As teams head back to school and start getting ready for the 2021-22 FIRST season it’s important to keep the safety of yourself and your community as a foremost priority. As such, FIRST Robotics British Columbia strongly recommends that all eligible and able participants get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The vaccines are proven to be both safe and effective, and have been reviewed by Health Canada experts.
Throughout the pandemic we have placed the health and safety of everyone in the FIRST community at the forefront of our planning. Ensuring high rates of vaccination remains one of the most important ways we can protect public health. In accordance with the Province of British Columbia’s Public Health Orders, FIRST Robotics British Columbia will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masks for all attendees of any in-person indoor FIRST Robotics British Columbia event. Please see the provincial announcement for full details. Specific venues may have more stringent requirements, which will be published on our website.
We know that vaccinations combined with public health measures (physical distancing, mandatory wearing of masks, washing your hands, and staying home if you don’t feel well) are the best defences against COVID-19, and we will be applying these types of measures to our in-person events. More details on all COVID-19 safety protocols and policies will be available to the community in the near future.
We are planning to host all FIRST Robotics British Columbia events in-person at this time. If the situation changes, we will be ready to move events to remote participation, and will communicate any changes to teams well in advance of their event. FIRST Robotics British Columbia’s COVID event Policy can be found below.
Teams are expected to exercise caution while meeting this fall, and to ensure that they are following all local public health guidelines as well as school regulations.
Thank you for your ongoing diligence as we work to support our community through a safe return to play. We know the past 18 months have been an incredible struggle for our community, but we are constantly inspired by your perseverance and dedication to the health and safety of all our communities.
COVID Event Policy for FIRST Robotics British Columbia In-Person Events.
All restrictions made by the BC Health Officer (as shown here https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/response will apply, as will any restrictions set by the local health area or the venue.
Anyone experiencing symptoms that could be related to COVID-19 should not enter the venue. Should you begin to feel sick during the event, you should notify the event director. You will be directed to an area separated from the event.
Personal Protective Equipment
All event staff, volunteers, spectators and participants must wear a face mask when inside the event venue, except when eating. Anyone eating or drinking should be seated before removing their mask. Face masks should be worn correctly, covering both the nose and mouth.
Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the venue and should be used frequently.
Whenever possible, everyone should avoid close contact with others, especially people from other teams, and maintain a distance of 2 m or more.
There should not be any shaking hands, high fives, etc. during the event.
Extra spacing should be provided between team pit areas, and seating arrangements in the stands and eating areas should provide for extra space between individuals and between teams.
Vaccination Status Checks
All event staff, volunteers, spectators and participants age 12 and up will need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination when entering the venue each day. Anyone without proof will be denied entry.
Consent and Release
A completed and signed FIRST Consent and Release Form for BC is required for all attendees, including but not limited to event staff, volunteers, coaches, mentors, students, and spectators. The primary coach will provide the completed and signed Consent and Release Forms for their team and any team coaches and mentors at team check-in or online before the event.
(This consent form is similar to the general FIRST consent form, but it specifically releases FIRST Robotics British Columbia.)