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JacksRBack Event Protocols

Events Update

Posted November 17, 2020, in effect until further notice.

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates both in Brookings County and statewide, substantial community spread status in Brookings and other counties, and in an effort to slow potential transmission, effective Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, and reviewed on an ongoing basis, the SDSU COVID Response Team is adhering to the following event limitations:

  • Events are limited to those essential to deployment of the SDSU mission regardless of the number of participants;
  • All non-essential events are recommended to move to virtual events where possible;
  • Approval of SDSU-sponsored event travel is limited to activities that are essential to the SDSU mission;
  • SDSU mission-essential indoor events or activities remain limited to adjusted COVID facility capacities, with preference to no more than 120 participants in indoor venues;
  • Non-SDSU, but SDSU mission-essential events, as defined in the JRB Event Protocols, continue to require COVID Response Team review and approval. No events for external groups with more than 60 participants will be approved, regardless of adjusted COVID capacity or internal or external location;
  • Previously approved group activities that have not yet occurred and which are not aligned with these provisions will be revoked, placed on hold, or deferred until conditions change;
  • Limitations do not affect NCAA Intercollegiate Athletics programming, which have separate, more stringent COVID protocols established in accordance with NCAA requirements.

Individuals should continue to follow the SDSU JacksRBack Event Protocols and seek approval from COVID Response Team for events when necessary. Please be aware that COVID Response Team large group event exception approvals are conditional and may be modified based on changes in the COVID situation.

This is an evolving situation, and the COVID Response Team will monitor community transmission levels and may lift these limitations earlier if community transmission levels decrease. The COVID Response Team may also impose future more restrictive measures based on the situation.  Please continue to watch for communications from this team and/or modify plans accordingly and resubmit. Thank you for your cooperation during this difficult and uncertain time.

SDSU JacksRBack Event Protocols

The SDSU events protocols are grounded in the SDSU Guiding Principles for Return to Campus and SDSU COVID-19 Protocols. While these protocols are specific to operations in a pandemic, it is important to note that South Dakota Board of Regents policies, SDSU policies and procedures, local, state and federal law will be followed in addition to these protocols.  In addition, the following event specific guiding principles have been developed:

  1. For purposes of this guidance, an “event” is defined as any planned gathering of attendees, either indoors or outdoors, regardless of the number of attendees, that is considered a special public or social occasion and is not an integrated part of a unit’s routine campus operations. This definition includes performing arts performances and athletic competitions.
  2. Unit leaders are responsible for scheduling regular meetings that are traditionally integrated into the unit. Once non-campus external individuals are included, the meeting becomes an event. Affiliated organizations, as defined by facility use policy, and contractors in their performance of their contract at SDSU would be considered internal for this definition.
  3. Student organization official meetings where business is conducted would not be considered an event.
  4. The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading. The South Dakota Department of Health guidance should be consulted when planning an event.
  5. The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering.

Definitions

Athletic Competitions/Performing Arts Performance: Limited to the competition or performance itself.  All events before and after the competition/performance are considered a separate event and must adhere to the University Events protocols.

Event: any planned gathering of attendees, either indoors or outdoors, regardless of the number of attendees, that is considered a special public or social occasion and is not an integrated part of a unit’s routine campus operations. This definition includes performing arts performances and athletic competitions.

Event Managers/Organizers: individual(s) planning and executing events on behalf of the University, student organization or other University affiliated entity. In some cases the facility manager and event manager may be the same party. Event managers may also be external to campus and using a campus facility to host their event.

Facility Managers: individuals with scheduling, oversight and management of property and spaces on the campus of South Dakota State University.

Gatherings:For this purpose, a gathering is a group of 2 or more people coming together without prearrangement.

Household Unit: Any group of 2 or more people that either live in the same housing unit (i.e. roommates/suitemates, same floor and wing of residence hall, same apartment, or same dwelling) will be considered a household unit for the purposes of this document.  This definition has a basis in allowing those individuals in a common exposure group to remain together at events given their significant exposure to one another.

Interactive Events: An interactive event is an event where participants do not have a designated “space” to occupy, movement around the event facility is unrestricted or has minimal restrictions, and high levels of interaction with others is a core component of the event.  Examples of interactive events includes but is not limited to receptions, banquets, dances, social programs, open houses, fairs (career, academic, club, community, etc.), tailgating, parades, etc.

