We’re now just about two weeks from the 2021 NASCOE National Convention in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and it’s time to get excited!! It’s been too long since many of us were able to see each other in person and this year’s convention is shaping up to be a fantastic event.
We hope that you’ve been hearing a lot of exciting details about the National Convention and there will certainly be more information to follow. Unfortunately, we know that the COVID-19 pandemic is still significantly impacting our lives, both in and out of work. This bulletin/email is intended to focus on COVID-19 safety protocols and to remind attendees of some best practices as they prepare for the upcoming trip. It’s going to be important that everyone does their part to behave in a safe and responsible manner leading up to, during, and after the convention.
- The NASCOE Executive Committee has determined that NASCOE will follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for the 2021 National Convention. We will not be distinguishing between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals during official functions, therefore NASCOE will be requiring all attendees, volunteers, and vendors to adhere to the CDC protocols for unvaccinated individual for large events found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/large-gatherings.html.
- NASCOE has put into place precautionary measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 among attendees, however all attendees and their guests will need to acknowledge the risks associated with attending the National Convention by completing a release of liability form at registration. The release can be reviewed ahead of time by visiting the NASCOE website at https://nascoe.org/convention-information/2021-nascoe-convention/. While we hope it doesn’t come to it, any attendee, NASCOE member or otherwise, who does not follow the requirements will be asked to leave the convention.
- The current guidance includes wearing a mask to protect yourself and others. So please don’t forget to bring an ample number of masks to the convention. You will be required to wear your facemask during all NASCOE meetings and events, except with actively eating or drinking. Information on the correct wearing of facemasks can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html.
- To the greatest extent possible, you should practice social distancing while at the convention. The CDC recommends staying 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your household. Remember, some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Monitor your health daily. Watch for fever, cough, and shortness of breath, as well as other symptoms https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html. Do not travel to the convention if you have these symptoms or have recently tested positive for COVID-19, are waiting on COVID-19 results, or have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19
- Prior to traveling, monitor the COVID-19 levels in both your hometown and the site of the National Convention. You can find trends for your area at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailytrendscases. Additionally, you can find status advisories for Allen County at https://www.allencountyhealth.com/get-informed/covid-19/ and for the entire state of Indiana at https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/.
- During travel, the CDC requires wearing a mask over your nose and mouth on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation. More information can be found at https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus and https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/Mask-Order-CDC_GMTF_01-29-21-p.pdf. If driving, consider using disposable gloves when pumping fuel, using hand sanitizer frequently, and wearing masks when appropriate.
- Sharing of items is discouraged. Consider bringing your own pens, paper, and any other items needed for the meetings. Bringing a personal water bottle for individual use is also highly encouraged.
- Management may require individuals to quarantine upon return from personal travel. This may depend on your individual vaccination status. You should communicate with your supervisor or State Office to determine if there is a need for quarantine or telework upon returning from the convention.
While these measures may seem extraneous, there is nothing more important to NASCOE than the safety of our members. This has been true throughout the pandemic as we’ve worked and communicated both internally and with National Office leadership.
With the appropriate precautions, we know that everyone will be able to have a great time while appreciating that they and their fellow members are as safe as possible.
Thank you for your support and cooperation,