West Chester University Guidelines for Hosting In-Person Events During COVID-19
This policy document serves as a supplement to the basic facility use policy designed to govern the use of West Chester University facilities for other than scheduled academic classes and activities that function as an extension of the formal learning experiences in a course or academic program. This policy will apply to all campus facilities including The Student Recreation Center and Sykes Student Union which have other basic facility use policies. The intent of this policy is to maximize the safety of the campus community and invited guests for events.
These guidelines will apply to all in-person events, held by all University stakeholders including faculty, staff, students, administers, alumni, and campus guests.
PA Governor Wolf announced revised maximum occupancy limits for indoor events to allow for 25% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size, and maximum occupancy limits for outdoor events to allow for 50% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size. Maximum occupancy is permitted only if attendees and workers are able to comply with the 6-foot physical distancing requirement.
Examples of in-person events include but are not limited to faculty hosted meetings, trainings, performances, celebrations, rallies, demonstrations, social gatherings, lectures, forums, speaker presentations, camps, conferences, or recreational or sporting events.
Individuals and groups hosting an event must follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) guidance for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 (Appendix A). The event host(s) must also agree to monitor public health indicators, adjusted orders and restrictions. Either the University or the event host(s) may cancel if the newest information advises them to do so without penalty of cancellation fees.
All event organizers must comply with the following guidelines for planning an in-person event:
All event host(s) must do the following:
- Training: Event organizers that are hosting an in-person event of 25 or more people, must provide Mitigation Event Training to their staff.
- Testing: West Chester University will not administer COVID-19 testing. Each camp or conference must secure the services of an outside vendor for any testing and have a written COVID-19 mitigation plan in place.
- Daily Protocol: Daily check-in screening will include symptom and temperature checks. Staff or participants who register a temperature of over 100.0 degrees will not be allowed to participate. Due to Covid-19, those staff or participants with a temperature over 100.0 degrees will be required to have a normal temperature for 24 hours and a negative Covid test to return to sessions.
- Occupancy: Events must adhere to the relevant capacity limitations of the facility or venue. The occupancy limit includes event guests, event host(s), and staff or volunteers working the
- Attendance Tracking: Event host(s) must track attendance of all participants and maintain record of attendees for a minimum of one year. Attendance must include name, email and telephone number of attendees, event host(s), and those working or volunteering at the event. This information may be utilized for contact tracing purposes in compliance with federal and state privacy
- Signage: If the facility or venue does not have signage posted to promote social distancing and properly wearing a face covering, event host(s) must provide and post signs in highly visible locations at the event (i.e. entrances, restrooms). If you need sample signage, please contact Conference Services. Stickers are not permitted to be attached to sidewalks, roads, Event Host and Conference Services Representative will do a walkthrough prior to the event to determine signage needs.
- Social distancing: Event host(s)s, workers/volunteers, and attendees must remain 6 feet apart at all times, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners. For camps, campers be organized into “group cohorts” that will remain together all day, every day. Groups will not come within 6 feet of contact with each other, except in uncommon situations when social distancing cannot be maintained (e.g., rainy days, or some emergency situations).
- Face coverings: Event host(s)s, workers/volunteers, and attendees must wear face coverings in accordance with CDC recommendations, PA Department of Health, and West Chester University.
- Notification to guests: At the beginning of the event, a policy statement must be read (Appendix).
- Event Layout: Tables and chairs in the facilities cannot be moved, removed, or added during the campus
Guests in the residence halls must be tested for COVID-19 using a PCR test administered within 4 days of their scheduled move-in date. Test results must be submitted at check-in. Individuals may be tested by their primary care provider, local health department, or by visiting designated retail locations. Individuals who do not submit test results will not be permitted to check-in to the residence halls. Individuals who submit positive test results will not be able to check-in to the residence halls until they are cleared by their medical provider or health department. The purpose of pre-arrival testing is to determine possible COVID-19 cases entering the residential community. This testing requirement will also prompt residential individuals to quarantine at home prior to moving on campus.
Individuals are not required to wear masks in their living spaces. Individuals in residence halls and apartments should continue to wear face masks in common areas. Guest privileges are suspended. Ongoing monitoring of the health and safety of the community will occur continually.
High-traffic areas and touch points in the residence halls will be cleaned more frequently. Building common areas and amenity usage have been modified to ensure we remain in compliance with federal, state, local, and University guidelines. All health and safety guidelines will be posted throughout our communities and they must be adhered to at all times.
West Chester University will provide the following:
- Cleaning: All facilities must adhere to CDC and PADOH protocols for cleaning in between events. Chairs and other equipment will be sanitized before and after use. Additional charges for these services may apply.
- Hand Sanitizer: West Chester University will provide Hand Sanitizer Stations at entrance and exit points of each building.
- Personal Protective Equipment: University Staff will be supplied with PPE.
In addition to what is required, all event host(s) should consider the following in planning an in-person event:
- Prioritize outdoor venues where social distancing can be maintained as much as possible.
- Limit the number of guests. Events must adhere to the relevant capacity limitations and approved time of reservation.
- Limit the length of events and breaks to shorten the time attendees are exposed to each other.
- Limit speakers and live performances and avoid the sharing of microphones or other equipment that may pose a health risk.
- Limit person-to-person contact by providing event documents, such as programs or post-event evaluations, in electronic form. Sharing or exchanging materials of any kind poses an increased risk of transmission/spread of COVID-19 and should be avoided.
- Monitor entrances and exits to prevent congregation and consider staggering arrival times to ease crowds at access points.
- Conduct temperature checks of guests upon arrival. If temperature checks are conducted, no one with a temperature higher than 100.4 should be permitted to attend.
Note: If WCU has a suspected case of COVID-19, the event may be cancelled, or guests may be required to participate in temperature checks prior to entry into an event, facility, or area.
- Individuals or groups who violate these guidelines will be instructed by the responsible official or their designee to cease and desist. Responsible officials include the University Police, Environmental Health and Safety, public health officials, facility or venue manager, and/or University-appointed
- Individuals or groups who violate these guidelines will not be permitted to reserve any facility on campus for the remainder of the semester. All scheduled reservations by the violating individual or group will be
Responsibility for Implementation
Members of the West Chester University community who have direct contact with external groups are responsible for administering these guidelines.
These guidelines shall apply to all employees of the university, including faculty, staff, contract employees, student employees, and volunteers; university recognized student organizations and their members; and third party organizations or groups who seek to host events on property owned or controlled by the University, to include buildings and grounds.
Guiding Principles and Risk Assessment
The West Chester University Guidelines for Hosting In-Person Events and Meetings During COVID-19 were developed using the following resources:
Event host(s) should consider the risk of the intended event prior to submitting a facility reservation request. The more an individual interacts with others, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:
- Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and
- More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
- Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local
- Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local
Notification to Guests
Hello, before we get started, I would like to read the following policy statement:
Due to COVID-19 the following guidelines will need to occur according to the PA Dept of Health, CDC and West Chester University:
- Everyone is required to wear a mask while indoors except when eating
- Remain a minimum of 6 feet social distance at all time
- Try and limit touch points and remember to utilize the marked entries and exits to the room
- Make sure to wash your hands when necessary or utilize hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash your hands
Following these guidelines will help protect you and all other occupants of the building. We appreciate all you are doing to help protect our West Chester Community. Thank you!