Non-SDSU Event: Any event that is not sponsored by SDSU or an affiliated organization to SDSU. Facilities with shared interest with a non-SDSU entity would be considered an SDSU event for this definition (i.e. the Oscar Larsen Performing Arts Center is shared between the City, Brookings School District, and SDSU).

Stationary Events: A stationary event is an event where participants, upon entry into the event facility, will go to a seat or space where they remain for the duration of the event. Upon event conclusion, participants exit the facility. This type of event most closely mirrors the traditional academic classroom setting.  Examples of stationary events could be: a lecture, a panel presentation, a pinning/hooding ceremony, convocation, commencement, concert, a theater production, an athletic competition, etc.

Vendors/Contractors: Individuals or companies in which the facility or event manager exchange goods and services for a fee.

Protocols for University Events

  • Events will be held virtually when in red COVID-19 status. When in orange and yellow COVID-19 status, event organizers should strongly consider virtual options for hosting events, and at a minimum, provide a virtual attendance option for individuals unable to participate in person. In green COVID-19 status, events may be held in person without pandemic restrictions.
    • When hosting events virtually, event managers should adhere to ADA and Web Accessibility Guidelines to include captioning of live and recorded events.
  • All SDSU-sponsored events, regardless of location, and non-SDSU sponsored events held on SDSU property, will follow, at a minimum, the protocols outlined in this plan.
    • For SDSU sponsored events held off-site, the SDSU entity hosting the event will follow SDSU event protocols and facility protocols. Where conflict arises, the SDSU entity will follow the more stringent of the protocols.
  • Non-SDSU events will follow the same protocols as SDSU-sponsored events.
    • Non-SDSU events will not be allowable in orange and red status without approval of COVID-19 team and JacksRBack task force.
  • Event space reservations should be prioritized as follows:
    1. Academic classes
    2. Facility Owner (i.e. Union: Student Organizations, Frost Arena: Athletics, PAC: Performing Arts, etc.)
    3. Admissions
    4. Divisions, Colleges and Departments
    5. Non-SDSU individuals/entities
      *Where a conflict exists, date of reservation and this prioritization will be considered in determining the priority.
  • Pandemic Capacity Parameters:
    • Indoor facility pandemic capacity will be posted for each facility on site and available online at https://www.sdstate.edu/jacksrback/room-capacities
    • Outdoor space pandemic capacity will be based upon 113 ft2 per person to determine maximum number of individuals in a space.  Maximum pandemic capacity will be available online at https://www.sdstate.edu/jacksrback/room-capacities.
    • No in-person event will exceed pre-pandemic maximum capacity (green); 120 individuals (yellow); 60 individuals (orange); or 0 individuals (red) but may be smaller based upon the pandemic capacity of the facility. Gatherings do have separate guidance regarding maximum number of individuals which can be found online at https://www.sdstate.edu/jacksrback/room-capacities.
      • Events exceeding these capacities will require prior approval by the SDSU COVID-19 team and JacksRBack team. Approval will require development of a full plan to mitigate risk which must be presented to the COVID-19 team a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the event.
    • Maximum attendee capacity will be maximum pandemic capacity minus number of staff required to manage the facility. How to determine capacity for an event:
      • What is the maximum pandemic capacity for the facility?
      • If food will be available, how many catering staff will be necessary to manage the event?
      • How many staff will be required to manage the facility under the events protocols (to include staff that will share the designated attendee space with attendees)?
        * Student athletes/coaches/trainers competing and performers/technicians will not be included in the maximum pandemic capacity for an athletic competition or performing arts performance.
  • Individuals from the same household unit will be allowed to be seated/occupy space without a minimum of 6 feet social distancing.
  • Adequate staff must be in place to effectively manage the event to include enforcement of these protocols, but without excessive staff that crowd rooms or registration areas.  This may increase the number of individuals required to host an event.
  • Per standard protocol, ALL events involving food must be catered through the University contracted food service provider, Aramark.  Aramark will have appropriate protocols in place to operate catering events in a safe manner during the pandemic.
  • Meetings/Events in departments and colleges should use spaces geographically closest or physically available to them.
  • Lobby and reception areas that are currently used for events and pre-/post-function activities (i.e. PAC lobby, VBR lobby) will remain offline unless COVID-19 status is green. 
  • Individuals requesting reasonable accommodations will follow the standard University process for such requests.
  • Cleaning protocols for events will be managed by the facility team responsible for the facility.
  • All events will require all applicable liability waivers, contracts, SAARF language, etc. for the type of event found here: https://insidestate.sdstate.edu/presoffice/ogc/_layouts/15/WopiFrame2.aspx?sourcedoc=/presoffice/ogc/Standard%20Templates/COVID-19%20Related%20Documents/Use%20of%20COVID-19%20Waivers%20and%20Releases.docx&action=default

