The new coronavirus (COVID-19) has dominated the news cycle over the past few weeks. The EFA staff and Board of Governors are closely monitoring the situation, and your safety is our first priority. Here is how COVID-19 may affect the EFA’s upcoming events and chapter meetings, along with our recommended resources for event volunteers and chapter coordinators.

How this affects EFA events
We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our event volunteers. As the situation is extremely dynamic, we are taking an agile approach to events management and are preparing for a number of possible scenarios so we can act swiftly as needed. All scheduled events are moving forward at this time, including our one upcoming event in March. However, we will be closely following the situation in each event area and will be in touch with volunteers immediately if our plans change.

How this affects chapter meetings
The number of current cases and the risk level vary widely across the country. In light of this, we advise chapter coordinators to host in-person meetings at their discretion if they feel it’s safe for all attendees based on the local situation. The main CDC page for COVID-19 (link below) should assist coordinators in evaluating the risk level in their area.

We are making the EFA’s Zoom account accessible to chapter coordinators if they would prefer to host virtual meetings for the time being. (This paid account accommodates longer sessions and more people than a free account.) Please contact Christina Shideler for details. Chapter coordinators are also invited to follow the new discussion thread in the Vanilla Forums Chapter Coordinator forum on this topic. Please use the thread to share ideas (e.g., for alternative meetings) and advice.

Guidance for in-person events and meetings
Even if you consider an event or meeting to be low risk, we encourage you to follow simple measures to prevent the spread of viruses (see links in resource list below). If you are exhibiting cold- or flu-like symptoms (especially a cough and/or fever), please stay home to avoid spreading sickness. We also stress the importance of hygiene etiquette and proper handwashing technique. Lastly, to minimize risk, we encourage the avoidance of handshakes and hugs at this time.

Recommended resources
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CDC’s main source for COVID-19 information)
Steps to Prevent Illness (CDC)
Hygiene Etiquette & Practice: Coughing & Sneezing (CDC)
Stop Germs! Wash Your Hands (CDC)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at


Christina M. Frey, Co-Executive
William P. Keenan Jr., Co-Executive
Molly McCowan, Events Chair
Akiko Yamagata, Chapter Development Chair