Event Planning During COVID-19
For departments and organizations thinking about hosting in-person events this semester, it’s important that you keep up with Directed Health Measures to help promote a safe environment and keep within university compliance. Join Assistant Vice Chancellor TJ McDowell each Wednesday at 3 p.m. for a quick update on the latest policies and to get answers to your event planning questions in the age of COVID-19. (Zoom: go.unl.edu/eventplanning)
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[00:00:07.589]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Hello, and welcome to our weekly event update webinar where we provide you the latest information about local directed health measures, UNL event expectations and guidance and other information to help you plan, safe and successful events.
[00:00:25.380]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): My name is TJ McDowell. I'm assistant vice chancellor Student Affairs.
[00:00:29.400]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Thank you for joining us today run through some information quick and then we'll
[00:00:35.520]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): take any questions you have as we move forward. Let's see...
[00:00:41.730]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Okay, so as i'm sure most of you know, the Lancaster County risk dial remains in yellow. It's been there since February 9.
[00:00:52.170]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): The positivity rate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the week ending March 13 was 0.68%, which was up slightly from 0.57% the week before.
[00:01:02.460]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): But, again, I want to thank all of you for continuing to wear the face coverings, maintaining social distance and following our other expectations and protocols. It's allowed us to keep
[00:01:12.840]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): our positivity rate exceptionally low.
[00:01:16.170]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): And we're now at about the midway point. I think this would have been spring break, or close to it, and so we've made it for this point with a really low
[00:01:22.440]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): positivity rate. So thank you all; and thank you all who are supporting students and planning safe events. So thank you and to keep this moving forward, we need to continue to comply with mandatory random mitigation testing as that continues.
[00:01:39.060]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): So the directed health measures, which we anticipate staying in effect until April 12,
[00:01:44.370]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): continue to be unchanged in terms of any event with over 500 participants must be approved by Lancaster County Health Department.
[00:01:51.930]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): We've now had several events with that 500 more or more participants go through that process. It seems to be relatively
[00:02:00.270]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): quick turnaround. We get the information to Mike Zeleny and then work with the health department and so we've been able to get several of those events approved in the last couple of weeks.
[00:02:11.250]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): The occupancy continues to be 75% of indoor and outdoor spaces. The max group continues to be 8 for tables.
[00:02:21.660]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): And then any event with more than 50 attendees must go to the university approval process; and I understand we have we've seen an uptick in those events in the last couple of weeks, so we know that folks are planning more and more events as we wind down the semester.
[00:02:39.330]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Travel is nuanced. There is some opening and travel and transportation. This has not been updated yet, but there's been some updated guidance on the website.
[00:02:49.950]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Our UNL expectations continue to be that everyone wears face coverings for all events both indoors and outdoors except where you're actively eating or drinking. An advisor or university employees is required to attend all events with 50 or more participants.
[00:03:07.110]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): And then the event approval timeline, again, we want to remind you as you're planning in advance and as a skeptic please start planning early.
[00:03:16.080]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): So that we can get those approved seven days prior we don't want to get into positions where it's it's too short notice, so we encourage you to start planning early.
[00:03:26.280]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Now we're very close and I was hoping we'd have this information for today, but we're, the committee has been working on
[00:03:33.540]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): some updated expectations and guidance that will allow us to do some formulas and some dances yet this spring. I expect to have that information approved and be able to share that information with you next week.
[00:03:48.390]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): And then, some of you have already begun asking about what's the fall going to look like and so for fall events were expected to go back to pre-pandemic planning and approval processes.
[00:04:01.200]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): So that's the language that i've heard used.
[00:04:05.070]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): We may still have some health and safety measures in place. For instance, we may still be wearing masks and those things, but that will go through the
[00:04:13.500]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): planning process we had in place pre-pandemic. And again, all of this is contingent on vaccinations continuing to go as planned -- no surge upticks in cases or variants to the virus.
[00:04:28.890]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): So we encourage you to check on in the summer, as you're planning events for the fall and we'll probably do an update or two over the fall, over the summer and in the fall.
[00:04:37.230]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): So that is the update for today. Again, here's the resources. I encourage you to use this website. This website in blue has all the most current information that's up to date, so encourage you to check those out. Check that out.
[00:04:53.250]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): And now we'll open it up to any questions anyone might have.
[00:05:05.550]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Any questions about any of this.
[00:05:09.090]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Or anything to add from
[00:05:11.520]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Debbie or Melissa or Carrie those of you who assist students with planning events or approve events, anything to add today?
[00:05:25.620]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Well if there's no questions, this might be our shortest update yet.
[00:05:34.050]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Okay, well, I want to thank you all again for all you do support students and all you do planning events. We will be here, we will gather again next Wednesday at three o'clock, which I am saying might be the last weekly update of this spring semester.
[00:05:49.830]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): At least I'm hoping. Maybe I'm just hoping. Alright.
[00:05:53.820]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): But thank you all for all you do and we'll see you next week.
[00:05:56.520]Debbie Hendricks: Thanks, TJ.
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