|Policy Name||COVID-19 Policy & Procedures – In-person events|
|Effective Date||1 December 2020|
|Date Last Reviewed||June 2022|
|Scheduled Review Date||November 2022|
Download a PDF version of this policy: COVID-19 Policy and Procedures - In-person events
What is the purpose of this policy?
NYSF takes the welfare and wellbeing of our staff, students, volunteers, and hosts seriously. This policy outlines NYSF’s policies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of any staff, students, volunteers, and hosts involved in NYSF in-person program events during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government directives and the law
This policy represents NYSF’s approach to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this policy is in all respects subject to any overriding government directive or law. For example, if the government mandates that you must remain at home and gatherings are not permitted, then such directive overrides this policy.
We refer you to the various government websites (both federal and state/territory) which contain up to date information on government policy on COVID-19.
It is also important that in addition to government regulation, you abide by any additional COVID-safe rules set down by our individual STEM hosts.
Details of all state and territory government health departments where you can find information on current COVID-19 rules can be accessed on the Australian Government Department of Health website.
What specific measures are we taking?
To promote the health and safety of those participating in in-person visits during NYSF Programs, NYSF will:
1. Endeavour to provide and maintain a safe environment for all staff, students, volunteers, and hosts;
2. Provide information, instruction and supervision so far as we can to promote health and safety;
3. Provide access to adequate facilities to practise good hygiene.
4. Integrate work health and safety issues and risk management processes into all of our decision making and risk analysis;
5. Put in place mechanisms for monitoring work health and safety issues; and
6. Take any health concerns raised by you seriously.
What specific measures do we expect you to take?
While participating in any in-person visits hosted by the NYSF and its partners, you must:
1. Follow all aspects of this policy;
2. Take reasonable care to ensure your own health and safety, and that of other students, volunteers, staff, and visit hosts;
3. Not place others at risk or jeopardise the safety of the environment by any act or omission, such as participating in a visit while unwell;
4. Follow any procedures or protocols that we, the visit host organisation or NYSF group leader on the day implement at any time;
5. Cooperate with NYSF and the visit host organisation to meet our statutory work health and safety obligations;
6. Observe social distancing where possible;
7. Not attend an in-person event if you feel unwell;
8. Not attend an in-person event if you are required to isolate or quarantine in accordance with government directives;
9. Not attend an in-person event if you have had a test for COVID-19 and not yet received a negative result;
10. Practise cough etiquette (cough away from other people; cough or sneeze into your elbow; sanitise your hands after sneezing or coughing on them); and
11. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly.
What if I think I may have COVID-19 or am awaiting a test result?
If you think that you may have symptoms of coronavirus or are awaiting results of a test, you should immediately do the following:
1. Inform us via email or a telephone call;
2. Not attend an NYSF in-person event under any circumstances;
3. Get tested for COVID-19, isolate, and wait for the results. Continue to follow government and medical advice.
4. You should not attend an in-person event until you have received a negative test result and your symptoms have resolved.
What should I do if I am at an NYSF event and I start feeling unwell?
If you are feeling unwell while at an NYSF in-person event, you must immediately notify your group leader (this may be an NYSF staff member, an NYSF Rotary volunteer, or an NYSF Student Staff volunteer).
If we form a reasonable view that you are unwell, you will be directed to go home.
The group leader will inform NYSF that a member of the group is feeling unwell and has been sent home. NYSF will work with the event hosts to determine if the visit can resume.
Can I attend when my symptoms have resolved?
You are welcome to return to NYSF in-person events if you have:
a. Received a negative COVID-19 test result, and your symptoms have resolves, or;
b. Received a positive COVID-19 test result, completed any required isolation period, and your symptoms have resolved.
COVID-19 vaccination requirements
Employees and volunteers
Up to date COVID-19 vaccination is a condition of employment with the NYSF or volunteering at NYSF in-person events.
