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 Our Response to COVID-19

about the Novel Coronavirus

The Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a virus most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • Respiratory droplets when you cough or sneeze.
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
  • Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.

As of the writing of this document, there is only one confirmed case in Ottawa and Canadian officials have not declared a pandemic situation in our country. For more information about the virus and Canada’s response please visit the Government of Canada’s Coronavirus webpage.

What are we doing about it?

The event is a go!

We’re monitoring the situation daily and based on the guidance we’ve received from Ottawa Public Health (OPH), we’re running the event as planned. This will only change if OPH (or other governmental organizations) place a ban on large gatherings. If an imposed cancellation occurs, we’ll make a public announcement and fully refund all purchased admission tickets. 

Steps that we’re taking to keep you safe

The health and safety of our patrons has always been of the upmost importance to us and this year we’re being provided with an opportunity to step up our game even more. Here are some steps that we’re taking:

On site provisions

  • We’ll be putting OPH signs around the event that show how folks can protect themselves from the virus and other communicable illnesses in general.
  • We’ll be reminding everyone to WASH THEIR HANDS with soap and water as often as possible. Be sure to check out our fun posters in the washrooms.
  • All bathrooms will be stocked with extra soap and paper towels and cleaned regularly.
  • We’ll have hand sanitizer stations around the event.
  • We’ve asked the facility to regularly clean commonly touched surfaces (hand rails, door knobs, etc.)

 Asking folks to stay home if they’re sick

We’re asking our patrons, volunteers, and staff to stay home if they are sick. If you purchased a ticket to our event but can’t make it because you are sick, we will offer you a full refund as long as you contact us by March 29th. To get a refund, please email Stacey at [email protected]

What is the Nepean Sportsplex doing about it?

 Our event is taking place at the Nepean Sportsplex which is a public, multi-use, City of Ottawa building. The facility will be providing sanitizing stations in common areas and taking particular care of surface cleaning and maintenance.

how to protect yourself

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Here are some ways that you can do this:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (we encourage you to keep your own pocket sized bottle on you at all times).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Instead of shaking hands or hugging your friends, consider something a bit more geeky like the Vulcan salute or the Wakanda Forever salute
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Stay home when you are ill.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces at your home or workplace.

You can find additional tips on Ottawa Public Health’s website.

To stay up to date on the situation in Ottawa visit Ottawa Public Health Coronavirus Reference Page (Frequently Updated).

Additional information from the World Health Organization is available for proper hand washing procedures.

The 6-2-1 Rule

Independent of the coronavirus guidelines, we recommend that all patrons, staff, and exhibitors follow the informal 6-2-1 rule common to conventions. For those unfamiliar, this rule outlines a minimum requirement of:

  • 6 hours of sleep per night
  • 2 full meals a day
  • 1 shower per day

These steps can help improve your con experience and keep your body ready to fight off germs and con plague.

Be kind to yourself and others

Keep in mind that just because someone coughs, it does not mean that they automatically have the coronavirus. If it makes you feel more comfortable take extra steps and keep your distance, but remember that all attendees deserve to be treated appropriately and with respect.

what to do if you have symptoms

According to Ottawa Public Health, “the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause illness ranging from a very mild, cold-like illness to a severe lung infection. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle ache, headache, and difficulty breathing (shortness of breath).”

The risk of developing symptoms of COVID-19 without visiting an affected region or interacting with someone already infected is still very low. In the event you do develop symptoms relating to COVID-19, it’s recommended that you self isolate (stay home, off public transit, and do not have visitors) and contact your medical provider remotely.

still have questions or concerns? 

If you still have any questions or concerns about the precautionary measures we’re taking please contact us at [email protected]. We plan on hosting a memorable and fun weekend with the Ottawa geek community, and look forward to seeing you there.

Many thanks to Furnal Equinox for allowing us to adapt some of their wording for this document.

This web page was last updated on March 11, 2020.

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Not-for-profit corporation number: 1003703-6

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