Thanks for the questions on Covid mitigation. My name is Doc and I am part of the planning committee. You asked a lot of good questions and I will answer what I can with the caveat that it may change at anytime between now and the week of the event. We will be following the state of CA and County guidance along with requirements and procedures put forth by the Wings over Camarillo airshow event planners. The following is what we know now:
I am assuming the event will fall under the “outdoor events above 5000 people. I am not sure where the WoC event planners plan to limit attendance at this time. The competition will take place in a very large/tall aircraft hanger with the entire front being comprised of hanger doors that will remain open during the event. All doors and windows will also be open to promote as much ventilation as possible. We will have plenty of hand washing stations, bathrooms are available within the hanger with plenty of porta potties (I know, gross) and hand washing stations throughout the airshow.
The airshow itself is completely outdoors however the hanger will be more crowded given the nature of a FRC competition, the pits, support around the field etc. At this time I would state that masks or face shields will be required for everyone taking part in the competition. We will not be allowing the public into the pits and we will put limits on the number of persons each team will be allowed into their pit. This will keep crowding to the absolute minimum.
The pits will be inside the hanger as of now. The entire hanger is adjacent to the flight line or will be surrounded by aircraft making outside pits difficult at best. Also Camarillo is very close to the ocean therefore the chance for windy and or foggy conditions is a concern. At this time the pits will be 10×10 and adjacent.
We are planning to live stream the competition and remote scouting is a great idea for those teams able to do so however there will be no public access to the event wireless and cell service may be spotty.
- Last year we had 1 set of stands set up and a bunch of chairs on the airshow side of the field. We are still figuring this out however there will be limited seating. We want the public to be able to watch the competition as this is a public outreach event and was very popular last year. I would tell every team planning on attending that this is primarily an event for you to compete the robot you all worked so hard on and never had a chance to see your work in action. We will encourage every team to only bring those mentors and team members needed for your drive team and pit support.
As for any large event a complete list of all Covid policies and requirement will be posted on the WoC airshow and the GCRA website in addition to being emailed to each team prior to the event. Every team member from each team will have an entry wrist band in addition to a neck lanyard with ID card that must be worn at all times so we can monitor who should and should not be in the pits. Event volunteers will be performing crowd control especially in the pits. As per regional competitions any penalties for violating competition rules or event polices, such as COVID, will be under the jurisdiction of the Head Referee and event coordinators. Bottom line is I would hate for a team to be disqualified or penalized for disregarding a rule or policy designed to keep everyone as safe as possible.
I know many are going to ask about proof of vaccination and Covid testing. As stated at minimum we will be following state and local guidelines. We may, to increase everyone’s safety, require either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours of the event. This has not been decided yet but we will let everyone know with plenty of advance notice.
I know you probably would like more concrete information however that is the best I can give you right now. If you have additional questions or concerns let me know by sending me (Doc) an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope your team will be attending and we look forward to seeing everyone in August at a really fun event. What’s better than robots, military aircraft, and explosions.