COVID Best Practices

Pi Sigma Epsilon COVID 19 Response

Best Practices for In-Person Meetings and Events

Pi Sigma Epsilon is planning to proceed with all of our in-person meetings and events including the Fall 2021 Regional Conferences and the PSE National Convention in March 2022. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation daily and will adjust based on additional feedback from the meeting destination and venue. Safety and Health are our primary concerns. Please go to pse.org for the most updated information.

World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/ 

Center for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/ 

US Travel Association (USTA): https://www.ustravel.org/ 

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS): https://www.hhs.gov/

Meeting destination Convention and Visitors Bureau

Local municipality – city or county

Meeting Hotel or Convention Center or Venue

COVID-19 is a communicable, respiratory disease that can cause severe illness in some people. COVID-19 is easily transmitted from person to person in close contact through the respiratory droplets and aerosol particles released by infected persons during coughing, sneezing, singing, talking, and breathing. Since 2019, the spread of COVID-19 has had a devastating impact around the world. 

COVID-19 vaccines greatly reduce your chance of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. The majority of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are occurring in people who are not fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning it has been two weeks or longer since they have finished their vaccine series, can feel safer engaging in social situations. 

Vaccination continues to be our best layer of protection against COVID-19, especially when paired with other public health best practices. If you are fully vaccinated, you should still wear masks in certain settings, including public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high transmission. You may also choose to wear a mask, regardless of the level of transmission, especially if you are around someone who is at increased risk of severe disease.

The virus spreads mainly through person-to-person contact. The virus is also thought to spread through aerosolized droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Additionally, the virus is expectedly able to be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. This form of transmission requires the person to then touch their own nose, mouth and potentially eyes. SYMPTOMS Symptom’s of the 2019 (COVID-19) range in severity from mild to severe and in some cases result in death. Often showing similar signs and symptoms to Influenza (Flu), coronavirus is primarily a respiratory illness.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting & diarrhea in some cases 
  • Fever may not be present in all cases

The CDC recommends the following general respiratory disease spread precautions:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Personal actions supporting the collective well-being

A code of conduct is a collection of rules and regulations that include what is and is not acceptable or expected behavior.

The Fraternity offers the following guidelines outlining steps that can be implemented to provide as safe an environment as possible when meeting in person. Responsibility is shared equally among event organizers, the event venues, and the event attendees – all have a role to play in the mitigation of risk. The code of conduct below is meant to serve as a reminder and inspiration to know that if we all collectively respect the significance of this contribution, we are by definition advocating for the well-being of our fellow event participants.

Code of Conduct

Before Leaving Home

  • Follow relevant guidance provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), or your local health authority.
  • Adhere to government-issued travel restrictions and guidance issued by the region where you will be traveling and the region you are traveling from.
  • Evaluate your own health and that of people you are in close contact with; contact the meeting/event organizers if you have concerns.
  • Stay home if you feel sick.

On-site During the Event

Follow guidance from your local health authority, for everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Agree to have your temperature taken before entering the meeting/event venue if required by the event organizers.
  • Agree to wear a mask or facial covering, if required by the event organizers.
  • Adhere to social distance protocols put in place by the event organizers and respect others’ personal space.
  • Go to the event First Aid office (or equivalent) at any time, if you feel unwell or are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Post-Event

Based on current contact tracing advice from many health authorities, if you test positive for COVID-19 up to 14 days after returning home, please contact the meeting/event organizers to advise them.

(must be completed as part of the event registration process; statement is repeated as part of the event registration acknowledgment email)

  • I acknowledge that PSE cannot guarantee that I will not be exposed to or contract a Communicable Disease at the event.
  • I agree to abide by all applicable COVID-19-related requirements, advisories, policies, procedures, and protocols of  the host city, hotel, and PSE, as well as the CDC, respective PSE Event sponsors & partners, and any other governmental authority for the duration of the event. 
  • I understand the risk that I may be exposed to or infected by a Communicable Disease by attending the PSE Regional Conference. 
  • I knowingly and freely assume all such risks, both known and unknown, and assume full personal responsibility for my participation in the PSE Regional Conference. 
  • In doing so, I release PSE and all of their staff and contractors from liability should I become ill, directly or indirectly, as a result of my participation in this event.

Areas for Communication to be Posted:

  • At Registration desk
  • On Backside of Badges
  • As flyer, postcard, or handout that can be folded or placed into back of badges
  • Additional Signage
  • Verbally communicated as part of speakers housekeeping notes 
  • PSE maintains attendee contact information (phone, text, and email) for purposes of communicating with attendees pre, onsite, and post-event.

