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updated 03/12/2020 @ 1:00PM

Below is the latest received from President of FIRST, Larry Cohen as of 3/12/2020 12:40 p.m. CST  

 

Dear friends, colleagues & partners,

 

It is with deep disappointment that I share an update on the immediate suspension of the current FIRST season and the cancellation of both Championship events. This decision has been made based on guidance from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and state and local health officials, as well as the declaration of states of emergency across many states/countries, the ever-expanding travel restrictions for schools, and in light of developments over the past 24 hours. The health and safety of our community is our top priority, so we have decided to suspend all season play across all Programs worldwide, effective immediately, including the cancellation of both FIRST Championship events. Please know that FIRST Championship registration fees will be refunded.

 

This difficult decision was grounded in FIRST’s commitment to put the health and safety of our community above all else. During this challenging time, we have been working closely with our program delivery partners (PDPs) and event organizers around the world to navigate and mitigate the risks to our community due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, many of our events in the United States and around the world have been canceled or postponed, including more than half of all future FIRST Robotics Competition events. We acknowledge and appreciate the thousands of teams, parents, mentors, coaches and volunteers who have poured their hearts and souls into this season, and we share your disappointment.

 

The mission of FIRST has always been to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, and we continue to be deeply committed to this mission. We know that you will have questions, and we will provide answers in the following days and weeks as we navigate what has been an unprecedented time.

 

Sincerely,

 

Larry Cohen

President of FIRST

updated 03/12/2020 @ 12:47PM

Hello FIRST Wisconsin Community,

Regarding the Coronovirus (COVID-19) situation, the FIRST WI team would like to share the following update as it relates our regional events (Wisconsin Regional and Seven Rivers Regional).

The safety of the students, mentors, families, and volunteers is our top concern as an organization.  At this time, there is no change to any of the regional event plans. However, FIRST WI is closely monitoring this dynamic situation through communication with FIRST HQ and assessing recommendations from local, state, and national health officials, and no final decision has been made.

We understand that the decision to attend any event is a local decision, and should be made in cooperation with school administration, the local health department, and parents  The most important way to protect yourself against the spread of any contagious disease is to understand the symptoms, risks, and steps that can be taken to stay healthy while you are at events.

Safety Precautions:

  • Stay home if feeling unwell, developing a cough, or running a fever

  • Practice hand hygiene, including frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, and avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth

  • Practice respiratory etiquette, including covering cough and sneezes with a tissue, and then disposing of the tissue in the trash

  • Clean frequently touched surface and objects daily (including tablets and cell phones)

  • Perform self-monitoring, and seek medical care immediately if feeling unwell

 

At Events:

  • Signs are posted around the event reminding attendees of proper handwashing procedures. There are bathrooms with sinks and soap throughout each event location.

  • Hand sanitizer will be stationed at key locations, such as Pit Admin, Pit Entrances, on the field, and in the Volunteer Lounge.

 

As a lead mentor, please allow students to “opt-out” of attending and create flexible team attendance policies for students who are sick. Encourage hand washing and hygiene practices by building it into your team schedule (for example, everyone washes their hands before the team eats lunch).

We also encourage you to use only Center for Disease Control and Wisconsin Department of Health Services materials when sharing information with students and parents. Misinformation and fear can spread just as quickly as a virus, and it is our duty as role models to be smart consumers of information.

Updates from FIRST WI Robotics (Following FIRST HQ and local, state and national health official directions, will be posted here via the “http://www.wisconsinfrc.com/covid-19” link with the most recent updates first.

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Wisconsin Regional

UWM Panther Arena

400 W Kilbourn Ave

Milwaukee, WI 53203

Seven Rivers Regional

The La Crosse Center 

300 Harborview Plaza

La Crosse, WI 54601

Copyright © 2020 by Wisconsin FRC.