By Bill Hirschman
A patron attending the March 12 performance of Hamilton at the Arsht Center has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, the facility’s CEO reported to the patrons in an email Thursday.
The venue stressed in a statement that there have been no other reports connected to any other performances being affected in the 2,400-seat Ziff Ballet Opera House and no other reports of illnesses.
“There have been no other audiences in the building since that evening” which was closing night of the local run, wrote Suzette Espinosa, vice president for Communications.
The guest “had no symptoms that evening but began developing symptoms two days later,” according to the statement from Johann Zietsman, Arsht Center president and CEO.
“After seeking medical care, the guest was confirmed to be positive for COVID-19. Out of concern for the safety of other attendees and our staff, the guest shared this information with us and we are now immediately sharing it with you. The guest is now at home and under quarantine, as instructed by health officials,” the statement continued.
The venue was notified Thursday afternoon; staff and volunteers were informed.
The note to patrons continued, “We want to reassure you that prior to and for this performance the Arsht Center had already implemented active measures to minimize risk of illness, including enhanced cleaning protocols such as wiping down touchpoints and reinforcing healthy hygiene practices with staff, volunteers, ushers, security and concessionaires.”
Zietsman wrote, “Our thoughts are with our guests and their family, and we wish them a quick recovery. We are grateful that they have shared this important health information with us. We have notified our staff and artists on what they should do if they develop symptoms and encourage you to also follow all CDC guidelines. We are working closely with health officials and providing support to our staff. I can’t stress it enough: Our staff, our artists and you – our guests – are always a top priority. We are in this together – and we will make it through this together. We look forward to being a community gathering space once again where we can connect with each other in the way only the arts can. In the meantime, we will continue to be transparent and informative.”
The center initially announced it would be closed through April 5, but updated information is expected later this week.