COVID-19 and FLOAT
As of March 3, 2021
Lombard, Illinois, the location of FLOAT 2022, is currently in Phase Four of Illinois' five phases of reopening as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a nutshell, this means that right now events of 50 people or fewer are allowed to gather socially.
FLOAT 2022 would only be allowed to take place in Illinois under Phase Five, which is basically life "back to normal"...or should we say the new normal. The sticking point is this one line that reads in the state's description of Phase Five:
"All sectors of the economy reopen with new health and hygiene practices permanently in place."
What are those specific practices? Does this mean masks will have to be worn in Phase Five? Will we have to socially distance classrooms and the banquet and so on? We simply do not know yet.
What we DO know is that:
1. We have put together an extremely extensive COVID-19 action plan for a worst case scenario situation at FLOAT 2022. Click here to read the current version of this plan.
2. We will be following all guidelines from both local government and CDC recommendations with regard to the event.
3. While most experts feel that an event like FLOAT will be able to take place in January 2022, there is still a remote possibility that FLOAT may have to be modified in some way in order to take place. This could include but is not limited to only allowing a limited number of attendees, and therefore forcing us to cancel some registrations (along with refunding those individuals) or the possibility of a completely virtual event with in-person instructors being recorded but no students in attendance.
4. Final decisions regarding FLOAT 2022 and our COVID-19 protocols will be made in late 2021.
5. We will have a zero tolerance policy in effect for anyone found to be in violation of FLOAT's final COVID-19 protocols. Attendees who refuse to follow full protocols, including instructors and sponsors, will be removed from the event and may face a permanent ban from future conventions.
6. All attendees, regardless of their involvement at FLOAT, will be expected to sign a release regarding COVID-19, or else they will not be permitted to attend.
7. There is a strong likelihood that FLOAT 2022 will have to require masking for all attendees, including sponsors. If this is an issue for you to the point where you will knowingly refuse to wear a mask, you are welcome to a full refund of your booth fee any time before December 1, 2021. Again, final decisions will not be made until late 2021, but it will be well enough before the December 1 deadline issued here.
7a. Please do not assume that your personal beliefs about masking, the validity of masking or your right to freedom of choice supersedes the rules and policies established by a private business. FLOAT is a PRIVATE EVENT hosted only for those who have paid to attend it. As such, FLOAT has every right to create a set of rules of conduct for those in attendance, and yes, those rules MAY require you to wear a mask for general safety. What you do in the confines of the RESIDENTIAL portion of the hotel is strictly up to the hotel's policy, but FLOAT is allowed to dictate policy that takes place within the CONVENTION portion of the hotel. This includes the enforcement of a mask policy should we have to do this.
We would never dare walk into your business and tell you how to run things....please don't expect to do the same with FLOAT.