Stationary Event Protocols

In addition to the above Protocols for University Events, the following will be adhered to for stationary events:

  • A minimum of 10 feet will be present between presenters and audience.
  • A Plexiglas barrier will be in place between the speaker and the audience, where practicable.
  • In some facilities, the first row of seating may not be available for use to maintain the 10 feet distance between the presenter and audience.
  • Efforts should be made to seat from the middle outward to minimize contact between attendees.
  • Social distancing is expected at all times during the event. Row seating will require 6 feet between rows and, in facilities where seating is fixed, a minimum of one row will remain vacant between occupied rows.
  • A plan must be in place, and adhered to, to enter and exit the observing social distancing and adequate staff will be in place to direct individuals.
  • Signage will be clearly visible to direct traffic flow.

Interactive Event Protocols

In addition to the above Protocols for University Events, the following will be adhered to for interactive events:

  • Attempts to minimize interactions will be made where practicable.
  • Tracking of number of individuals in the facility at any given time will be required to manage capacity. Outdoor facilities that do not have entry and exit points will be exempt from this requirement, however capacity limits must still be followed.
  • Social distancing is expected at all times during the event.
  • Cloth face coverings are required for all individuals when social distancing is not possible.
  • Entry and exit points will be clearly designated within the facility observing social distancing with adequate staff will be in place to direct individuals. Outdoor facilities that do not have entry and exit points will be exempt from this requirement.
  • Signage will be clearly visible to promote SDSU guidelines and direct traffic flow.

Event Plan Submission Guidelines for COVID-19 Review

Each event exceeding the maximum pandemic capacity will develop a management plan to hold the event due to the increased risk associated with hosting the event. This management plan must be submitted a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the event to the COVID-19 team for review. The COVID-19 team must approve the management plan. The management plan must address, at a minimum, the following:

  1. Name of Event and Reservation #:
  2. Date and Location of Event:
  3. COVID Capacity of Reserved Space:
  4. Sponsor of Event:
  5. Event Manager Name/Email:
    *Event Manager is individual that will be responsible for the event.
  6. Number of Attendees Expected:
    *Event manager may also opt to include options for approval if anticipated attendance is larger.
  7. What type of event is this? (stationary or interactive based on the JRB Event Protocol Definitions)
  8. Length of Event and Proposed timeframe to include Setup/teardown
  9. What is the purpose of the event?
  10. If the event is an SDSU-sponsored event, what is the impact to the university mission of not hosting the event?
  11. Is it possible to host the event virtually? If not, why?
  12. Is it possible, given the type of event, to effectively enforce the SDSU pandemic event protocols with all participants? If yes, how will this be achieved? Please describe how the event will be managed in conformity with JacksRBack protocols and CDC Guidance. (Add more space to the box)
  13. Who will be responsible for ensuring event protocols are met?
  14. What is the staff plan to operate the event? Do you have the human resources necessary to enforce the SDSU pandemic event protocols? Please specify staff responsibilities.  (Add more space to the box)
  15. Will you need additional staff in order to enforce the SDSU pandemic event protocols? If so, how many?
  16. Will the increased staff cost to manage the event exceed the budget for the event and/or does the cost to host the event outweigh the benefit of hosting the event?
  17. How will you communicate with attendees the SDSU guidelines for event attendance?
  18. How many entry points will be used and how will you utilize those entry points to ensure attendees are spaced out appropriately?  Please consider how queuing lines or entrances will be managed.
  19. How many exit points and how will you have attendees exit to ensure they are spaced out? Please consider how exits will be managed. (All at once, in waves, etc.)
  20. How will you track the number of individuals in the facility at one time as to not exceed capacity? This includes tracking those entering and exiting the facility at all times.
  21. Will there be food service/catering? If so, how will the food be distributed and what is the overall food plan? Will there be announcements/reminders to use face coverings when consumption is finished?
  22. What cleaning and disinfecting plan are in place upon entry, during and after event? Attach or link to a Facility or Operational plan if available.
  23. In the case of inclement weather, do you have an alternative plan? Will the event be held virtually?  Please outline your inclement weather plan here and address how you will adapt to and manage traffic in the indoor space and how you will notify attendees.
    *If you cannot adequately provide details for your plan in the appropriate space, please provide an attachment with details.

