Dear RayDay Friends, Vendors, and Attendees,
Each year, The Ray C. Anderson Foundation takes great pride and joy in being able to host RayDay. We know how much it means to you all as well, given it has grown in size from 300 people our first year to more than 2000 in 2019. When we cancelled RayDay last year in light of COVID-19, it was our hope that we would be able to come back bigger and better than ever in 2021!
Unfortunately, it has become clear to us that we won't be able to hold a RayDay that is safe for all of our guests this year. We have been following the data and advice of health professionals closely, and in recent weeks we have seen COVID-19 cases increase here in Georgia. We know that this is being driven in part by Georgia's relatively low vaccination rate, with only 40% of our residents fully vaccinated as of the beginning of August, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. This trend is also being driven by the delta variant, which has proven to be more transmissible than other forms of COVID. We also know that vaccines are not currently available to children under the age of 12, and we do not expect that they will become available prior to RayDay.
From the beginning RayDay has been an event oriented towards families. Yes, we take pride in featuring many tremendous environmental organizations, but our programming for young people is the heart and soul of RayDay. It has become clear to us that we cannot ensure RayDay will be safe for unvaccinated people to attend, which means we cannot ensure it will be safe for children. Rather than hold a child-free RayDay and restrict it to vaccinated people only, we have made the decision to postpone RayDay until 2022.
We remain hopeful that given another year, we will begin to put this pandemic behind us and once again be able to gather as an environmental community. Stay tuned for more information as we begin planning for RayDay 2022, and we hope you all stay safe and healthy.
John A. Lanier, Executive Director, Ray C. Anderson Foundation