Event Guidelines

Meetings and Events Guidelines

The University of Texas is implementing mitigation and social distancing strategies in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) while also supporting our students’ educational goals and the needs of staff and faculty members and students. While courses, meetings and gatherings are being assessed for alternative delivery methods, UT remains open.

This document exists to assist decision-making by faculty members, staff members and students for those in-person classes, meetings, or other gatherings that are deemed essential and cannot be postponed or moved to an online format.

For all classes, meetings, events and other gatherings of 2+ people:

  • Consider the use of online technology for small meetings and events, if it is feasible (e.g. teleconferencing, Zoom, Skype, etc.).

  • Maintain a roster of all individuals involved in the activity. This log should include name and contact information. This log should be maintained for at least two months.

  • Send an email to participants ahead of time with the guidelines below, encouraging individuals to not attend if they are sick or high risk, explaining expected hygiene during the event, laying out expectations of social distancing and how that will work in the space provided, and discussing cleaning procedures before and after the event.

  • Facemasks are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent the spread of coronavirus in people without symptoms. Consistent with the actions taken by many employers across the state, consider having all employees and contractors wear cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth) during meetings or events.  If available, employees should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks.

Guideline 1: Limit participation of sick individuals and encourage immunocompromised/high-risk individuals to not participate

  • Individuals feeling unwell or experiencing any respiratory symptoms should not participate in the activity. Organizers have the discretion to ask attendees with respiratory symptoms to leave the event.

  • Individuals who are in a high-risk population are encouraged to not participate in the activity.

    • Reasonable accommodations should be made for people who cannot participate in the activity because they are in a high-risk population. High risk includes older adults (age > 60) and people with serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or who are immunocompromised. More details about People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19 is on the CDC website.

Guideline 2: Implement social distancing techniques

  • Participants must be able to maintain social distancing of 6 feet when possible.

  • As a rule of thumb, the number of attendees should generally not exceed 25% of the room’s maximum capacity for seated individuals for meetings and events where attendees are expected to be seated.

  • Limit the duration of the event and number of attendees. Meet no longer than the time needed to complete the task.

Guideline 3: Maintain hygiene during the event

  • Ensure access to hand-washing stations or hand sanitizer.

  • Healthyhorns materials should be displayed within the immediate activity space and at the closest hand-washing station. Additionally, an education slide should be shown or provided at every meeting. These materials are on the University Health Services Healthyhorns website.

  • Facial tissues and waste baskets should be present within the activity space.

  • The more open and well-ventilated a space, the better. Consider options for outdoors.

  • Avoid food service when possible or select individually packaged options. Self-serve buffet style must be avoided at classes, meetings and events.

Guideline 4: Clean after the event

  • Perform routine environmental cleaning. Read the CDC’s Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations.

    • Clean all frequently touched surfaces such as workstations, countertops and tabletops, remote controls, computer mouses and keyboards, A/V controls, arms on chairs, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.

    • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.

Submit questions about mitigation strategies to emergencypreparedness@austin.utexas.edu. We will partner with you to ensure safeguards are in place to protect the public health of our university community. Other questions should be submitted via the university’s COVID-19 questions and feedback form.