We want to assure you that your RG Committee is committed to the health and well-being of our attendees, speakers and volunteers. We are constantly assessing the evolving COVID-19 situation as it relates to our Regional Gathering and have left ourselves room to craft an appropriate policy at the appropriate time. As the situation changes every day, we remain watchful but are also focused on delivering a first-class RG. As a reminder, when we attend a gathering of 250+ people, we are all personally taking a calculated risk to do so.
- Negative test: As of 7/31, based on the new BA.5 variant and its overwhelmingly quick spread/surge of cases in the surrounding area, we are requiring a photograph of any negative test timestamped up to 24 hours prior to picking up your badge for all attendees (regardless of age/vaccination status). This is a very simple requirement: just perform any rapid test within 24 hours of arrival at Registration, take a photo of your test, and show it to us in your photo gallery as you are picking up your badge. This is easy and inexpensive: rapid antigen tests from the pharmacy cost as little as $10 (and are available on Amazon as well). If you do not have a phone with a camera or prefer to, you are free to get a proctored test and share that printout (that will have a date/timestamp) instead. Do not bring your negative test to registration 😉
- Note: If you do not have a phone with a camera, you can use this service to perform a test over Zoom; they will email you a result that you can print within 15 minutes of your test.
- Masking: Fairfax County (home of our RG hotel) does not currently have masking requirements based on Medium community spread, so we are not currently requiring them. However, we strongly encourage that you mask as a precautionary measure and for the safety of others, and will have a limited supply of masks at Registration if you need one. We encourage you to wear one in cases where social distancing is impossible, so please have one handy. If you develop symptoms or do not feel well, you are asked to do the right thing for fellow attendees, and re-test/stay in your room.
- Sanitation: We are mindful of our duty of care, and have carefully considered the appropriate sanitary measures and hygiene precautions. Our event hotel is also monitoring the situation and we’re working together to put other steps into place to ensure the health and safety of attendees. These include a microphone-disinfecting protocol, the elimination of hug dots, adding more sanitization and disinfecting materials for use in the conference space, and increased spacing in hospitality and speaker rooms where available.
With this decision, we thread the needle between restrictive and reasonable policy. We reserve the right to update our policy to include masking if Fairfax County sees high COVID spread and institutes a mask policy of their own. We have consulted multiple Public Health resources and feel that this policy, along with additional mitigation factors above, will be our best defense.