Logistical Protocols

Events are an important part of the University experience for students, staff and guests.  While events during a global pandemic will look very different, the following outlines the responsibilities of facility managers, event managers, and outside vendors.  Communication and nimbleness is essential to ensure that events can still happen at South Dakota State University.

Expectations of Facility Managers:

  • Enforce and inform room capacities based on the type of activity taking place in the space. They should communicate the impacts of a change in the COVID-19 Status to include the limited notice that may be given.
  • Inform event managers of cleaning and sanitizing practices of the facility. Additionally, adequate trash receptacles will be available based upon the event needs.
  • Inform and reinforce that facility staff, affiliate staff and outside vendor staff must be included in the room capacity numbers.
  • Ensure that appropriate time is allotted from room setup and preparation to allow for limited overlap of attendees and general building traffic.
  • Provide signage in common spaces about social distancing, hygiene practices and encourage the wearing of face coverings.
  • Ensure that facility staff are following the guiding principles set forth by the JacksRBack task force.
  • Require cloth face coverings for facility staff when social distancing may not be attainable by the nature of the tasks at hand.
  • Communicate with campus affiliates (i.e. Aramark, State Tech, University Police Department) of a COVID-19 status change and its impact on events scheduled in the respective facilities under their purview. 
  • Ensure the necessary waivers and/or clauses are included in their facility reservation forms to ensure the University is free of liabilities related to COVID-19.
  • Facility managers will clearly communicate the process and materials needed for event exceptions to the COVID-19 Response Team and JacksRBack Task Force for approval based on the color coded chart or further restrictions put in place based on community spread. Facility managers will communicate approvals or denials with the support team for the event to include Aramark, State Tech, University Police Department, and others involved.

Expectations of Event Managers

  • Communicate with event attendees prior to registering/attending of the University’s Guiding principles, event protocols and expectations at events held, on campus proper, remote sites, and off-campus facilities. Reinforce that South Dakota State University sponsored events, regardless of their location, will follow protocols set forth.
  • Event managers should clearly outline the impacts of the COVID-19 status to event attendees and how they will be notified of a change and its impacts to the event.
  • Ensure that there is a process in place to acquire the appropriate waivers for event attendees.
  • Ensure that the appropriate statements or messages are read at the start of the program as set forth by the JacksRBack guidelines on events.
  • Put in place the appropriate tracking of attendees through a registration system or other form that limits the need for a sign-in station with shared materials.
  • Tracking of attendees should be done by the event organizer in a manner that minimizes contact and shared items.  The event organizer should maintain this record for 30 days following the event.
  • Ensure appropriate event staff needed to execute the event, but without excessive staff that crowd rooms or registration areas.
  • Distribution of swag/giveaways should be restricted.  Programs and items pertinent to the function of the event should be delivered digitally when possible and will meet accessibility standards.
  • Work with the facility, affiliates, and outside vendors to ensure that their staff are included in the room capacities.
  • Clearly explain and work with outside vendors the impact of the COVID-19 Status and the impacts of a change.
  • Ensure they are comfortable with the potential losses as it pertains to a short cancellation or change in plans of an event.
  • When possible, provide a virtual option in conjunction of the live event that meets accessibility guidelines.
  • In an outdoor space, the event manager assumes the role of the facility manager.

Expectations of Vendors/Outside Contractors:

  • Outside vendors should encourage masking or follow their company and current
  • University policy, whichever is more stringent.
  • Food and Beverage protocols will be in place by Aramark and will be no deviation from those guidelines.  Outside food vendors will not be permitted during this time, unless their safety guidelines and plan are approved by the JacksRBack Task force and the COVID-19 Response Team.
  • Outside vendors should provide clear and consistent communication regarding the impacts of an event cancellation or change in the scope of the event. 

Communication Protocols

Communicating event expectations is an essential part of ensuring the health and safety of the university’s faculty, staff, students and guests. Protocols and expectations will be available to hosts and attendees through an events webpage. Content for the hosts will include venue options with adapted occupancies to account for social distancing, information regarding SDSU specific health and safety guidelines and color code consideration.

