Any campus-sponsored meetings/events should be scheduled virtually whenever possible.
An order issued by Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Rachel Levine on July 15 prohibits indoor gatherings of more than 25 and outdoor gatherings of more than 250. (Note: The order prohibiting indoor gatherings of more than 25 does not apply to classrooms, per the Pennsylvania Department of Education.)
The guidance below applies to any Penn State-sponsored event, either on or off campus.
Indoor meetings and events
Meetings and events of 10 or fewer participants are permitted with no prior permission required. All participants must wear masks, and meeting/event organizers must take into account the maximum occupancy of the space that allows for at least six feet of distance between participants.
Requests to hold indoor meetings and events of between 11 and 25 participants must be submitted for approval to unit executives (see “Approval Process” below). No indoor meetings or events of more than 25 participants are permitted.
Outdoor meetings and events
- Outdoor meetings of 10 or fewer participants are permitted with no prior permission required, taking into account the maximum occupancy of the space that allows for at least six feet of distance between participants. Masks are required when six feet of distance between participants cannot be maintained.
- Requests for outdoor meetings of between 11 and 250 participants must be submitted for approval to unit executives (see “Approval Process” below). No outdoor meetings or events of more than 250 participants are permitted.
Meeting/event organizers requesting permission for an indoor meeting of between 11 and 25 participants, or an outdoor meeting or event of between 11 and 250 participants, must:
- Explain how the proposed event is in alignment with the mission of the university;
- Provide justification as to why the meeting or event cannot take place virtually or in a hybrid format (some participants in-person and others virtually);
- Provide the total number of individuals attending the meeting or event, which must include the employees working the event;
- Include a plan that outlines how the organizers will meet the state of Pennsylvania’s regulations. Masks and other required PPE must be worn if the event is indoors and plans for abiding by social distancing guidelines must be included;
- Provide evidence that employees requesting to attend the meeting or event have been approved via the Return to Work process. A request must be made to return employees to the workplace at https://sites.psu.edu/returntowork/;
- If the event is on campus, work with the Office of Physical Plant to determine the room capacity that allows for social distancing;
- Keep a list of all attendees, the ‘return to work’ approval status of employees, the locations from which non-employees are traveling, and their telephone numbers for contact purposes.
Events should be scheduled with the full understanding that if the county in which the campus is located moves to the Yellow or Red phase, or if state guidance otherwise changes, the guidelines for the county must be followed and the event may need to be cancelled.
Campuses whose counties are in the Yellow or Red Phase:
- At campuses whose counties are in the Yellow or Red phase, no meetings or events of any kind with more than 10 attendees may be scheduled. For essential indoor events of between 11 and 25, or outdoor events of between 11 and 250, at campuses whose counties are in the Yellow or Red phase, approval to hold the event must be sought from Executive Vice President and Provost, Nicholas P. Jones, at [email protected]. All requests must include a description of how social distancing will be maintained at the event.
Attention to COVID rates in other areas:
- Meetings that require travel between campuses that are in the Yellow or Red phase, or where participants are from states where cases of COVID-19 are rising, should only be permitted if there are special circumstances and with unit executive approval. All Penn State employees must follow existing travel guidance.
Unit executives should elevate meeting/event requests to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs if there is uncertainty about whether the meeting/event should be approved.