The COVID-19 Coronavirus and IEEE SoutheastCon 2020

IEEE SoutheastCon 2020 COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Action Plan

Dated: 5 March 2020

Read the IEEE SoutheastCon 2020 COVID-19 FAQ

More than 700 registrants, exhibitors, and sponsors are ready to experience IEEE SoutheastCon 2020 which is scheduled to take place, as planned, 12-15 March, in Raleigh, North Carolina U.S.A. We respect the decision of those attendees who may decide to cancel their participation due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We understand that some attendees and speakers who are prohibited from traveling due to their institutional/ corporate policies, will be unable to participate in-person. But do keep in mind that we are enforcing the no-refund policy now that early registration has passed and the conference has already contracted for food and other expenses.

“We will continue to support our registrants and companies still committed to attending the conference and exhibition in-person, and we thank them for their continued engagement”, said Charles Lord and Parag Upadhyay, Co-chairs of IEEE SoutheastCon. “Our conference is offering presenters the option to present their sessions live via video-conferencing. With these new steps in place, speakers can still deliver their presentations, whether in-person or via video conferencing.”

For the benefit of all technical registrants, IEEE SoutheastCon will offer all of the slides as well as papers to registrants via our mobile app so that content can be viewed even if a participant cannot travel to our conference in Raleigh.

A “no-handshake policy” at IEEE SoutheastCon is among the measures being implemented to protect the health of attendees. Additional onsite tools for registrants, exhibitors and onsite personnel include the following:

Increased availability of Hand Sanitizer Stations throughout the Raleigh Convention Center and the Marriott hotel as well as at key contact locations such as the registration desk.

    Increased Facility-Wide Cleaning and Disinfecting

    Sanitizing/Cleaning Materials Available for Exhibitors

    Increased On-Site Medical Support

    Reduced Transfer of Physical Materials at Registration

    Modified Catering/Food Service Practices for optimal food safety

    Continuous Air Handling in Facility

IEEE SoutheastCon 2020 organizing committee will:

Follow recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the policies of the local government and city officials

Ensure that First Aid personnel are adequately trained and capable of assessing and assisting those that may demonstrate flu-like symptoms

Identify local emergency care facilities that will be able to promptly care for attendees that may require immediate treatment

We strongly urge exhibitors and attendees to implement appropriate guidelines and protocols as suggested by the WHO and other health authorities.

The U.S. Government has taken steps to mitigate the concerns regarding COVID-19. Please reference links below for more information.

Links and Resources:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/novel-coronavirus-hubei-province–china.html

The co-sponsors of IEEE SoutheastCon 2020 are IEEE Region 3 and IEEE Eastern NC Section.

Statement and Precautions by the Marriott

The safety and well-being of our guests and associates are a top priority. Regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we have taken steps described below, aligning the brand protocols, guidelines from the CDC and the local health departments, as well as from Aimbridge Hospitality, our management company. We are monitoring the situation very closely and our hotel team is in close contact with our Aimbridge Risk & Safety, Operations and Procurement teams. 

While we do not foresee any issues, as a precaution we introduced prevention measures and cleaning protocols to increase the safety of all guests and associates, including:

·       We have implemented additional training with our partners at Economics Laboratories and worked with Wake County Health department on adding additional signage for sanitation reminders. These include recommend associates wash their hands often with soap and water. This is also frequently discussed in daily department stand up meetings and enforced by managers, supervisors and lead staff. Additional training including education of possible contamination. Associates should avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Sanitation posters are provided to team members that include contact with face and hands.

·       Reinforce that associates should use personal protective equipment when cleaning guest rooms or open guest areas, ie gloves. All housekeeping staff and engineering staff are provided PPE to include gloves, goggles and masks to wear for their protection. Food Service workers in all areas are required to wear gloves per health code.

·       Hand disinfectors are provided at the front desk.

·       Prevention program includes not reporting to work when demonstrating any cold or flu like symptoms. Call offs related to illness are reported to our Human Recourses team for monitoring. Qualified associates have paid time off availability which can be used for these absences.

·       Cleaning protocols: We are increasing public areas deep cleaning frequency with which our facilities are disinfected, and have inventoried and are using appropriate cleaning chemicals. Additional disinfectant wipes are available upon request.

·       Coronavirus informational packets, are provided to department heads, discussed in department meetings, daily stand up huddles and discussed as weekly safety trainers. We believe in communicating clearly with our teams to educate them with facts provided from trusted partners such as the CDC and Ambridge Risk & Safety Teams