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COVID-19 Event Policies

Bethel University COVID-19 Event Policies and Resources

In this reopening season, the safety of our campus community drives every event decision. As a result, the Conference and Event Services team has rolled out new venue, staffing, and attendee policies, all aimed at minimizing COVID-19 exposure and preventing its spread. As communities begin to reopen, including Bethel campus life, our team’s focus is to thoughtfully plan for when, how, and where campus events can safely happen as we move through each phase on the reopening dial.

Below is an overview of our new event policies and expectations. They will no doubt change as we respond to the changing profile of the pandemic (we will make updates here). Our Promise to You summarizes our team’s commitment to each event owner and attendee, whether internal or external. Your Promise to Us summarizes our team’s expectations for each event owner and attendee.

Our event specialists are available resources for internal and rental event owners, and we’re ready to support you as we navigate best practices in safety. If you have an event on the horizon, please contact us at conference-event@bethel.edu or 651.638.6090.

Our Promise to You

  • Bethel puts safety first. Our COVID-19 Emergency Response Team is committed to monitoring and implementing Minnesota mandates as well as recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health
  • On-campus activities that can function successfully on a virtual platform will be virtual.
  • On-campus activities that can be postponed without compromise will be rescheduled.
  • Internal meetings will be virtual unless social distancing is possible, a space is available, and the group is 25 or fewer. For in-person meetings, a remote-access option must be provided, and attendees must sanitize surfaces before the meeting.
  • In-person campus events will require pre-event registration, either online or by phone. This allows us to set attendance thresholds, prepare event spaces for distancing, and track attendees. In-person registration will be eliminated whenever possible. 
  • We have imposed density thresholds on all event spaces. Our normal space capacities are reduced to accommodate distanced seating. 
  • Our public spaces normally intended for social gatherings have been modified by removing and/or rearranging furniture. Elevator capacity will be limited to 2 people or 1 household at a time.
  • Our on-site event hosts will ensure Bethel safety standards are followed before, during, and after each event. This includes our commitment to venue cleanliness, low-density foot traffic, distanced seating, and other modified-for-safety setups. We will provide a summary of our safety standards on request.
  • Our student employees will be fully trained on safety standards.
  • Signage has been posted summarizing safety expectations.
  • The traffic flow of large groups-especially during arrival, transitions, breaks, meals, and departure-will be thoughtfully managed to reduce density. Event hosts may direct attendees to follow staggered routes (multiple entrances and exits) and/or staggered times (admitting or dismissing small numbers of attendees at a time).
  • Hosts will monitor attendee behavior to ensure compliance with expectations such as masking and distancing (see Your Promise to Us below). If a situation or behavior compromises the safety of attendees, hosts will address and document the situation. 
  • Our campus’s east entrance is closed, and our security staff will continue conducting health screenings of everyone at the west entrance. 
  • Stations with hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes will be installed at main building entrances.
  • Our Facilities team will use COVID-rated disinfectants to clean public spaces at regular intervals. This includes sanitizing door handles, elevator panels, handrails, water fountains, tables, and surfaces such as arm rests. Trash will be frequently emptied. 
  • Our technicians will disinfect equipment such as microphones, slide advance remotes, podiums, and laptops between uses. They will build in additional safety precautions for presentation and stage logistics.
  • Sodexo, our food service provider, will continue to lead with the highest standards of staff hygiene and food-handling safety. 
  • Food servers will wear gloves and face coverings during setup, service, and strike. Setup and strike procedures include the sanitization of all work surfaces, service ware, and equipment.
  • While some events may go foodless for a time, events with food will look different. We will use delivery methods that eliminate common-touch practices. Drop-off service and individual grab-and-go packages, boxes, and bottles will replace full-service options such as buffets with shared condiments, utensils, and dispensers. Food items will be pre-set or glove-served whenever possible to prevent attendees from accidentally touching food items that others will take.

Your Promise to Us

  • Register for the event you plan to attend.
  • Stay home if you are ill. Seek and follow the advice of medical professionals. Consider staying home if you are in the CDC’s vulnerable category or live with someone who is.
  • Bring to campus a face covering that covers your nose and mouth. Wear it inside the buildings at all times unless you are eating or drinking.  
  • While on campus, maintain safe distances and safe group densities by staying 6 feet apart. Minimize contact with others and refrain from shaking hands.
  • Use cough and sneeze etiquette, wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face. 
  • Be intentional about not touching surfaces on campus unless necessary. Do not adjust our tables and chairs; they have been intentionally set for distancing.
  • Look for and follow campus signage.
  • Follow the directions of event hosts. Be patient if you are asked to wait for the sake of distancing.
  • If you become ill while on campus, alert an event host or any Bethel staff person.
  • Contact Conference and Event Services if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Please remember that the responsibility for protecting yourself and others against COVID-19 exposure rests solely with you.