COVID-19: Health and Safety Notice

The North Carolina Science Festival team is monitoring the rapidly changing coronavirus outbreak, and consulting with officials and experts about concerns for the safety of Festival participants.

As of March 13, 2020, our recommendation to all partners is to postpone, cancel, or host a virtual event.

We are encouraging everyone to follow guidelines for community events set by NC Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At this time, most large-scale NCSciFest events have been cancelled or postponed. Our partners in smaller communities are continuing to make independent determinations as to whether to cancel their events.

We urge our festival community — program partners and attendees alike — to do what they can to hinder rather than advance the potential spread of coronavirus. For the most current information about the disease and its prevention, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

This page will be updated as additional information and guidance from the CDC, NC DHHS, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (our parent organization), becomes available.

We recommend all participants take reasonable precautions to protect yourself and others. The CDC recommends following the same guidelines as flu prevention:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Information for NCSciFest Event Hosts

As of March 13, 2020, our recommendation to all partners is to postpone, cancel, or host a virtual event. We are encouraging everyone to follow guidelines for community events set by NC Department of Health and Human Services the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At this time, most large-scale NCSciFest events have been cancelled or postponed. Our partners in smaller communities are continuing to make independent determinations as to whether to cancel their events.

If your organization decides to cancel, postpone, or modify your event, please let us know as soon as possible.

All partners are encouraged to take reasonable precautions to protect guests and staff. We recommend you:

  • Promote the daily practice of everyday preventive actions. Use health messages and materials developed by credible public health sources such as your local public health department or CDC to encourage your event staff and participants to practice good personal health habits. Promote everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, which include:
    • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Wash 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.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
  • Provide COVID-19 prevention supplies at your events. Plan to have extra supplies on hand for event staff and participants, including sinks with soap, hand sanitizers, tissues, and disposable facemasks (for persons who start having symptoms).

    Note: Disposable facemasks should be kept on-site and used only if someone (worker or attendee) becomes sick at your event. Those who become sick should be immediately isolated from staff and participants who are not sick and given a clean disposable facemask to wear.

  • Promote messages that discourage people who are sick from attending events. This should include messages requesting that people leave events if they begin to have symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. They should seek medical advice promptly by calling ahead to a doctor’s office or emergency room to get guidance. See CDC guidance on what to do when sick with COVID-19.

  • Develop flexible refund policies for participants. Create refund policies that permit participants the flexibility to stay home when they are sick, need to care for sick household members, or are at high risk for complications from COVID-19.

The CDC has issued interim guidance for large community events - check this page for updates