NYSF requires proof of up to date vaccination status of employees and volunteers for workforce planning and for health and safety purposes. Employees and volunteers come into contact with a large group of attendees at in-person events, and often travel between multiple events and locations in a short period of time. NYSF considers vaccination as an important factor in our COVID-19 Policy.
Employees and volunteers may decline to provide proof of vaccination to NYSF. In this case, NYSF will endeavour to provide alternative duties at its discretion and subject to operational and practical requirements. However, employees and volunteers who choose not to provide proof of up to date COVID-19 vaccination need to be mindful that this may ultimately result in termination of employment or engagement.
NYSF does not require proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of participant entry to NYSF events, however, participants do need to comply with vaccination requirements of the federal government, the relevant state/territory, and the host of the premises where an in-person event is located.
For this reason, the best way to avoid exclusion from in-person events is to be vaccinated.
Program participants may be required to show proof of up to date vaccination to enter the premises of an in-person event if vaccination is required by the federal government, the relevant state/territory, or by the host of the premises where the event is located.
NYSF will monitor COVID-19 vaccination requirements and advise of any requirements for in-person events as soon as practically possible. It is noted that federal, state/territory, and premises vaccination requirements are likely to change over time. As you would appreciate, the NYSF cannot control the requirements of our hosts, and we cannot make exceptions to their policies. The NYSF will endeavour to advise participants of any changes in vaccine requirements prior to the event and as early as possible.
Where possible, we will ask that the host handles vaccination requirements with participants directly, meaning you will not need to provide NYSF with proof of vaccination. However, we may need to collect proof of your vaccination status for the purpose of enrolling you in a specific in-person event if the host, content providers, or relevant state government requires attendees to be vaccinated. If you do not consent to providing your vaccination status, you may not be able to enrol in that event. Where required, we will share your vaccination status with our hosts.
NYSF endeavours to offer digital alternatives to all in-person events, which can be attended by program participants who are not vaccinated or those who are unable to provide proof of vaccination, should vaccination be required by the federal government, the relevant state/territory, or the premises where the event is located.
Travel to and from NYSF events
We encourage staff, students, volunteers, and hosts to minimise their use of public transport to travel to and from NYSF in-person program events as is practicable. At all times, travel much comply with any state, territory, or federal government restrictions.
If you choose to travel to and from an NYSF in-person program event, we encourage you to travel by means of private transport to limit the potential of contracting COVID-19.
If you are unable to travel to and from an event by means of private transport, please always use appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices as advised by your state or territory health department.
Social distancing and good hygiene
Whilst at an NYSF event we encourage social distancing:
1. Maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres between you and others wherever possible in your group, including when walking, standing, and when eating;
2. Do not shake hands or hug to greet others;
3. Enjoy social time during a visit in the open air or somewhere with good ventilation;
4. Promote good hand washing, sneeze, and cough hygiene;
5. Use hand sanitiser frequently (before and after eating, using the toilet, touching surfaces in public areas, and coughing or sneezing);
6. Limit food handling and do not share food. Hand sanitiser and soap will be available at most host sites; however, you are strongly advised to carry your own supply.
Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs:
1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap;
2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails;
3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice;
4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water; and
5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Face masks provide an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses.
In settings where face masks are government mandated or are a requirement of the event venue host, all attendees must wear an appropriate face mask per the government or venue host requirements.
In settings where face masks are not required, individuals may choose to wear a face mask for their personal protection.
NYSF respects the right of any person to wear a face mask, and will support them to do so, including providing them with the opportunity self-exclude from any activities which require removal of masks.
Failure to comply with this policy
Any person attending an in-person program event who fails to follow this policy and any further directives relating to this policy may be asked to leave the event and return home.
If you need to contact the NYSF about this policy
You can discuss this policy with the NYSF via firstname.lastname@example.org. You should also refer to your NYSF agreement for information about how COVID-19 may affect your attendance at the program.