COVID-19 Event and Gathering Policy

Emory now requires all students, faculty, and staff to be immunized for COVID-19 for the fall 2021 semester, with exceptions only for those with approved medical or religious exemptions. Those with approved exemptions will be required to conduct a weekly screening test.

yellow gathering risk meter with arrow in second quadrant of four-quadrant meter with swoop mascot

Emory is operating in a modified yellow status.

Current Status

As of September 2, 2021, Emory is in a modified yellow operating condition.

The modified yellow operating condition means:

  • Nonacademic indoor events or gatherings with more than 250 attendees should move outdoors, if possible.
  • Any gathering must adhere to current Emory health and safety protocols. Indoor dining is not permitted for events or gatherings. Eating or drinking at events needs to be hosted outdoors.
  • Masks are still required in all indoor public and common spaces on campus and are strongly encouraged outdoors when in groups.
  • The university may revert to a more restrictive operating status should future conditions warrant.

Revised October 15, 2021

Events and Gatherings

“Events” or “gatherings” shall mean persons are physically present at a single location. Guidance for events or gatherings may also be applied to incidental gatherings but are not intended to guide density in transitory spaces. This policy governs all Emory-sponsored events, whether on campus or off campus.

Given our commitment to a reduced density on campus, we encourage the evaluation of both the risks and the benefits to the community when considering a gathering or event and require adherence to the measured approach that is outlined.

This policy is not intended to replace other university policies related to events and gatherings but is intended to complement those policies by providing guidelines to prevent transmission of COVID-19. Please refer to those policies for relevant guidance. This policy does not govern the university’s religious services, athletics programs, or use of fitness facilities, which are considered separately in the table of activities by alert level.

Guidance for events and gatherings are mapped to the table of activities by Emory’s operating condition status. This status is determined by leadership and is informed by community prevalence of COVID-19 and other factors that indicate the need for more or less restrictive behavior. Emory uses a color-coded meter system to easily show the current gathering risk.

Responsibility for Adherence to Infection Prevention Measures

  • Every event organizer is responsible for following all current Emory guidelines and policies, including that indoor dining is not permitted for events or gatherings. Eating or drinking at events needs to be hosted outdoors.
  • Mask requirements for certain outdoor gatherings depending on size and density may still be applied by the university. With the highest risk for COVID-19 transmission occurring in indoor settings, and as we continue vaccinating our campus community, masks are still required at this time, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public and common spaces on campus—including classrooms, laboratories, shuttles, and other meeting spaces.
  • Event organizers should be familiar with the infection prevention measures (below) and encourage attendees to practice infection prevention guidelines.
  • Disregard for infection prevention measures among attendees may compromise the organizer’s ability to continue the current event or schedule future events.

Infection Prevention Measures

All attendees at events and gatherings should follow these infection prevention guidelines:

  • Do not come to an event if you are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Do not come to an event if you have been advised to quarantine or isolate by a health care provider, a public health official, Student Health Services, or the Emory Contact Tracing Team.
  • If you develop signs and symptoms of illness while at the event, please leave and seek medical assistance as appropriate.
  • Abide by the current mask guidelines.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Hand sanitizer and extra face coverings must be made available for attendees at events.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.

Environmental Cleaning

High-touch surfaces must be disinfected before and after every event by the event organizer.