about the future of AEW’s upcoming events with possible shutdowns across the country looming.
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