We’re working to ensure that all members remain safe at Bewhiskered. Please help us by reading our COVID policy and coming prepared to participate in the precautions we are taking. This policy can and likely will change as the situation develops. Please make sure to check this page regularly (and especially before the convention) to stay informed of the latest policy.
Please Note: Approximately two months before BWS 2021, the NCAS board of directors will reevaluate the current status of COVID and the safety of proceeding with the convention in November. If it is not deemed safe, we will postpone BWS until 2022 and all member/dealer/etc. registrations will be automatically transferred to the new dates. In addition, our refund deadline will be extended until 2022 in case your plans change.
If it is deemed safe to proceed with BWS in November:
- The Code(s) of Conduct have been updated to include compliance with all COVID precautions required by NCAS, the Marriott at Research Triangle Park (our hotel), or municipal regulations.
- Masks will be required whenever you are with someone outside of your immediate household. This includes while wearing fursuits and while in room parties. Please note that most balaclava materials are not advisable as a protective mask and you will need to wear a protective mask while in suit and in the fursuit lounge.
- You may need to show proof of vaccination or a negative same-day test result to enter the event spaces. Make sure to bring your COVID passport with you, or plan ahead for having at least two test kits for the weekend. See Vaccinations or Negative Test Results for the fine details on the required testing schedule.
- If you test positive, you may retake the test to verify it is not a false-positive.
- If you still test positive, we will give you a prorated refund on your registration.
- We will be working with the hotel to alter event spaces for appropriate distancing and sanitization.
If you have any questions or suggestions about our COVID policy or how we can work together to keep all of our members safe, please see the full policy below. You can also reach out to us at email@example.com.
Bewhiskered 2021 COVID Policy
Code of Conduct
Health and Safety
Volunteering with NCAS and at NCAS events may be subject to additional provisions requiring that volunteers either engage in or refrain from certain behaviors during situations which can materially affect the health and safety of its members, staff, volunteers, contractors/liaisons, or the general public. Violating these provisions constitutes a violation of the NCAS Volunteer Code of Conduct.
Such situations and provisions include, but are not limited to:
- Sickness or Epidemic: In the event of an outbreak of a communicable disease with the potential to pose a risk to attendees at an event, NCAS volunteers are expected to practice common courtesy and cleanliness. Even without an outbreak, we ask that volunteers adhere to these provisions if they begin to feel ill while at one of our events.
- Hand Washing. Volunteers must make an effort to wash their hands frequently, especially before meals. In particular, we recommend following the CDC guidelines .
- Masks. Volunteers must wear effective masks in the event of an outbreak of respiratory transmitted illness. While the effectiveness of a specific mask is hard to quantify, the style and material of the mask worn must be recommended for use against the illness in question by the NCDHHS , CDC , or WHO . Masks must be worn properly, following all recommendations by the prior listed organizations, and cover the nose and mouth.
- Covering Your Coughs. Regardless of whether you are wearing a mask, volunteers must make sure to cover their mouth with a tissue or elbow. Do not use your hand. Volunteers may wish to follow the CDC guidelines .
- Social Distancing. Social contact is a factor in the spread of disease. Volunteers must make an effort to maintain social distancing by limiting physical interactions like handshakes and hugs.
- Sanitization. Volunteers should take care to wipe down shared equipment and other objects after use. Please remain cognizant that shared equipment may have been handled by someone prior to you.
Vaccinations or Negative Test Results
If you have been vaccinated, you must display proof of having been fully vaccinated on or before October 29th, 2021 (two weeks before November 12th). Your badge will be visibly marked to indicate that we have confirmed proof of vaccination. Admission into the event spaces will not be permitted without this or proof of a negative test.
We’re hoping that almost every member will be vaccinated on time. However, if you have not been fully vaccinated by October 29th, 2021, you must take a same-day COVID test and provide proof of a negative result when you pick up your badge. Your badge will be visibly marked to indicate that we have confirmed proof of a negative test for that day. Admission into the event spaces will not be permitted without this or proof of vaccination.
- The FDA has approved at least one rapid over-the-counter COVID test that should be available by November. Members are responsible for procuring their own tests. The test is projected to cost ~$30. Depending on availability, we may provide an add-on option to purchase one or more tests along with pre-registration.
- The rapid test is an antigen test with ~96% accuracy. We expect that there will be a handful of false positives over the weekend. If you test positive, you may procure and take a second test. If the second test is also positive, we unfortunately cannot allow you to attend BWS and will give you a prorated refund on registration. We are working with the Marriott at Research Triangle Park to secure prorated refunds on hotel rooms for anyone who tests positive over the weekend.
All individuals must wear a mask while in the presence of someone not from their immediate household. This includes while in fursuit and at room parties. According to our Code of Conduct, masks must be worn properly. If you are not wearing a mask over your mouth and nose, a staff member may ask you to adjust it.
- All masks must adhere to the CDC guidelines for masks. A balaclava is not sufficient.
- If you are taking a drink, you may pull down your mask, sip, and pull it back up. Or, you can make a mask with a sealable straw hole.
- Exceptions may be made for meals in the lobby/restaurant area and the VIP lounge/con suite. These will be clearly stated in the lobby/restaurant area.
- Children younger than 2 years are exempt following the CDC guidelines.
- Wearing a mask isn’t just to protect you, it’s to protect our other members. If you feel that you cannot wear a mask, we ask that you plan on attending BWS 2022 next year.
Changes to the Hotel Layout
- Water stations will not be provided within the event spaces. Attendees should plan accordingly and bring their own water bottles to fill in their hotel rooms, purchase a beverage from the bar, or purchase a beverage from the hotel convenience store.
- We will work with the hotel to see if we can set up a water station in the lobby to be staffed by someone wearing gloves.
- Hand-sanitizer will be placed for use throughout the event spaces.
- We may place additional signage throughout the event spaces with reminders related to COVID safety. Please be aware of any such signage and do your best to follow any instructions.
Changes to Events and Event Spaces
- Shared equipment, props, games, etc. will be cleaned after use.
- Doors to event spaces will be left open to facilitate airflow. If a room has an exterior door or window, it will be left open too.
- Maximum room capacity may be reduced to enable social distancing.
Questions or Suggestions
If you have any questions or suggestions about our COVID policy or how we can work together to keep all of our members safe, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.