COVID-19 Policy


Purpose

This policy defines the minimum COVID-19 safety and other requirements for all attendees of Traditional (in-person) Pennsylvania FTC events. This Policy may be updated over time to reflect the current state of the pandemic and the health advisories at that time.

For some events, the venue owners, the event hosts, and/or Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics may have defined more stringent requirements. The more stringent requirements supersede the requirements listed below. See the event webpage for details for any superseding requirements.

Requirements

Masks

All people present at an in-person event must wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/types-of-masks.html for acceptable mask types and usage guidance. Masks must cover the nose and mouth. Face shields, t-shirts, gators, and similar are not considered adequate. Masks may be removed briefly to eat or drink. Masks are not required outdoors but maintenance of social distancing is recommended.

Social Distancing

While indoors, maintain 6 feet away from others to the greatest extent practical.

Vaccination

All people present at an in-person event must provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the day of the event. This requirement applies to all attendees, including but not limited to event staff, volunteers, coaches, mentors, students, and team guests.

The only exception to the vaccination requirement is for student team members participating in the event who are not yet eligible for vaccination due to their age. Student participants have a two-month grace period between achieving the age of vaccine eligibility, and the enforcement of this requirement. As of September 2021, all people ages 12 and up are eligible for vaccination.

Volunteers

Event volunteers must submit their proof of vaccination or negative COVID test information our online system (to be announced). This must be done prior to attending the in-person event.

Teams

The primary team coach is responsible for collecting, maintaining, and verifying proof of vaccination and/or negative COVID test information for all in-person attendees affiliated with the team (the team includes all coaches, mentors, students, and team guests). The primary team coach will use the (to be announced) form to identify all in-person attendees, their vaccination status, and contact information. The primary coach will sign the form, attesting to its accuracy, and present the completed form at the event Team Check-in.

Health Checks

Attendees must not enter the venue if any of the following are present. Verbal confirmation and temperature checks before entering the venue may be required.

  • Feeling sick or are sick
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 (see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html)
  • Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher or report feeling feverish
  • Undergoing evaluation for SARS-CoV-2 infection (such as pending viral test)
  • Diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 10 days
  • Close contact to someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the prior 14 days

Notify the event director if any team member or team guest starts to feel sick at the event. The sick person must leave the venue. In the event the sick person is confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, the event director and the Pennsylvania Program Delivery Partner must be notified within 24 hours.

Attendee Limits

In order to meet venue event capacity limits and facilitate social distancing, teams must adhere to the following per team limits. Events may have different (higher or lower) limits detailed on the event webpage. Limits defined on the event webpage override the limits in this policy.

At this time, all Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge events are closed to the general public.

A team guest is defined as anyone who is not identified as part of the team in FIRST Team Dashboard. The primary coach may invite team guests as long as the limits below are maintained. The coach will identify all of their team guests and contact information as part of the team check-in process.

There is an overall per team attendee limit of twelve (12), which includes all coaches, mentors, students, and team guests. Within this twelve (12) attendee limit, there must be at least one (1) coach, at least one (1) student, and a maximum of (3) team guests.

Event Area Limits

At an event, the maximum number of coaches, mentors, and students per team at any one time in the following areas is listed below. Team guests are not allowed in these areas.

  • Pits: 6
  • Judging interview room: 10
  • Practice field: 3
  • Inspection: 1
  • Queuing table: 3

Consent and Release

A completed and signed FIRST Consent and Release Form is required for all attendees, including but not limited to event staff, volunteers, coaches, mentors, students, and team guests. The primary coach will provide the completed and signed FIRST Consent and Release Forms for their team and any team guests at team check-in.

General Safety Guidance

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid using other team’s phones, tools and other equipment, when possible. Clean and disinfect them before and after use.

Revision History

10/15/2021: Initial publication

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