Now that we’ve seen how events plan to handle Covid-19, as we head into Week One, I’m very curious to see how those plans are executed.
Please share how Covid is handled at your events in this thread!
Some items to consider including:
- Event name and location
- What were the expected protocols?
- How were communications of policies before the event? During the event?
- Were the protocols followed as expected? Less strict? More strict?
- Notice anything that worked really well/didn’t work too well? Lessons learned for future events?
- (If you’re familiar with the local situation) What’s the Covid situation in your area? Were the FIRST event’s protocols in line with similar gatherings?
- Anything else noteworthy?
Please only share if YOU attended the event as a participant, volunteer, or spectator (not second hand information or observations from watching a live stream) and it was an official event (there’s a separate thread for offseasons).
Load in for the first events of the season start so soon: 2022-03-03T00:00:00Z!
Does the official week 0 count as an official event? Regardless.
- Week 0 in Bedford NH
- People needed to be masked at all times over the mouth and nose
- This was communicated in the welcome packet as well as opening ceremonies.
- Adherence was pretty good. I think I saw one or two people who were unmasked, one of whom was asked to put one on and put it on, and another of whom I lost track of. I’d say like 95% of people were wearing them properly though for the whole time I saw them.
- Masking imo is the bare minimum at this point, it got us through all of the off-seasons in New England with no known Covid cases as far as I’m aware, and week 0 is the same thus far as far as I know. I wouldn’t attend an FRC event where people weren’t masked, but I’m fairly comfortable attending ones where everyone is masked. Capacity limits may be needed based on the # of teams and venue size, but Week 0 really wasn’t overcrowded, with 25 teams in attendance.
- Covid situation in NH hasn’t been great, but it’s definitely been getting better, coming off the Omicron wave. It is still in the “red”, but it’s more “that’s a lot of cases” than OMG THAT’S HOW MANY CASES? This was probably more strict than a lot of gatherings in the Granite State, but not particularly unheard of, and is in line with the Bedford school districts guidance.
- I haven’t heard of any cases from the event, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been. I have tested negative via routine weekly PCR testing since the event, as well as at least 2 other people I know who attended the event.
Bumping this thread! How is/was Covid handled at your week ones? I’ll report back soon on CAPH which has a few hours left.
Lake Superior and Northern Lights Regional Duluth, MN
- Masks required, vaccinations highly recommended. All attendees were expected to self screen every morning and avoid the event if presenting symptoms.
- Policies were sent to all teams and volunteers and signage at the event was extensive.
- I only heard of one person across both events that tried to cause an issue over wearing a mask and they left without incident. Masks on the field and in the pits was effectively 100%, in the stands it was less than 100% but the majority were wearing masks.
- The lunch and breakfast for volunteers put 100+ people in a room without masks. I’d have preferred if they were staggered, but there is a cost to that.
- Covid in the Duluth area is still high enough to be a concern but is trending downward with significantly less pressure on hospitals than there was 2 months ago. Other recent large events have been less strict, but as a multi-day, multi-state, high density event this one had a huge opportunity to become a spreading event.
- Hueneme Port Regional (Ventura County, California)
- Expected: Masks, vax or test verification
- Communication: Slightly unclear document shared ahead of event, but got the point across. During event: not much communication. Small signs at check in.
- Reality: roughly the same as expected. Masks were not enforced as strictly as I would like – seldom saw anyone ask unmasked folks to fix the situation. It seems that people were generally willing to comply with the masks, but weren’t thrilled about it. I believe much of this comes from recently relaxed state and local rules. The event elected to keep mask rules, even though they technically may not be required to. I also echo sentiments about volunteer lunch, and how it’s hard to do that in a small space without masks – tricky problem to solve, though.
- Worked well: check in was easy, though I arrived at a low traffic time so hard to say if that experience was universal. Capacity felt solid for the space we had – not too crowded. Most people had a positive attitude towards requirements, even those who didn’t personally agree with them. Great ventilation.
- Worked not so well: Mask enforcement.
- Local situation: Covid rules in California recently were changed, and counties are still adopting policies. The protocols are much in line with how events were a few weeks ago, but I’m not sure if non-FIRST events have relaxed policies recently.
The venue felt ideal for the number of teams given the Covid situation. I’d be curious to hear from people who go to the same venue for the Ventura Regional next week with significantly more teams (I’ll be elsewhere).
Overall, good effort, and definitely some room for improvement. Glad to see events off to a good start, and appreciate the good intentions.
Keep it up – stay safe to stay open!
