NASPA COVID Event Safety and Responsibility

NASPA Event Safety During the Pandemic

Updated May 2, 2022

As the COVID-19 Global Pandemic continues, NASPA is both cautiously optimistic and prepared to manage our place-based events with the health, safety, and well-being of our attendees, staff, presenters, exhibitors, sponsors, and speakers in mind. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, NASPA staff, service providers, and others are expected to abide by our code of conduct and all polices in effect for any event sponsored by the Association.

We will continue to monitor and update safety precautions for all of our conferences regularly and coordinate with trusted national resources, state and local public health agencies, and the hotels/venues hosting our events.

In all cases, we will continue to assess the risks in the area local to the event and the current status in the United States. In keeping with the Association's duty of care and the responsibility as host, NASPA has implemented safety requirements for many of our conferences. There may be some events during which the vaccination requirment is lifted, but for most NASPA conferences, these will be the policies and procedures required of our attendees at our events.

We reserve the right to modify these policies and procedures at any time given the rapidly changing nature of the current global pandemic. At this time, we will provide updates in bold below so that participants know when items have been updated.

On-site Participation Guidelines

Vaccination Requirement

In keeping with the Association's duty to care and responsibility as host, NASPA leadership has decided that all participants at NASPA events whether a presenter, attendee, exhibitor, staff, guest, or vendor will be required to be fully vaccinatedAs of January 16, 2022, the CDC updated their Vaccines website to indicate the status of "Fully Vaccinated" and "Up To Date". There may be some events held by NASPA state organizations which will not require vaccinations. Please visit those individual event pages for more information on those procedures.

  • "Full vaccination" means that either 14 days have passed since receiving the second dose of FDA or WHO authorized (or emergency use authorized) double-dozed vaccines or single-dose vaccine. Proof of vaccination will be required to attend NASPA events. 
  • "Up to Date" means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible. At this time, we are not requiring boosters of attendees.

We strongly encourage all attendees who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 Booster in addition to being fully vaccinated. NASPA is following the CDC definition of fully vaccinated for vaccination requirements, but we encourage individuals who are eligible to receive the booster prior to attending any NASPA event.

Attendees will be required to attest to their vaccination during the registration process and provide CDC-or WHO-approved proof of vaccination status during events. For those individuals who are not vaccinated, you will be offered the option to register but you will be required to provide documentation of a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours prior to arrival at the event venue. Note: At this time, testing is a permissible option, however, were a local, city, or state vaccination requirement be implemented, this would supercede NASPA's current policy with all attendees required to be vaccinated. Additionally, some NASPA states have different vaccination requirements. Please visit the specific event website for information regarding vaccination verification.

NASPA strongly encourages individuals to be tested for COVID prior to traveling to any NASPA event. Individuals who test positive should stay home and cancel your registration. If you are on-site and test positive for COVID-19, please contact NASPA staff by emailing [email protected]

Mask Requirement

UPDATED: At this time, each municipality has different requirements for masks. NASPA will follow the requirements of the locality in which a meeting/event is taking place in regard to masks. However, all participants at NASPA events are strongly encouraged to wear procedure (a.k.a. surgical) masks with at least 3 layers of fabric, KN95, KF94s, or N95 masks during the event.  The CDC updated their face coverings website on January 14, 2022Cloth masks and Gaiters will not be accepted as facial coverings at NASPA events. Individuals may choose to wear cloth masks over a procedure mask, KN95, KF94, or N95, but a cloth mask alone will not be permitted.

To help evaluate your mask purchase, please use the CDC website on evaluating purchases of KN95, N95, and other masks.

UPDATED: NASPA strongly encourages participants wear masks at all times, except while actively eating/drinking, and in any venue that is considered a NASPA event space (both on-site and off-site venues).  Masks should cover both the mouth and nose. We ask that participants honor the requests of others to mask up and/or maintain physical distancing.

Individuals who have a documented disability which precludes the wearing of a mask may request a modification to mask policies. Please contact Stephanie Gordon, vice president for professional development, and Amy Shopkorn, vice president for operations at [email protected], to discuss modification(s) to mask policies.

Physical Distancing

While many venues are not currently requiring physical distancing, NASPA will provide physically-distant seating and event space set-up to allow individuals who wish to physically distance while in sessions to do so comfortably. Additionally, to help attendees communicate their level of comfort in interacting with one another, NASPA will provide color-coded ribbons to all onsite attendees:

  • Red = Physical Distancing - Greet from Six Feet
  • Yellow= Elbows Only
  • Green = Handshakes and Hi-fives

Continued Planning

NASPA is continuing to develop onsite protocols for seating, signage, meals, and other events during NASPA events. More information will be posted on individual conference websites throughout the preparation for attendees' arrival in the various locations we hold events. 

COVID-19 Notice and Waiver

NASPA will require registrants to understand the place-based, in-person conferences are taking place during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Registrants will be asked to click "I understand" following reading the wavier information. If you are a registrant for one of our events, you will be asked to check an "I understand" button for this waiver. The waiver language is listed below:

COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization and is extremely contagious. NASPA has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at our various events; however, NASPA cannot guarantee that attendees will not become infected with COVID-19. By registering for the a NASPA event, I,

    • acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19;
    • voluntarily assume the risk that I may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 by attending the NASPA event which exposure or infection may come from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and others, including, but not limited to, NASPA employees, volunteers, and program participants and their families; 
    • acknowledge that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and death; and 
    • hereby release, covenant not to sue, discharge, and hold harmless NASPA, its employees, agents, and representatives, of and from any injury to me resulting from being exposed to or infected by COVID-19 in connection with my attendance at a NASPA event (including claims based on the actions, omissions, or negligence of NASPA, its employees, agents, and representatives).

 

Venue and Location COVID-19 Safety Information

NASPA event planners will ensure that cleaning and sanitation guidelines and procedures are listed from vendors, facilities, and local areas. We are gathering these processes and procedures and will update this page as we confirm the requirements for each venue.

NASPA is contracting event space from the venue and therefore is able to maintain rules and regulations for that space alone. The Association is not responsible, nor are we able to, require masks or vaccination for the other spaces or areas where the conference is being held. NASPA is not able to require vaccinations of the venue’s staff, but we can require masking of staff working NASPA contracted space.

Health Screening and Reducing the Spread

NASPA recommends that all participants screen themselves daily for symptoms. Symptoms may appear 2 – 14 days after exposure to the virus. The following symptoms are outlined on the CDC Website indicating an individual may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Individuals who have these symptoms and are unwell should not attend a place-based event. Additionally, if the person is onsite, affected individuals should notify event organizers to allow for additional communication to participants.

Reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 by:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If water is not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Personnel must be able to wash their hands after touching any surface/tool suspected of being contaminated, before and after eating or using the restroom, and before touching their face.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Practicing physical distancing
  • Wearing a mask when indoors
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home while sick and avoiding close contact with others
  • Covering your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately disposing of the used tissue

The CDC provides detailed information on when and how to wash your hands. When to wash your hands:

  • Key times to wash your hands (or use hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to soap and water) include:
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after treating a wound
  • Before and after removing gloves or other personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Before exiting a laboratory
  • After using the toilet
  • After contact with frequently touched surfaces (e.g., elevators, lobby areas, reception desks)
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

For further information, please visit the following websites: