Coronavirus Update Regarding Travel and Events

— Written By

[View Coronavirus / COVID-19 Updates from Administration]

Yesterday, NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson made public the university’s policy on classes and travel restrictions in response to the COVID-19 virus — see NC State’s coronavirus website. In addition to extending spring break through March 20, NC State is restricting travel of ALL university employees to meetings with fewer than 100 people. This includes meetings that we host. Also note that out-of-state travel will not be compensated.

This applies to all Extension personnel, including county-based employees, and is in effect at least through March 20.

You are encouraged to move meetings and trainings online if possible. Participation in and/or hosting of events of 100 or more people will be allowed only if you obtain university-level approval, which may be requested using the official Travel Exception Request. Within the form, the “Hosting An Event On Campus” option applies to all NC State events, both on- and off-campus.

This protocol encompasses not only our Extension meetings, but also events that are coordinated by other organizations that our employees will attend. Upon submitting a request, you will be contacted and given the opportunity to share more details and context.

I do not encourage asking for an exception aside from extreme cases and also with the consultation of District Extension Directors, Departmental Extension Leaders, State Program Leaders or my office beforehand. In addition, local governments may be more restrictive in their direction to county centers.

If you or your volunteers are hosting an event of less than 100 people, please understand that the risk is not eliminated. See the information below and consider suspending existing events. Our team is working to develop recommendations and guidelines for event cancellations and will share feedback as soon as possible.

We recommend not rescheduling events until we receive additional guidance. When making decisions regarding whether to host or participate in an event, there are several things you should consider:

  • If you or anyone you know is showing signs of the virus, please consider quarantining yourself, as well as seeking and encouraging others you’ve been in contact with to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • COVID-19 is especially problematic for older adults whose health is already compromised. This certainly represents some of our clientele.
  • Encourage all youth, volunteers and others to take appropriate precautions. You may consider canceling or postponing events for elderly people until further notice.
  • The World Health Organization has raised COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, to the level of a pandemic. Be sure to weigh the risk of attending or hosting an event against the immediate need for the event in question. We do not have a vaccine for this coronavirus, meaning it cannot be slowed down like the flu.
  • Above all else, we want Extension to be part of the solution and help prevent the spread of this virus that may endanger lives in the communities we serve.

We are dealing with a dynamic situation that may change daily or by the hour. Please continue referring to NC State’s coronavirus website for updates, and let us know if you have questions or need assistance with any decisions that may need to be made. We will do our best to keep you informed regarding state or university issued statements and guidance.

RichB

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