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Health and Human Development guidelines for in-person meetings, programs, and events

Note that these guidelines are subject to change as University guidance evolves in response to state and local directives and the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We strongly recommend rechecking this page prior to planning any meeting or event.

These guidelines apply to:

  • In-person meetings, programs, and events organized for any purpose by any HHD employee at any on-campus (regardless of whether it is HHD or non-HHD space) or off-campus location.  For off-campus meetings, Penn State and college guidelines must be followed in addition to any guidelines applying to the meeting site.
  • In-person meetings, programs and events organized by non-HHD employees to be held in any HHD space. 
  • Events organized or sponsored by organizations external to Penn State are not permitted on campuses.
  • In general, meetings and events should be held remotely if feasible.


    1. Indoor or outdoor meetings, programs, and events of 10 or fewer participants are permitted with no prior permission required. For indoor and outdoor meetings, all participants must wear masks and meeting/event organizers must take into account the maximum occupancy of the space that allows for at least six feet of distance between participants.
    2. Indoor or outdoor meetings, programs and events of more than 10 participants must be submitted for prior approval to the Dean's Office for review and approval. Process described below.  Requests to hold indoor or outdoor meetings or events of more than 10 participants must follow the university and governor’s guidance related to space occupancy limits.  It is recommended that these requests be submitted at least two weeks prior to the meeting, program, or event and organizers must be aware that permission may be denied.
    3. All in-person meetings, programs or events must comply with approved maximum occupancy limits.

    Capturing Attendance

    Attendance for any approved meeting, program, or event must be captured by the organizer. Organizers need to capture name, organizational affiliation, email, telephone, and for anyone not based at University Park, the location from which they have traveled. Organizers must retain attendance records until further notified.  

    Process to Request Approval

    To request approval for a meeting, program or event requestors should:

    1. Become familiar with the event organizer responsibilities listed in the University guidance on in-person meetings, events and other gatherings.
    2. Obtain supervisor approval in advance for the meeting, program, event and
    3. Submit a request though the HHD Request for Meetings and Events form.

    Requesting Approval

    The required elements on the HHD Meeting/Event form include:

    — Requestor first name and last name, requestor email, requestor department/unit

    — Brief name for the meeting, program, event (e.g. “Health and human development research summit” or “Workshop in Tailored Interventions”) for reference.

    — Indicate if the request is an initial request or a modification to a previous request.  If a submission is a modification of a previous request, we ask the requester to use the same brief meeting name that was initially submitted and to provide only new data for the elements that have changed.
    Description of the purpose of the meeting, program, or event.

    — Description of the importance of the event to your unit and the college.

    — Justification for the in-person nature of the meeting, program, or event (including explanation of why this could not occur remotely).

    — Proposed date/time for the event.  

    — Proposed location. Requesters are advised to secure a proposed location, before submitting this request for approval since the health and safety plan is contingent on the location. For meetings, programs, events at University Park, requestors should use the established process through 25Live or local processes for spaces managed by units to reserve a location.

    — Number of participants. This count should be inclusive of all attendees and all support personnel on site.  Organizers are responsible for assuring that participants do not exceed the approved amount.  Pre-registration is encouraged whenever possible. 

    — Visitor roster. When a meeting, event or program is to be held at an on-campus location and the organizers expect visitors to attend, the requester must submit a visitor roster at least two weeks prior to the meeting, program or event.    These can be attached to an initial request or submitted as a modification.   Visitors are defined as any non-Penn State employee or non-Penn State student, as well as Penn State employees or students based at campuses other than University Park, who are invited to an on-campus activity sponsored by HHD. The roster should include first and last name of visitor(s), organizational affiliation (company, university, etc.), and where the visitor(s) are traveling from (country, state and county).  

    Requesters should also note the following: 

    • Visitors may be denied permission to access campus.  Visitor rosters will be reviewed at the time of submission and again two-weeks prior to the event date
    • Any visitors attending a meeting, program, or event will be required to sign a HHD COVID-19 acknowledgment form.   These can be distributed in advance and/or be made available at the event but event organizers are responsible for each visitor signing an acknowledgment prior to participating.  Organizers must also retain signed acknowledgment forms after the event until further notice
    • Submission of the visitor roster associated with the meeting, program, event request also fully satisfies the HHD visitor permission process and, therefore, a separate request through the HHD Request for On-Campus Visitors form does NOT need to be submitted.

    — Please attach a health and safety plan (no more than 1 page) that outlines measures to be taken to promote health and safety. This should speak to masking requirements, space layout and plan to maintain social distancing (including, for indoor on-campus events, evidence that capacity and spacing are in accordance with OPP or other established guidance for the space being used), signage, any enhanced cleaning plans, etc. Note that inclusion of catering and/or food service for meetings, programs and events is not recommended at this time. If food or beverage service is proposed, the requester should provide a detailed explanation in their health and safety plan on how this will be managed and should include catering and food service personnel on-site in the participant count for the meeting/event.

    — Please attach an email, letter, or memo documenting supervisors’ approval of the meeting, program, or event.

    Post-submission Follow-up and Questions

    Requestors will receive notification via email on the outcome of their requests. Please direct any questions on the process to Kevin Kelliher (