Dear ALD's, Division Directors, and Deputies:
As COVID restrictions have lifted in recent weeks, the Lab has been evaluating how best to safely hold in-person meetings of 50 people or more. I’m pleased to announce that going forward, these large meetings, both on and offsite, can be managed and approved by division leadership, though the Lab will want to track these events.
For gatherings that do not require support from conference services (e.g., no meals, no contracts) – such as all-hands meetings – please document this meeting by filling out this form. No additional approval beyond division leadership is required.
For events that require support from Conference Services, such as Lab-hosted conferences, we will return to the pre-pandemic practice of requiring conference attendance approval through the Event Request System (ERS).
Be sure to include in your planning process a review of the safety protocols for all in person meetings. These protocols can also be accessed on the EHS and COVID websites, and will be updated in the event that DOE guidance changes. Please be aware that should a future COVID surge necessitate increased safety protocols, you may need to pivot to a virtual meeting, or reschedule your in-person event.
As we return to in-person meetings, be mindful that your participants’ level of comfort may vary. While face covers are optional but welcome indoors for most attendees while the community COVID level is low, you should have a supply of face covers on hand along with hand sanitizer for each meeting.
I’m looking forward to seeing more people on our sites in the coming weeks and months.