COVID-19 has significantly altered and continues to alter the risk landscape all over the world. From the beginning of the pandemic, the U.S. Department of State and World Learning have adapted their approach to monitoring and managing risk to meet the dynamic challenges that have emerged. This approach has meant looking beyond traditional risk indicators and factoring into our risk mitigation protocols new developments such as the vaccine and updated guidance from the scientific and health community. For the Alumni TIES seminar in Denver, the Office of Alumni Affairs and World Learning will continue to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases, percent positivity rate, and vaccination rates in Denver County.
Fully vaccinated people are less likely to be infected and less likely to spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State and World Learning recommend that all participants be fully vaccinated by March 1, 2022. For more information, please visit https://www.denvergov.org/Government/COVID-19-Information
If participants are unvaccinated or unwilling to share their status, they will be required to take a PCR test within 72 hours before traveling to the seminar. If a participant’s health insurance does not cover the test and/or charges a fee, World Learning will reimburse the participant for that expense. World Learning will also provide all participants (regardless of vaccination status) with two COVID-19 rapid response antigen tests to self-administer upon arrival at the hotel and departure. World Learning will continue to monitor the pandemic situation and will reassess our procedures should federal regulations change or should Colorado or Denver impose stricter requirements.
As the virus is still circulating, we request that participants wear face masks indoors during the sessions, activities, and meetings with the local organizations (except when eating or drinking). World Learning will provide each participant with six face masks as well as the COVID-19 self-administered tests. Presenters are not required to wear face masks when presenting. However, when we are in close proximity to one another, sitting at the tables with one another and networking, we request that participants wear face masks. There will be hand sanitizer stations outside of the meeting rooms at the Grand Hyatt Denver. For additional mask guidance, please review the CDC mask guidelines at https://bit.ly/GuidanceforMasks.
Participants are encouraged to socially distance when possible while taking part in indoor seminar activities and outdoor activities. Participants are asked to monitor their health for any symptoms that could indicate possible contraction of COVID-19 or other illnesses. People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms, which may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, include the following: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty with breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. This list does not include all possible symptoms. For more information on COVID-19 symptoms, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
If a participant tests positive for COVID-19 prior to their arrival for the seminar, they must notify World Learning staff immediately and will be unable to take part in the seminar until testing negative for COVID-19. If a participant is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, dry cough, loss of taste and smell, and difficulty breathing) or tests positive for COVID-19 during the seminar, the participant must self-isolate in their room in accordance with CDC guidelines and notify World Learning staff immediately. If multiple participants test positive at the seminar, World Learning and the Office of Alumni Affairs may then change the seminar format from in-person to virtual.
For further information, please consult the Pre-Departure Orientation Manual and the U.S. Alumni TIES Acknowledgement of Risk Agreement.