Due to concerns about potential COVID-19 spread in the Lincoln area, University of Nebraska-Lincoln leaders are currently reviewing all previously approved events.
According to the Office of University Communication public affairs director Leslie Reed, the review process is being completed by a subcommittee of Chancellor Green’s COVID-19 Task Force. This subcommittee was created specifically for re-reviewing 75 upcoming events that were approved under Nebraska’s Phase 4 guidelines to verify that they still meet the criteria of Phase 3.1.
Phase 3.1, which went into effect on Oct. 21, includes limitations made to hospital capacity, bar and restaurant capacity and indoor and outdoor gathering attendance. These new plans, currently in effect until the end of November, are designed to slow the spread of the virus.
These changes from the Department of Health and Human Services have also caused changes for UNL events, forcing university leaders to review events under the revised criteria.
So far, only Alpha Omicron Pi’s Parent’s Day has been canceled by the university’s COVID-19 Task Force. Other events have been modified to remain in line with the new guidelines, but Reed said most of the events that have been reviewed will go on as planned.
“Another event was postponed or possibly canceled to meet required modifications,” Reed said in an email. “A few other events were canceled by organizer[s] but most were approved with modifications or will proceed as planned.”
Reed also said all organizations will be required to follow the university’s guidelines.
Events are required to be held in venues that allow for social distancing of at least 6 feet apart. University guidelines also require attendees to wear face masks or coverings and campus organizations to limit the number of attendees as much as possible and utilize remote events when applicable.
There is one new requirement university leaders have implemented regarding event guidelines.
When events are held, a UNL employee must serve as a point of contact for the event and remain present for the duration of the event, according to Reed. For Greek events, chapter advisors or house parents can fill that role.
Reed also said the procedure for reviewing events — both for events that have already been approved and future events — has largely remained the same as it was prior to the start of Phase 3.1.
The review process includes a two-level review by the dean, director, chair or head of the group hosting the event and by the respective vice chancellor that oversees that function.
If the first level of the review is completed, a risk assessment document must be completed and submitted to the vice chancellor for business and finance for a final review and approval.
Reed also said UNL’s guidelines will continue to align with the COVID-19 Directed Health Measures released by the local and state government