Montreat Middle School Conference
Covid Information

As we have lived into two years’ worth of pandemic knowledge and prevention, we have created, adapted, and utilized various layers of defense against Covid-19 as part of our commitment to host conferences that are both meaningful, connected, and above all, safe.

If you are familiar with the “Swiss Cheese Model” of pandemic defense adapted from Ian M. Mackay and James T. Reason, then you are aware of the necessity of multiple layers of protection needed to optimize protection from illness.

Visual representation of the Swiss Cheese Model

Source: Safetec of America, adapted from Ian M. Mackay (virologydownunder.org) and James T. Reason

To give you some insight into the layers that Montreat Conference Center considers when setting policy, we offer these shared and personal responsibilities that we use.

Our commitment to you:

  • Vaccination and immunity due to prior infection:

Before MSC starts, we will send out a voluntary survey requesting information about vaccination and immunity status. This will help us estimate our collective level of protection via vaccination and prior exposure as a means of determining the mix of precautions we will use.

  • Ways to participate that limit the number of people interacting and mixing:
    • Lower Small Group capacities
    • Sit as family groups in the auditorium
    • Reformat recreation as needed
  • Ventilation Strategies:
    • Maximize outdoor time & minimize indoor time - increase the number of outdoor spaces utilized for small group and rec time.
    • Maryville College’s auditorium is up to date with air filtration and air cycling technology.
  • Indoor Mask Wearing (only if necessary)
    • Levels of vaccination and immunity as estimated by participant survey
    • Maryville College’s current orders
    • Montreat Conference Center’s current orders, AND
    • Event Risk Assessment: https://covid19risk.biosci.gatech.edu

Personal responsibilities we ask of you:

  • Symptom Checker and/or Testing
    • Please use our symptom checker with you and your group BEFORE traveling to Montreat: Click to Download
    • At home testing of group before coming (currently optional)
  • Optional Masking (if not already mandated)
  • Personal Hygiene:
    • Handwashing
    • Coughing etiquette
    • Avoid touching face

A note about mitigation strategies: While the above elements focus on prevention, we also strongly encourage you to think about your response should someone in your group become ill. Questions we should all consider:

  • If someone in your group shows symptoms, where will they seek testing?
  • How will the tested individual(s) be isolated given your housing layout?
  • As we are hosting minors, what happens if your adult chaperones/leaders become sick and have to isolate?
  • What will you do if you have multiple cases within a group - how do you keep the well and sick apart and get them through the week/back home safely?

Since we are housed on-site, the College and the Conference Center will consider how to isolate in our setting. We will have a reference sheet on hand for local urgent care centers as well as suggested outdoor and spaced activities for groups needing to quarantine, but we advise you to create contingency plans for your specific group size and context.