Statement on 3/12/20
Georgia FBLA Members and Advisers,
In light of the current health issues and concerns resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Georgia FBLA Board of Directors has made the most difficult decision to cancel our 2020 State Leadership Conference. While a variety of factors influenced this decision, be assured that the health and safety of our students and stakeholders has always been our primary concern.
We understand that this is disappointing to our members, advisers, and chapters that have worked toward this conference all year. However, we have developed a plan of action to continue with our competitive events program and recognition through online video submission and video conferencing, depending on the event and situations which may be unique to your school’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. We will be working with local advisers and administrators to implement this plan. More information about our altered competitive event process will be sent to advisers and made available on the Georgia FBLA Adviser LiveBinder by next week as we are assessing the impacts made by the many school closures across the state. We still plan to issue awards for all of our events, even though we are having to conduct some components of our competitive events in a somewhat unique manner.
We will also communicate the refund process at a later date once that is determined. There are many legal and contractual issues that first have to be worked out.
Please remain connected with us through www.georgiafbla.org/covid-19, the Adviser LiveBinder (for advisers), and on our social media channels for more updates. Our next priority is to work with the two hotels to recover the housing fees already paid to them per our contract and then to implement our modified competitive event plan
Thank you for everything you do and for your continued understanding, patience, and support. We value your service to your chapter and to Georgia FBLA.
Georgia FBLA Board of Directors
Statement on 3/10/20
We are aware of the many concerns regarding the COVID-19’s impact on our 2020 State Leadership Conference. We are closely monitoring the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and state health department updates regarding COVID-19 and following their recommendations on the appropriate health and safety measures. At this moment, the conference is still scheduled, as planned. We are working with both the Hyatt Regency Atlanta and the Atlanta Marriott Marquis to lessen any impact this situation could have on the conference experience. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Hotel cleaning and disinfection (public areas as well as guest rooms and other high touch surfaces)
- Availability of hand sanitizers throughout the hotels
Additionally, as far as conference functions are concerned, we will implement the following practices:
- Banning the practice of hand-shaking as it occurs in competitive events, campaigning, workshops, and awards presentation
- Limiting the distribution of competitive event support materials (e.g., handouts, devices) to only those situations where necessary
- Regularly disinfecting workshop and competitive events equipment (e.g., laptops, projectors)
- Retooling workshops to lessen the amount of contact individuals have with each other
- Broadcasting both general sessions online for those who wish to avoid the large gatherings
- Providing gloves, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes to those who come into contact with high touch items (e.g., registration materials, competitive event materials, marketplace items)
We recognize that the COVID-19 virus has required all of us to be more thoughtful as we go through our daily activities. We are expected to follow the CDC recommendations for everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases and we encourage you to share these practices with your attendees. These include:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
As the situation evolves, we will continue to follow recommended measures that may be provided by health authorities. We’ll make operational changes and consider other precautionary measures, as necessary. Should state government and health officials make changes in their recommendations, we will keep you informed of any changes in our procedures and policies. Should it be necessary to cancel the conference altogether, we will communicate any refund process and changes to our competitive event procedures at that time.
Monty Rhodes & Georgia FBLA Board of Directors