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.
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. 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:
A. 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.
B. Daily Protocol: Daily check-in screening will include symptom checks.
C. Attendance Tracking: Event ho(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 regulations.
D. Signage: Event Host and Conference Services Representative will do a walkthrough prior to the event to determine signage needs per current CDC and State Guidelines.
E. Social distancing: Though not required, it is still encouraged to maintain social distancing when possible.
F. Face masks: Masks covering the nose and mouth are required for all individuals within indoor spaces where three (3) feet of social distancing is not possible regardless of vaccination status. Mask wearing is not required in outdoor spaces throughout campus.
G. Covid Mitigation Plan – If an attendee or staff at an event tests positive for Covid-19, it should be reported to the conference director immediately and to West Chester University leadership. The event host agrees to follow appropriate quarantine and contract tracing protocol set forth PA Department of Health’s Considerations for large gatherings policy.
Guests in the residence halls must be tested for COVID-19 using a Rapid Antigen 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 must continue to wear face masks in common areas where three feet distancing cannot be maintained, regardless of vaccination status. 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:
A. 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.
B. Hand Sanitizer: West Chester University will provide Hand Sanitizer Stations at entrance and exit points of each building.
C. Face Masks: University Staff will be supplied with face masks and will wear them inside where three feet of social distancing cannot be maintained regardless of vaccination status.
In addition to what is required, all event host(s) should consider the following in planning an in-person event
A. Prioritize outdoor venues where social distancing can be maintained as much as possible.
B. Limit the number of guests.
C. Limit the length of events and schedule breaks to shorten the time attendees are exposed to each other.
D. Limit speakers and live performances and avoid the sharing of microphones or other equipment that may pose a health risk.
E. Limit person-to-person contact by providing event documents, such as programs or post-event evaluations, in electronic form.
F. Monitor entrances and exits to prevent congregation and consider staggering arrival times to ease crowds at access points.
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 designees.
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 cancelled
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.