COVID-19 Protocols for IC

“Kol Yisrael arevim zeh la-zeh. // All Jews are responsible for one another.” 

USY is an amazing community, and we rise to our best when we function as a community rather than as individuals. We are all responsible for one another.  It is this basic Jewish value that we call on each of you to be vigilant in complying with all the convention policies and rules to keep everyone safe, healthy and create a wonderful IC experience.

Please note that all participants must be fully vaccinated in order to attend IC. That means the two dose series of your COVID-19 vaccine must be completed two weeks prior to the start of IC.

For more information on how to prepare for and most enjoy this year’s IC, please read the information and FAQs below.

BEFORE CONVENTION:

A healthy and safe convention begins at home before you travel to IC. USY’ers should try to limit exposure to others as much as possible in the 14 days prior to convention.  We understand you will be attending school, but keeping your mask on, and maintaining social distancing will help lessen the risk that you get infected prior to convention.  Avoiding parties and large gatherings, especially if indoor and with unmasked people will help keep you well so you can come and enjoy convention.

All IC participants will be required to provide an emergency contact who will be available throughout the convention dates to pick you up within 24 hours should you become ill or have a positive test. 

You will be required to get a COVID-19 PCR test done no earlier than 72 hours prior to convention.  By doing so, you may avoid the inconvenience of showing up at convention, testing positive on the day of arrival and having to be isolated and sent home or to other prearranged locations. 

USY’ers who are considered high risk for COVID-19 or live with family members who are high risk, should consult their personal physician and either elect not to attend IC this year, or be prepared to take additional steps to mitigate that risk, before, during and after IC.  This would include quarantining after returning home and getting tested 3-5 days after return.  

DURING TRANSIT:

The safest way to travel to IC is to have a family member drive you in a private vehicle to the convention hotel. If that is not possible and public transportation is required, be sure to always minimize exposure during travel by masking and physically distancing.  Avoid eating in public places and stay away from persons who are not masked.  Frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer is recommended. 

DURING CONVENTION:

We know it’s exciting to be with your friends, and to dance, and sing and shout. However, taking extra precautions this year will help you stay healthy.  We recommend the following: 

Get a decent amount of sleep each night. 

Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Avoid sharing personal hygiene items, food and drinks. 

Save your throat and your voice, try not to scream too loud.

Maintain safe distance from others.

Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently. There will be hand sanitizer available throughout IC, but we also recommend bringing your own.

ADDITIONAL COVID-19 TESTING:

We are contracting with an established testing company to administer a rapid antigen test on the day of arrival and again on day 2 of convention.  Results of this type of test are usually confirmed within 15-30 minutes.  

If your antigen test is NEGATIVE, you will be allowed to enter the convention program.

If you test POSITIVE by rapid antigen test, a rapid COVID-19 PCR test will be done.  You will be sent to an isolation room to await the PCR test results.

If your COVID-19 PCR test is POSITIVE, you must be picked up by a pre-authorized adult within 24 hours.  The sooner you are picked up the better, as you will be alone in a room until that time. We will provide food for you and check on you during that time.

SOCIAL DISTANCING:

In order to minimize transmission, personal contact will look different at IC this year. 

Hotel rooms are small, and thus having “visitors” from other convention attendees in your room is prohibited.  ONLY the USYers assigned to that room may enter that room.   There will be ample time to visit with friends in the pre-arranged convention spaces. 

USYer’s may not roam around the hotel.  You will need to always stay with the USY group and avoid contact with other people who may be at the hotel. This includes elevator usage.

Congregating in the convention space restrooms will not be allowed.  Recommended occupancy numbers for the restrooms will be posted so attendees can easily determine if it is safe to enter or if they need to wait their turn to enter the restroom. 

HOTEL ROOMS:

Rooms will be cleaned according to hotel policy.

It is recommend that everyone wash their hands upon arrival into their room. 

FEELING SICK OR EXPERIENCING COVID-19 SYMPTOMS:

If someone is not feeling well, they should contact the nearest USY staff member, go to the isolation area as directed by staff, and avoid congregating with others.  Staff will notify the convention nurse.  Do not go directly to the infirmary.  You will be given instructions on where to go and how you will be evaluated. 

