COVID 19

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for Geek Partnership Society

Updated: 22-July-2020

Geek Partnership Society (GPS)  is committed to providing a safe and healthy place for all our volunteers and Guests. To ensure we have a safe and healthy event space GPS has developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our event spaces and communities, and that requires full cooperation among our volunteers and guests. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our event spaces.

The COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is administered by Geek Partnership Society’s Board of Directors, who maintains the overall authority and responsibility for the plan. However, volunteers, guests and partner groups are equally responsible for supporting, implementing, complying with and providing recommendations to further improve all aspects of this COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Geek Partnership Society’s volunteers and partner groups have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this plan.

Our volunteers and partner groups are our most important assets. Geek Partnership Society is serious about doing our part to protect the health and safety of our community. Volunteer involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

Geek Partnership Society’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows the industry guidance developed by the state of Minnesota, which is based upon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines for COVID-19, Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) statutes, rules and standards, and Minnesota’s relevant and current executive orders. It addresses:

  • Ensuring sick volunteers and guests stay home and prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
  • Social distancing – people must be at least six-feet apart;
  • Event space hygiene and source controls;
  • Event space cleaning and disinfection protocol;
  • Communications and training practices and protocol.

Geek Partnership Society has reviewed and incorporated the industry guidance applicable to our business provided by the state of Minnesota for the development of this plan, including the following industry guidance for “Seated Entertainment and Meetings” spaces.

All persons are expected to  follow federal (including CDC), state and local mandates, recommendations, and guidelines regarding meeting sizes and emergency measures.  If these change, this document will be updated.

Ensure sick members and guests stay home and prompt identification and isolation of sick persons

Volunteers, members, guests and partner groups have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess the health status of people entering our space  prior to arriving  and for people to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms.

  • Geek Partnership Society encourages members, volunteers, guests and partner groups to stay at home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household.
  • If a person has been outside of their normal social distancing bubble, we ask that they self-quarantine for 14 days after returning before attending events. Example:  travelling to visit family that you do not see regularly, with stops at gas stations and eating places.
  • For the purpose of this document, all meetings, meet ups, social events and events will be called “gatherings”.
  • Each gathering must have a designated host or event coordinator.
  • For gatherings where people will be staying in the space for 1+ hours (i.e. club meetings, convention meetings)
    • CDC recommended cloth face coverings, as specified by Minnesota Executive Order 20-81, fully covering the nose and mouth, will be required, These will not be provided by GPS.
    • All people attending gatherings must sign in with the event coordinator and include their contact name (not nickname), email, and a phone number where they can be reached if anyone at their event reports illness.
    • Event coordinator will take the attending person’s temperature with a non-contact thermometer and record it on the sign in sheet. If the person has a fever (temperature over 100.4F), they will be told to go home.
    • Event coordinator will leave the contact sheet in the GPS office.
    • All attendees will be asked to contact the event organizer and send an email to info@geekpartnership.org if they later come down with COVID like symptoms.  GPS will then contact all others who had been at the same event by calling/texting and email.
  • For gatherings where the majority of  people will be staying in the space for less than one hour (i.e. sales, badge pickup)
    • CDC recommended cloth face coverings, as specified by Minnesota Executive Order 20-81, fully covering the nose and mouth, will be required. These will not be provided by GPS.
    • Volunteers and sellers attending gatherings must sign in with the event coordinator and include their contact name (not nickname), email, and a phone number where they can be reached if anyone at their event reports illness.
    • Volunteers and sellers will be asked to contact the event organizer if they later come down with COVID like symptoms.

Social distancing – People must be at least six-feet apart

Social distancing of at least six feet will be implemented and maintained between members, volunteers, and guests in the workplace through the following engineering and administrative controls: 

  • The following limitations are placed on occupancy of each of our rooms
    • 106A (The Livingroom): 4 people
    • 106 (The Classroom):     6-8 people
    • 107 (The Event Hall):       25-30 people
  • Event coordinators will space chairs and tables a minimum of 6 feet apart. GPS will provide yardsticks to allow for measurement
  • It is expected that all members will avoid handshakes, hugs, and other close contact.

Hygiene and source controls

Basic infection prevention measures are being implemented at our space at all times.

  • CDC recommended cloth face coverings, covering the nose and mouth will be required.
  • People are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water when they first enter the facility.
  • Hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) are at entrances and locations in the workplace so they can be used for hand hygiene in between hand washing
  • All people are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and to avoid touching their face, particularly their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. Theyare expected to dispose of tissues in provided trash receptacles and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward.

Workplace cleaning and disinfection protocol

  • Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfecting supplies have been purchased and are available for use in accordance with product labels, safety data sheets and manufacturer specifications, and are being used with required personal protective equipment for the product.
  • Gloves will be available for those who wish to use them while cleaning
  • Cleaning will be the responsibility of the event organizers and people attending gatherings. They will clean, using disinfecting wipes or sprays and paper towels:
    • All chairs and tables that were used,
    • Light switches and doorknobs
    • Kitchen faucet and taps
    • Refrigerator door if used
    • Yardsticks, if used
  • Use only disposable plates, cups and eating utensils (or take them home and wash them there)
  • Event organizer is responsible for collecting all trash and recyclables and taking them out to the dumpster/collection bins and putting new garbage bags in the trash cans afterward.
  • After disinfecting, return all chairs and tables to their storage locations.
  • Don’t share personal items.  Do not have potluck meals or have shared food.

Communications and training practices and protocol

This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan was communicated through social media and newsletter email to all members on 20-July-2020.  Additional communication and training will be ongoing by through social media and email. Reminder posters will be placed at all entrances and in all rooms.

GPS Board are expected to monitor how effectively the program has been implemented. If the Board finds that people are not able to follow these practices and/or if there are outbreaks associated with meeting at GPS, all in person gatherings will be suspended.   All members are to take an active role and collaborate in carrying out the various aspects of this plan, and update the protections, protocols, work-practices and training as necessary.

This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan has been certified by the Geek Partnership Society board of directors and the plan was posted throughout the site and made readily available to members July 20, 2020.  It will be updated as necessary by the GPS Board as plan administrators.