I agree. Everyone I saw at Detroit was wearing a mask. And mostly real masks, some N95, some regular surgical masks, some cloth, but not gaiters or bandanas substituting as masks. Sometimes not always correctly, but they tried. One person I saw had a somewhat loose mask and had to pull it up over his nose whenever he approached someone. Of course people had to remove masks when they were eating.
I too thought attendance was low. In many places in the stands there were gaps between the teams.
But it was generally impossible to practice social distancing in the pits.
Well. I spoke too soon. Just got a notification that a volunteer tested positive. I’m getting tested later this week at my school and was volunteering, so I’ll update with my results. This is the first notification of exposure I’ve gotten at any NE FRC event, though I got one from an FLL event during the omicron wave. Hopefully the precautions prevent any sort of transmission. I particularly worry about volunteer meals, which is why I personally chose to eat those outside, which isn’t super practical due to the cold. We’ll see how it goes. Stay safe everyone.
N95 etc masks prior : reality mostly anything goes apart from uncovered
Worked well: Week 1 on time/ good time/ new venue /World high scores
Wonderful week 1 event, high level of play
Good catered food for volunteers
Things I noticed: Field needs a lot of re-taping after matches, short on HP official wear and confusion on where HP’s go. Hopefully week 2 that is sorted out
How is/was Covid handled at your week two events?
I’m on the RPC for CAOC, and things went mostly according to our plans, though I’d prefer for an outside observer to share their impressions.
AZ North…masks were required, and my wild guess is around 25% were unmasked (yes, including me, I just can’t seem to combine glasses and a mask effectively). I never heard anyone say anything about it.
We’re getting on with life here. Sorry.
I was having trouble with this too. I figured out that setting my safety glasses more forward on my nose (past the metal strip of my KN95) eliminated fogging in almost all cases. I suppose this presents more risk to your eyes if working in the pits, but for my volunteer role that didn’t really matter. Hope this helps!
I’ll be your outside observer, Jared. Covid protocols in OC were taken as seriously as ticketing for a concert; proof of full vaccination was carefully checked, security wristbands issued, and security guards made sure everyone wore their masks upon entry to either building. I didn’t see anyone all weekend not wearing a mask indoors, and interestingly they all wore safety glasses too, in the pits and on the field (me included, this was something I figured out how to do without fogging them up in March of 2020 since I wear prescription glasses and am a shop teacher. Shockingly not a difficult technical challenge, Jim).
OC was extraordinarily well run and was in such a lovely place. I’ve taken my team to regionals in many places and this was my favorite venue, we will return.
I know it’s a solved problem, and I feel bad about being incompetent.
Orange County is a great venue. Everyone was masked, lots of hand sanitizer around. It’s in “The Hanger” which is great for opening that huge hanger door to air the place out and cool it down at lunch. Lots of nice open areas to set up a lunch. During gameplay, they close the huge door. Would highly recommend this venue to any team. The gameplay is always stellar with powerful teams.
Volunteer Lounge: Awesome, food was excellent. One thing I can recommend. Please have Coffee and Drinks for those on their break after lunch.
To think Blue Alliance made up of Angel Botics/uBotics/SMBled gave #1 Red Alliance with awesome firepower with Code Orange/Highrollers/Troy Robotics all they could handle in Finals.
Then do what you do in any other area of your life where competence is a necessity: get technical advice from skilled practitioners, find the best combination of products that suits your particular circumstances, and practice until you’ve mastered it. “I couldn’t figure out how to use the safety devices on this table saw so I just removed them, kids, some of us are moving on with our table saw projects, sorry” wouldn’t be acceptable.
As an everyday glasses wearers I can highly recommend these masks.
I understand that you have had issues but being a mentor in a program that promotes research and learning I feel like some simple Google skills would have found you some masks that didn’t fog up your masks. I’ve been wearing those primal masks basically from day 1 of this pandemic…
Yeah, you’d think I could handle it. I did start a thread on the subject, and got lots of good advice. Some of which I tried, and didn’t succeed. I’m incompetent at many other things, as well. I accept that.
In my situation of being retired, I don’t spend all day around other people very often. And I don’t wear glasses, except safety glasses, or sunglasses when driving some cars at some times.
I also find that seeing smiles on other people is a big part of my life. I need it.
Anyways, it appears Arizona isn’t like some other places in the world.
I have some stronger things I want to say, but I don’t want to derail this thread or get banned. Let me just say as someone whose medically vulnerable to Covid, please wear your masks correctly so I can attend events?