We are monitoring CDC and State of Utah updates regularly. As we do so, we find ourselves working with a bit of a moving target. The verbiage taken from the CDC page cited on 11/06 appears to have been replaced with slightly less restrictive verbiage. In light of ongoing concerns and recent announcements, however, we feel it wise to adhere to the advisory previously referenced recommending both masks and social distancing.3
Where verbiage has become more restrictive is on the CDC county by county guidelines page, which now states that "Everyone in Salt Lake County, Utah should wear a mask in public, indoor settings." Of import is the change from "recommend " to "should".4
Accordingly, as allowed per our original published policy, the following modifications are now effective:
- Masks "should" be worn at SLIG, and social distancing be used, regardless of vaccination status.
- As long as Salt Lake County remains in either substantial or high transmission status, SLIG will interpret "should" to mean "must." Masks will be required, regardless of vaccination status, except when presenting at a distance greater than six feet.
- Consultations requiring screen sharing will be conducted via Zoom. Participants should bring headphones. Consultations not requiring screen sharing will be held in a room set for social distancing.
- Participation is not required in activities where social distancing is not possible (i.e. viewing maps, transportation). Alternative activities may not be available.
- In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodations (i.e. the substitution of a face shield) may be available. Requests may be made by updating your registration account disabilities section no later than December 15, 2021. SLIG will reach out for additional information, and submission of documentation may be required.
THE POLICY (as originally published AND as updated 11/06/21) BELOW REMAINS UNCHANGED EXCEPT WHERE SUPERCEDED ABOVE.
The CDC presently recommends everyone wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor settings when in areas of high transmission. Salt Lake County remains in that status. The CDC additionally recommends masks and social distancing for all participants in large events which bring people from multiple families and locations together (i.e. SLIG), regardless of vaccination status.1 The State of Utah indicates "Masks are recommended for crowded, indoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible."2
Accordingly, as allowed per published policy below, the following modifications are now effective:
- We strongly recommend masks be worn at SLIG, and social distancing be used, regardless of vaccination status.
- Masks will be required, regardless of vaccination status, to participate in some activities where social distancing is not possible (i.e. viewing maps, consultations, and transportation).
- The Hilton has agreed to require masks for all team members regardless of vaccination status in the front and back of the house for the duration of the SLIG conference.
- Reduced classroom capacities have been implemented and seating modified to one person per six-foot table.
- Banquet and reception seating will be limited to three people per six-foot round. With alternating chair placements, an effective six-foot distancing can be obtained.
- Orientation has been combined with the reception to eliminate movement from room to room and potentially crowded hallways. Overflow seating will be provided in another room if attendance exceeds the ballroom capacity.
- The Monday plenary will be set with no less than six feet between chairs. Overflow seating will be provided in other rooms with similar spacing.
- Colored lanyards will be distributed at registration to clearly communicate additional personal contact preferences to others.
THE POLICY (as originally published) BELOW REMAINS UNCHANGED EXCEPT WHERE SUPERCEDED ABOVE.
At the time this policy was crafted, Utah and most other states had lifted their restrictions on large meetings; events and businesses continued to reopen. Since that time, additional restrictions have been recommended in several areas. As we move forward with preparations for January, we will be carefully monitoring current conditions and making adjustments to catered and other events as necessary.
Our top priority is the safety and health of SLIG attendees and instructors. In determining policies that will be in effect seven months from now, we find ourselves without a crystal ball. Therefore, we have elected to take a conservative approach to ensure safety for all. These policies will be in effect in January, regardless of additional lifting of mask requirements. If local and/or national policies become more restrictive, the more stringent policies will apply.
The health policies for SLIG 2022 are as follows:
Participants will be required to agree to abide by these policies at the time of registration. SLIG reserves the right to remove non-compliant parties from the classroom, shared SLIG areas, shuttle, or events.
It is truly a delicate balance to ensure safety while recognizing the desire of many to gather together in person. We hope this provides a safe framework for you to comfortably attend. If not, we would encourage you to wait and attend a subsequent year. While we cannot require it, we highly recommend the purchase of trip insurance that fully covers tuition and travel to alleviate your financial risk in the event you experience an emergency or illness.
- If you are vaccinated, masks are optional in the classrooms, shared SLIG areas, and the SLIG Shuttle; otherwise, masks are required. Because we value your privacy, vaccination documents will not be required.
- We encourage you to wear a mask if you have a compromised immune system or any upper-respiratory symptoms regardless of vaccination status.
- If you are ill or have had a recent exposure (while unvaccinated) to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please remain at home or in your hotel room, and notify your classroom monitor. They will get information to the SLIG Committee so we can address your needs.
- Instructors will not be required to wear a mask when presenting. If an instructor chooses to wear a mask while presenting and a hearing-impaired student is present, SLIG will provide a mask with a clear lip-reading panel.
- The Hilton will continue to do extra cleaning of high-touch areas, and hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the hotel.
- SLIG will provide hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, electronic wipes, and disposable straws in each classroom.
- Classroom seating capacity will be limited to no more than two people per six-foot table. Where space is available, additional distance between students will be provided.
- Banquet and catered event seating will be determined by current guidelines and announced prior to the event; attendance at these events is optional.
- A small, private triage area will be available with a digital thermometer and a healthcare professional to provide assistance in gaining access to local health care if needed.
Disclaimer: SLIG is taking the above enhanced health and safety measures to protect conference attendees. However, there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. By attending the conference in person, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, and SLIG disclaims any and all liability related thereto.