Skip to Content
Coronavirus update: What you need to know about FIU events

Coronavirus update: What you need to know about FIU events

Update No. 14-- The following memo was sent this evening to the FIU community from Sandra Gonzalez-Levy, senior vice president of External Relations, Strategic Communications and Marketing.

March 10, 2020 at 8:35pm

We have received numerous inquiries about whether to cancel or postpone events. We continue to monitor the coronavirus situation very closely and are focused on how this developing situation might impact our events.

Please visit our coronavirus web page for the latest updates.

Late last week, we decided to postpone the Torch Awards gala, scheduled for March 28. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution and in consultation with sponsors, keeping the health and well-being of guests and the university community in mind. A new date will be announced soon.

Likewise, other upcoming events are being evaluated. We are keeping health experts’ recommendations for social distancing in mind. Large local events such as Ultra, Calle Ocho and eMerge Americas have been canceled as well.

At this time, spring commencement ceremonies are expected to proceed as scheduled, but we are working on possible alternative plans.  

We have asked members of the university community who are planning an event that will take place on or off campus through June 30, 2020, to fill out this short form with some basic event details. This information will be used to make decisions in consultation with event organizers. If you have not submitted your upcoming event, please do so immediately.

For events that will take place on and off campus, we are implementing the following procedures. Please ensure that student events follow these procedures as well.

Speakers and participants

  • Reconfirm that speakers plan to attend.
  • Review contract stipulations related to cancelation or postponement of events as they relate to speakers.
  • Ask speakers and participants if they have  traveled to countries with CDC Level 2 and 3 rating (at present these include China, Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea), countries with 100 or more confirmed cases or locations in the U.S. with coronavirus outbreaks or if they have been in close contact (six feet or less for 15 minutes or more) with someone who has traveled to these areas. If they have, please ask them not to attend.
  • Advise speakers and participants to act responsibly: Only attend if they are healthy and have no symptoms and follow CDC recommendations on how to protect themselves from exposure to this virus.
  • Advise speakers and participants to monitor communications for event status updates from FIU should the need arise to cancel or postpone the event. 

Event procedures

  • Hand sanitizers should be placed at all entrances, registration areas and food stations. Securing hand sanitizers is the responsibility of event organizers.
  • Please print this double-sided coronavirus prevention flyer, and place on all chairs/tables. Also display the flyer prominently at the entrances to the event.
  • Make an announcement at the beginning of the event and inform participants to follow the CDC recommendations on how to reduce your risk of infection: “Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you do not have access to soap and water, please use hand sanitizer. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. Avoid shaking hands. Fist or elbow bumps are preferred. Avoid touching your face.”
  • Communicate to all participants that FIU reserves the right to cancel the event at any time should the need arise. FIU will not be responsible for any costs associated with canceled or changed travel arrangements.
  • Keep a record of everyone attending the event (RSVP list with first name, last name and email) in case we need to communicate any information post-event. In addition, create a sign-up sheet to collect this information from anyone who attends without having sent an RSVP.
  • If it is possible to hold your event through alternate means, such as Zoom videoconferencing, please consider doing so.

Please let us know before you decide, for any reason, to postpone or cancel an event or if you have any questions regarding procedures for your upcoming event. Please contact Senior Associate Vice President for Event Protocol and Community Relations Dania Pearson-Adams, 305-348-3875, Director of Signature Event Management Jehnny Rivera, 305-348-2288, or myself at 305-348-7235.