Coronavirus, COVID-19, and the RASC 2020 General Assembly
RASC is committed to providing a safe and healthy space for all GA participants: speakers, attendees, exhibitors and partners. To that end, we are closely monitoring advice regarding the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Update as Of May 31, 2020
Update as Of March 23, 2020
We are sad to announce that the RASC 2020 General Assembly is cancelled.
This is the first time this has happened in the more than 60 years of RASC General Assemblies. The GA organizing committee will cancel the Eventbrite GA events shortly and registered attendees will be issued a full refund.
Contact the Executive Plaza hotel directly to cancel your reservations for accommodation. You must cancel prior to 7 days before your arrival date, anything after that date will likely result in a cancellation fee of at least 50% of the total reservation.
RASC will announce some virtual events in the coming days and will hold an Annual General Meeting in Toronto later this year. More details on these events will be communicated on social media once they are available.
From RASC Vancouver Centre:
- Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/astronomy-131/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RASC.Van/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/RASCVancouver
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rascvancouver/
From RASC National Office
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theRoyalAstronomicalSocietyofCanada
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/rasc
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/royalastronomicalsocietycanada/
Update as Of March 21, 2020
B.C. has declared a state of emergency and a public health emergency. Gatherings of 50 people or more are prohibited.
It is likely that the in-person RASC 2020 GA will be postponed, cancelled, or moved to a virtual on-line format.
A more definitive decision will be made within the next week. We will of course communicate immediately should the situation change.
Refunds and Cancellation
The Eventbrte GA event will be cancelled shortly and then a full refund, including Eventbrite service fees, will be issued to all registered attendees. With that in mind, we recommend that you do not personally request a refund of your registration as you will get a larger refund if we cancel the event.
GA attendees wishing to cancel their registration earlier may request a refund through Eventbrite up to 7 days before the event but in accordance with the refund policy, Eventbrite’s service fee is non-refundable. Your confirmation email from Eventbrite contains a “View and manage your order online” link that takes you to an Eventbrite page where you can request a refund. Exceptions to this policy, due to COVID-19 and illness, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis – contact us at [email protected].
For reservations at the Executive Plaza, guests need to cancel prior to 7 days before arrival. Anything after that date will likely result in a cancellation fee of at least 50% of the total reservation.
We will be contacting speakers and presenters, via emal, to let them know about the cancellation.
What You Can Do
Practice social distancing:
- Limit activities outside your home
- Use virtual options to connect with others
- If you are out in public, try to keep 2 metres between yourself and others.
- Stay home when you are sick
Practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly;
- Cover your mouth and nose by coughing or sneezing into your arm rather than your hands;
- Avoid touching your face;
- Avoid others who are unwell;
- Stay home or in your hotel room when you are unwell; and
- In BC, call 811 if you have medical questions.
Support your mental health:
- Stay connected with others. RASC is planning on-line events including a virtual Star Party on Wednesday March 25th at 10:30 pm EDT, sign-up with this registration form.
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy. Taking a few moments to look up at the sky at the end of the day – whether from a window, balcony, back yard, or park – can help lift the spirits and remind us that we are all connected under one big sky.
- Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
The above information will be reviewed regularly in the lead-up to the GA. The latest information can be viewed at ga2020.rasc-vanvouver.com/covid-19/
In these challenging and rapidly changing circumstances, we thank you for your patience and understanding.