Other Considerations:

  • Check state and local websites for any new updates pertaining to meetings.

PSE event attendees are expected to abide by all national, state, local and venue COVID safety guidelines. In addition, the Fraternity has adopted the following procedures during in-person meetings and events:

  • Please do not to travel if you are sick or not feeling well.
  • PSE recommends no handshakes or other physical contact. Consider a wave or elbow bump!
  • Social distancing of 6’ is recommended whenever possible.
  • Masks and hand sanitizer are available for attendees at the event registration table.
  • During the meeting, PSE will collect and record a health self-assessment and temperature check for each attendee daily before admittance into the event. 
  • An attendee who has any flu-like symptoms or who has a fever over 100.1 degrees will not be admitted to the event without taking a rapid COVID test. 
  • A negative result of a rapid COVID test may be adequate for admittance to the event. However, it is advised that attendees with a negative COVID test result but who have a fever of 100.1 or higher, or who have flu-like symptoms, refrain from participating or wear a mask covering the nose and mouth and keep a social distance of 6’ for the duration of the event in an abundance of caution for the well-being of other event participants. 
  • Results of the rapid COVID test will be shared with an on-site PSE official representative and the attendee’s chapter president and advisor. Beyond these disclosures, results of the rapid COVID test will remain confidential unless further disclosure is required by law. 
  • Should the attendee test positive, the attendee agrees to isolate/quarantine and abide by all recommendations of the CDC and the event venue during this time and will not be allowed access to the event.
  • Due to the current global health emergency, if at any time the behavior or actions of an attendee poses a health or safety risk to other event participants, they may be asked to leave and will not receive a refund for their event registration.

During PSE meetings and events, attendees will select the appropriate lanyard color based on their social distancing comfort level and preferences. This system will allow participants to communicate their own preferences and easily recognize another attendee’s preferences with regard to social distancing. 

Red Lanyard – prefer to stay socially distanced during the event

Yellow Lanyard – prefer no physical contact during the event (including handshakes)

Green Lanyard – comfortable with regular social interactions during the event

PSE has reviewed the following guidelines/expectations with the event venue:

  • The venue has outlined in writing its COVID safety measures that have been put in place for the safety of event participants including but not limited to, increased cleaning of surfaces that are frequently touched including doorknobs, chair tops, elevator buttons, escalator railings, bathroom doors, the tops of any garbage cans or garbage can and recycling bin openings, bathroom vanity tops, bathroom faucets, bathroom flush levers, paper towel holders, changing tables, etc
  • PSE has reviewed and confirmed the venue’s crisis guidelines
  • PSE has confirmed that the venue will provide an increased number of hand sanitizers available, and consider hand sanitation stations at the entrance to each meeting room, at the front desk, in the lobby, foyer spaces, etc.
  • Ask the venue to ensure warmer water is flowing and to set faucets accordingly.
  • Ensure the soap being used at the venue is proven an effective disinfectant.
  • Require staff to wear disposable gloves, at a minimum mandate all venue banquet servers to wear gloves at all functions where food service is occurring, with documentation of proper training on how to avoid contamination of food being served.

Meeting Rooms:

The following meeting room sets are requested for all PSE functions:

  • Set 2 per six-foot versus 3 per six-foot
  • 60” rounds set with six or seven chairs versus 8 or more
  • 66” rounds set with no more than seven to eight
  • 72” rounds set no more than seven to eight
  • If setting theater-style allow extra space between chairs versus having all chairs butt up against each other
  • For exhibit halls/trade shows, set aisles wider with the flow of traffic going one way per aisle.

Food & Beverage:

  • When selecting banquet breaks packaged or wrapped food items will be provided when possible.
  • Offer on-site or on breaks EmergenC, Airborne, vitamin C.
  • Water stations should only use push bar dispensing water coolers.
  • Meals will include individually wrapped products when possible.
  • For served meals, PSE has requested stations where trained attendants serve the food.

Front Desk and Sleeping rooms:

  • Placemarks for people to stand 6’ part when waiting in front desk line to check-in.
  • Add more staff at the front desk and an additional temporary terminal to minimize lines
  • Do not offer room keys if the hotel has an app for electronic keys.
  • Staff should be continuously cleaning public areas as well as elevator buttons.
  • Stand-up self-dispensing sanitizers should be placed next to elevator doors.
  • Sleeping room door handles to be cleaned and sanitized as housekeepers are cleaning.
  • Suggest that the hotel remove throw pillows, decorative throws, and bed runners from rooms.
  • Add hand sanitizer in bathrooms.
  • Plastic bags are offered in rooms for use to cover remote controls in guest rooms (television remotes and other remotes).

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