COVID-19 MITIGATION PLAN, as of Tuesday, August 10th, 2021
This information is intended to provide guidance on safely operating the DAV 5K Boston as
COVID cases rise and fall in eastern Massachusetts, and other areas of the Commonwealth. We
also strongly recommend that participants/runners, staff, and volunteers become vaccinated with
one of the approved WHO vaccines prior to race weekend.
As vaccination rates increase across the country, eventually the likelihood of severe diseases and
mortality will decline, as will the likelihood of transmission. However, during this transition period
between a pandemic phase and endemic phase of the epidemic, many mitigation requirements
are still required to keep participants, staff, and volunteers safe in the context of running races.
The risk of outdoor transmission has been estimated to be nearly 20 times lower than indoors
and occurs so infrequently that outdoor transmission events - particularly when social distancing
or using masks - is rarely described in the medical literature.
Recent reports and surveillance work has demonstrated that outdoor transmission comprises as
few as 0.1% of all transmission events. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets and
aerosols that are released into the air while talking, laughing, coughing, and breathing.
Indoors, these droplets remain in the air for minutes to hours. Outdoors, droplets and aerosols
are dispersed rapidly, resulting in a lower risk of transmission to others. The risk of transmission
at outdoor gatherings is dependent on things such as:
- The amount of time spent in close contact with others
- The number of people at the gathering, the ability to socially distance, and the use of face
In the context of road races and mass gatherings, mitigation measures at contact points,
including registration/packet/bib pick-up, the Vendor and Partner area at Fort Independence, start
and finish lines, water points, restrooms, and all medical facilities are the most important in
reducing the likelihood of a transmission event.
MITIGATION MEASURES/REQUIREMENTS AT THE DAV 5K BOSTON
Masks/face coverings must be used at any point where individuals cannot socially distance or are indoors. Indoor areas at DCR Fort Independence will be closed and offlimits to participants. The DAV 5K Boston will provide all runners, staff, and volunteers with an approved surgical mask for use at bib pick-up, inside Fort Independence, and, if needed, upon entering any one of our medical facilities or transporting ambulances. Single-layered material such as neck gaiters, cloth masks, and bandanas do not provide sufficient protection and should be avoided. Again, we ask that all runners, volunteer, and staff use the face masks provided by the event, which will be available at key locations throughout the weekend.
We will NOT require any of our participants to use a mask on the racecourse. The World Health Organization does not recommend the use of facial coverings during vigorous exercise given that one meter (three feet) of distance is maintained. Running in groups that stick together for the race should be discouraged, if possible. In general, because of airflow and dispersion afforded by being outdoors, as well as the limited duration that any two participants spend near each other on the course, the probability of transmission during racing is strongly reduced.
Social distancing when outdoors, one meter (three feet), should be maintained between individuals even on the race course.
Medical staff will be provided with and required to have surgical masks and gloves, and in some cases face shields or goggles. Runners, staff, or volunteers entering the medical tent at the finish will be required to wear a mask prior to entry or will not be granted entrance to those facilities. Masking will also be required for any runner needing transport to a hospital resulting from participation in the race.
Sanitizing - Regarding sanitizing, COVID-19 is primarily spread through the air, but there remains a small possibility of transmitting through surface contact. Sanitizing of surfaces can reduce the small risk of transmission. It should be noted, however, the relatively minimal effect sanitizing surfaces has been shown to have epidemiologically. DAV 5K Boston will provide hand sanitizer at all key touch points, along with sanitizing wipes as needed.
Registration/Bib Pick-up is streamlined for 2021 with most participants receiving their race kits by mail. For registrants who complete their registration after November 1 or onsite, the registration/bib pick-up will be the first point of contact on-site at Castle Island. DAV 5K Boston will not be conducting a mandatory health screening questionnaire upon arrival but reserves the right to change this mitigation plan if the COVID-19 variants become more prevalent, or if state or CDC guidelines are changed. Efforts to ensure rapid and socially distanced registration and bib pick up are encouraged. Masks should be worn while queuing and by all staff and volunteers.
Starting Line/Procession to the Start: We strongly recommend that all runners continue to wear their face mask, even once they proceed from Fort Independence, heading to the start corral prior to the start. We encourage all to pocket this face mask for reuse at the finish or discard the mask in a provided waste receptacle.
On the course: Masks are not required while running on the race course. Water station volunteers will wear gloves and masks, and all water on course will be bottled. Recycling bins will be available at multiple locations along the course for the discard of used bottled water. Alternatively, runners are encouraged to carry their own water for personal consumption.
Finish Line and post finish area: Runners will be allowed to finish inside Fort Independence and spectators are allowed to cheer from inside the Fort. All spectators inside the Fort are required to wear their face mask and avoid gathering in groups. Spectators can also cheer for participants outside the Fort and along the course. Vendors and partners will be located inside the Fort.
Please do not throw the mask on any public roads, walkways, or private property.
All runners, staff, volunteers, spectators, and public safety officials should remain informed and continue to make determinations regarding their involvement and personal safety. The DAV 5K Boston leadership will work in cooperation with DCR officials, the City of Boston, and will continue to follow the guidance as provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during this event. While we strongly encourage all participants to get vaccinated for COVID-19, having received the second shot at least two weeks prior to November 6, we know not everyone, including children under 12, have that option. For those reasons, we ask that all involved follow our mitigation plan without exception.
BASIC SCIENCE-BASED GUIDANCE FOR RACES OF ALL SIZES
First and foremost, the DAV 5K Boston will comply with all standards in accordance with CDC, state, and local public health guidance and will adjust as necessary.
It is important to note that most public health guidance is not written with outdoor races in mind. Therefore, while some local guidance may be applicable, other aspects of the guidance may be flexible when considering the type of event. Please reference: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advicefor-public
The DAV 5K Boston will run a limited field of participants but will keep our regular allotment of staff and volunteers to support the event and its participants accordingly. Given the current status of the virus, and directives from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we will not be conducting any mandatory infectious health screening questionnaires prior to or during the day of the event.
Since it has been proven that onsite temperature screening has not been effective in detecting the virus, we will rely on all runners, staff, and volunteers to monitor their health leading up to, and on the morning of the race, November 6, 2021.
If for any reason a staff member, runner or volunteer exhibits any symptoms of illness - including a cough (dry or wet), fever, joint aches or have any unusual symptoms - please stay home and consult with your family physician.
The health screening or monitoring of your personal health is not a replacement for social distancing or mask use as directed in this document - even if vaccinated. Prudent measures are necessary to minimize risks to everyone.
Additionally, the DAV 5K Boston expects the following:
Inform DAV 5K Boston of any COVID-19 symptoms you/your family experience, or if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days prior to November 6. If you test positive, we can mail you your race kit and finisher medal.
All participants are to use face coverings, supplied by the event, at bib pick-up. Masks are recommended at the start area if you are unvaccinated and/or unable to physically distance yourself from other participants.
Be mindful of the physical distance (greater than 6 feet) from people you may wish to maintain who are not part of your household or with whom you did not travel (your travel unit).
A properly worn face covering will be required any time you enter an enclosed space (i.e. inside Fort Independence, indoor facilities, and medical tents.) The DAV 5K Boston will supply masks in areas where required.
Frequent and thorough hygiene practices like hand washing and reducing or eliminating shared items such as water bottles, cups, or towels.
Parents should be responsible for ensuring their children adhere to physical distancing, hygiene practices and use of masks, as recommended.