Meetups and COVID-19

With the recent announcement about the Write The Docs Portland conference, we wanted to provide guidance for our community of meetups.

We’ve received a number of questions about whether Write the Docs community meetups should continue to host in-person events under the current circumstances related to the spread of COVID-19.

For the meetup organizers among us, we urge you to follow the best information available from your local, state, provincial, and national governments, including health advisories. If they are discouraging in-person events, we urge you to follow their advice.

If you and your groups wish to continue to meet, please consider using available remote tools in whole or part. That will help us, as a community, to be more inclusive of those who are not able or willing to attend in person.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to message us in the #meetup-organisers Slack channel. We’ll do our best to address your concerns.

If you need advice on remote meetups, we have members with expertise in the #wtd-meetup-remote Slack channel.

Many Countries Have Temporarily Banned All “In-Person” Meetups

Be sure to follow the laws, regulations, and recommendations of the health authorities in your area.

Interim Guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Guidance as of 3/15/2020. Source

Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.

This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.