The University of Wisconsin released new policies for in-person meetings and gatherings Friday with the goal of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
According to the new policy, in every college, school and division, the Vice Chancellor, Academic Dean or Research Center Director must designate someone to approve events happening in the department. The events must follow the Smart Restart plan, CDC guidelines and Public Health Madison & Dane County guidelines.
Currently, PHMDC limits indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25. A UW press release said any event that does not meet PHMDC guidelines will need approval directly from the Vice Chancellor, Academic Dean or Research Center Director.
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“Whenever possible, the university recommends that events and meetings continue to be held virtually — it is highly recommended that in-person events also allow for virtual participation by attendees who choose not to or are unable to participate in person,” the press release said.
Additionally, event hosts must collect and retain information on guests’ names, e-mails, primary phone numbers and current addresses for up to four weeks after the event, according to the policy. If food is served, it must be individually and commercially packaged or served by UW catering staff.
Registered Student Organizations have separate policy guidelines and are allowed to have in-person events as long as they follow guidelines set in place by Smart Restart, the CDC and PHMDC.
RSOs must follow PHMDC event size guidelines, record attendees information and follow other COVID-19 best practices like wearing a mask. If a student or RSO does not abide by these guidelines, they may be asked to leave the event and disciplinary actions may be taken by the university, according to the RSO policy.
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The new policies will last through the 2020-2021 school year, but are subject to change if new public health information is released at the national, state or local level, according to the UW press release.