  • A website hosted on sdstate.edu will be developed to include information in Addendum A.
  • SDSU COVID-19 Status is available on the sdstate.edu homepage and event managers and attendees will be informed of where to find this information which may impact the event.
  • Appropriate signage communicating SDSU guidelines will be prominently displayed at all events.
  • Appropriate signage to direct traffic flow will be prominently displayed at all events.
  • Communicate in advance of event about event modifications to manage expectations:
    • maximum event capacity/RSVP deadlines
    • event ticketing
    • physical distancing guidelines
    • staggered arrival/departure times
    • Ingress/egress plans
  • Prior to the start of any event, the following statement will be read:
    • South Dakota State University takes the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and are doing all that we can to help mitigate its effects on our campus and the surrounding community.  We ask that you please adhere to any notifications throughout the building, maintain appropriate social distancing, and respect the additional precautions we are taking to allow collaborations and connections, such as these events, to continue to take place safely and responsibly.  Stay safe and thank you for joining us this evening.
      *If there are many more requirements from logistics that must be called out specifically, they will be done so here as well.
  • Event toolkit including
    • Symptom signage, before entering
    • Hand Washing
    • Face Covering Guidance
    • Maintain Social Distancing
    • Wayfinding / One-Way Traffic
    • “In order to limit exposure and movement, please do not leave this event space” type signage
    • Guidelines for Food and Beverage

Addendum A: Hosting Events Website

https://www.sdstate.edu/jacksrback/hosting-events

**Event website will be updated as deemed necessary, but at a minimum should address the questions outlined in this document.

Hosting an Event on Campus:

  • Planning Your Event
    • Where can I host my event?  Can the room be setup for appropriate Social Distancing?
      • During the COVID-19 facilities may have altered the priority of their space, the following will be the priority for determining use:
        1. Academic classes
        2. Facility Owner (i.e. Union: Student Organizations, Frost Arena: Athletics, PAC: Performing Arts, etc.)
        3. Admissions
        4. Divisions, Colleges and Departments
        5. Non-SDSU individuals/entities
          *Where a conflict exists, date of reservation and this prioritization will be considered in determining the priority.
      • Occupancy/Room Layout Options will be provided by the facility manager for that location.
    • Are there any unique factors for hosting an event on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
      • Call out any specific parameters (Link back to document)
      • Red, Orange, Yellow, Green Chart – highlighting factors that affect events
  • Pre-Event Communications and Preparations
    • Is there anything specific that I need to communicate to our attendees in advance?
      • Symptom information, any logistics requirements
      • Videos that show “what campus may look like” – while may not be directly applicable, may help them to “see” what to expect
    • Is there anything specific that I need to bring or prepare in advance of the event?
      • Use specifics from Logistical Protocols
    • Do I need to prepare any specific signage for the event?
      • Outline signage provided by facility.
      • Signage available for download: Branded by either CDC or SDSU
        • Symptom signage, before entering
        • Hand Washing
        • Masks – SDSU COVID-19 Graphic
        • Maintain Social Distancing (either “stand here” type signs or “bunny tracks” on the floor, etc…)
        • Wayfinding / One-Way Traffic
        • “In order to limit exposure and movement, please do not leave this event space” type signage
        • Guidelines for Food and Beverage (buffet tables, seated dinners)
        • Sign-in sheet (for use when an electronic sign-in or registration is not feasible)
  • Hosting Your Event
    • Do I need to make any specific announcements at the start of our event regarding COVID-19?
      • Statement to read at the start of events:
        • Sample:  South Dakota State University takes the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and are doing all that we can to help mitigate its effects on our campus and the surrounding community.  We ask that you please adhere to any notifications throughout the building, maintain appropriate social distancing, and respect the additional precautions we are taking to allow collaborations and connections, such as these events, to continue to take place safely and responsibly.  Stay safe and thank you for joining us this evening.
          • *If there are many more requirements from logistics that must be called out specifically, they will be done so here as well.
    • As the event planner, what am I responsible to bring on the day-of the event?
      • Clarify again what’s expected facility vs. planner
  • After the Event
    • Attendee lists will be retained by the event organizer.

Attending an Event on Campus:

  • Are there any unique factors for hosting an event on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
    • Call out any specific parameters (define an event, External vs. Internal, etc..)
    • Red, Orange, Yellow, Green Chart – highlighting factors that affect events
  • Do I need to do anything different when attending an event on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
    • Receive and review information from event host
    • Symptom information, any logistics requirements
    • Videos that show “what campus may look like” – while may not be directly applicable, may help them to “see” what to expect
  • If I attend an event, and later learn of an exposure to COVID-19, what do I need to do to report that to the university?
    • Make sure event organizers is clearly listed on the event calendar page.