Non-emergent evaluation of sick individuals will initially be done by the convention nurse, and if needed, further medical evaluation will be obtained by the local urgent care center. 

If your roommate develops symptoms, have everyone in your hotel room wear masks until the sick person is put into isolation. 

AFTER CONVENTION:

Congratulations!  You have had the time of your life!  However, you are not done quite yet.  You should monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms, isolate and get tested right away if you develop symptoms.  For those without symptoms, the CDC recommends that you get another COVID-19 test done 3-5 days after returning home.  

If you have someone at high risk in your home (immune compromised, elderly, underlying health conditions, or unimmunized) you should quarantine from them until after you test negative. 

FAQ’s:

  • What measures has the Washington Hilton taken to promote safety?
    • New air ventilation systems have been installed increasing outside air flow and air filters (quality rating MERV 13) are replaced regularly. Restrooms are sanitized frequently; Floor markings designate appropriate physical distances in areas where people form lines. Designated directional walking paths are marked, and all common-area seating is arranged for social distance. All hotel employees’ symptoms are checked when they arrive at work each day, and masks are required for the staff. Employees are trained on personal hygiene and handwashing and have plenty of disinfectant, hand sanitizer, soap and water to use.
  • What precautions are taken for convention sessions?
    • All meeting rooms are cleaned daily and overnight and then sanitized again between uses. All convention space will have entrances and exits marked to avoid hallway congestion. Larger rooms will be utilized to allow for adequate distancing during sessions.
  • Will there be medical staff at the convention?
    • The convention will have a nurse on duty throughout the convention.  Additional medical care will be available through the local urgent care centers and hospitals.
  • Why are masks mandatory?
    • Studies have shown that consistent and proper wearing of face masks reduces the spread of respiratory viruses.  Masks are required for everyone during the convention with the exception of when you are inside your personal hotel room or eating or drinking.   Eating outside of prescribed meals will be discouraged, and if you need to drink, (we do encourage you to keep well hydrated), you should distance from others when you remove your mask to drink.
  • What happens if I forgot my mask or it breaks or becomes soiled?
    • USY will have an extra supply of disposable masks available for those who need a replacement.  We ask that you bring extra masks with you to convention.
  • Why are vaccines mandatory?
    • COVID-19 vaccines reduce your risk of getting infected, reduce the risk of serious disease, hospitalization, and death, and reduce the risk of you transmitting the virus to someone else.  USY is committed to doing everything possible to keep you safe and healthy while having fun at USY events.
  • What does “fully vaccinated” mean?
    • The CDC says you are fully vaccinated two weeks after you complete the two dose series of your COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Are USYers, staff and volunteers screened for signs of illness?
    • Every individual participating in person is required to sign the USY COVID-19 Policy and Waiver upon registration. All attendees will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing no earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival and will undergo rapid COVID-19 testing upon arrival and on day 2 of the convention. All attendees are asked to self-monitor their health while attending the convention.  Anyone exhibiting symptoms should notify staff, isolate and get medical evaluation.
  • What if I feel sick before coming to convention?
    • Please do not come to the convention if you develop symptoms associated with COVID-19If you have any symptoms the week prior to convention, you should consult your personal health care provider, you must get a negative COVID-19 PCR no earlier than 72 hours prior to convention, be feeling better and have no fever (less than 100.4) for at least 24 hours in order to attend.  If symptoms develop after you have had your COVID-19 PCR test done but before convention, do not come to convention with symptoms.
  • What happens if my roommate has a positive COVID-19 test?
    • If your roommate tests positive…
      • They will be removed from the convention activities or your room and put into an isolation room.  They will be required to leave the convention and be picked up per prior arrangements. 
      • If this should happen, you are considered a close contact, however,  because you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to be quarantined.  You should…
        • Monitor yourself closely for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days and notify staff while at convention or your parents/guardians upon your return home if you develop any symptoms. 
        • CDC suggests you wear your mask at all times when around others for 14 days. 
        • You may continue to attend the convention activities but pay extra attention to physical distancing and mask wearing. 
        • CDC suggests that you get a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after the date of exposure. 
        • If you have household members who are high risk for COVID-19, quarantine upon your return until you get a negative test on day 3-5. 
        • Notify USY if you test positive after returning home.  

 If you need to request a medical exemption or have questions about any of the above, please email [email protected]