ITP event changes due to the Coronavirus
Given the global impact and uncertainty regarding Covid-19 (novel coronavirus), the ITP leadership team have been considering different areas of impact within ITP and planning for any operational disruption that may result from a significant spread within NZ.
One major area of concern is in relation to events. As well as taking all reasonable steps to ensure the virus isn't spread through our community as a result of an ITP event, we want you to know we're taking your safety seriously and responding appropriately while also not overreacting.
This has resulted in a set of policies that will apply to all of our events whether local or national in nature.
ITx 2020 postponed
We're very sorry to say that, in light of the current coronavirus situation, we have had to make the very difficult decision to postpone the main ITx conference by 6-8 months until mid-2021.
This decision wasn't made lightly, however the mix of health and safety concerns, combined with general anxiety in relation to attendance at larger conferences and the decision taken by many businesses and individuals to not travel or attend large events has meant we believe this is the only prudent option.
While the conference was being scheduled for late in the year, it would have necessitated us calling for speakers, sponsors, attendees etc over a fairly difficult period - the next month or two when things aren't great globally, plus New Zealand's winter when anxiety may well be high. It's better for us to postpone this and just focus on it later in the year and early next year.
Along these lines, as an organisation we're putting on hold all events where we expect more than 100 attendees. Smaller events will still go ahead in the meantime, but with some careful precautions to protect our members.
Precautions at other ITP events
Effective immediately, we're putting in place a number of precautionary measures at all ITP events including:
- Asking those who meet specified risk categories (recent travel to a country of concern, symptoms consistent with Covid-19, or recent exposure to someone meeting these criteria) not to attend our events.
- Ensuring hand sanitiser is present at the entrance and available to all attendees at all events.
- Ensuring appropriate signage is present at all entrances to our events.
- Ensuring we carefully track attendance at our events to assist in the case of an outbreak.
You can view the full policy here. We believe these are prudent steps that will ensure we can continue to run events while providing a level of comfort to attendees. We're also asking any third-party events we support to take similar precautions.
Countries of concern
The Ministry of Health maintains a list of countries of concern in relation to the coronavirus. The current countries of concern are:
- Mainland China
- Republic of Korea
- Hong Kong
We ask that you please stay away from our events if you have visited any of these countries in the last 14 days or had direct contact with someone who has.
According to the Ministry of Health the key symptoms are:
- Coughing (especially a dry cough)
- Difficulty breathing
We ask that you please stay away from our events if you have experienced any of these symptoms in the last 14 days, or had direct contact with someone who has.
Why are we doing this?
While we appreciate we are going further than the Ministry of Health guidelines, our top priority is the health and safety of our members and broader community.
Our commitment to you is that we will always put our members' interests at the front of what we do. We want you to have confidence, when you come to an ITP event, that we've taken all appropriate steps to ensure your safety.
Along these lines, we will also only be supporting third-party events that take similar precautions to what we're doing for ITP events.
When do these new policies take effect?
These changes take effect immediately, however as you'll be aware there is currently a shortage of hand sanitiser in New Zealand. We are working hard to obtain sanitiser for all of our branches nationwide but it's possible this won't be in place for one or two of our upcoming events.
We'd love to hear what you think about these changes. Don't hesitate to drop us a note with any suggestions if you think we should be doing more.
IT Professionals NZ
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