This is a local service statement and is not official guidance or direction from FIRST or FIRST in Texas. We are planning only at this stage of resumption by creating virtual/online offerings and creating place holder schedules for local services.

Hello Rio Grande Valley FIRST participants,

We have all been affected by the COVID-19 crisis and our hearts go out to those that have lost loved ones and are suffering financially. This has been an eye-opener for all of us on so many levels, but the purpose of our letter today is to outline how we have been working during this crisis to prepare for and bring our events back online as soon as its safely possible.

Guidance is changing daily, and we will adapt as needed, so please check back for updates. We will communicate this and any updates to coaches and school administrators as we get closer to the “green light”. We are looking forward to a strong but cautious return to our FIRST family coming back together to celebrate STEM in the coming months.

For now, and until cleared by state and local health officials, please stay home, stay safe, and do not forget to share your FIRST experiences via social media. We have really appreciated seeing the memories and statements of support for our FIRST community here in the Rio Grande Valley.

We love and miss you all.

Jason Arms, President
on behalf of the Board of Directors

Business Resumption Guidance

Rev – July 15, 2020

Event Planning and Operation Changes:

Traditional Events will be planned and conducted to comply with current health and safety guidelines on in person events. We will focus on more space for social distancing, making in person events smaller and procedures to enforce the effective use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Even if we are not able to have a traditional event, we are planning to have a season that includes the ability for students to participate remotely.

Traditional Events (In-Person Events):

  • Events will have a single entry point that will require each person (volunteers, participants, coaches, guests, etc…) to have their temperature checked before entry. If the person’s temperature is over 99.4F, the person will be turned away and asked to leave.
  • All participants will be required to wear a specialized wristband that will indicate they have “passed” the temperature screening. Any person not wearing a wristband will be asked to leave.
  • Safety Glasses will no longer be provided to any participant (coach/student). Safety Glasses will be provided to volunteers and sponsors for single use only. We encourage schools and teams to adopt a safe manner of disinfecting their safey glasses when returning to the school.
  • Masks/face coverings will be required for entry. We will not be providing masks. Masks may not cover more than the nose and mouth. Masks may not contain any offensive markings (icons, lettering). Masks may not create a safety concern.
  • Gloves may be worn by anyone but must be appropriate for the event.
  • Physical contact with volunteers/teams will be discontinued. We will not do hi-five lines, shake hands and encourage everyone to do the same while at our events. We recommend waves, spirit fingers and clapping. Materials will not be handed to students/coaches but placed in a manner they can pick it up themselves.
  • We will continue to promote “Wash Your Hands” and “Cover Your Cough” safety measures. We will provide hand sanitizers for volunteers.
  • We will be doing hard stops of the events to allow coaches/mentors the opportunity to oversee the safe distribution and consumption of meals in accordance with any new guidance from their school district administration.
  • Event lanyards will be single use or discontinued and replaced with a disposable option. More guidance on this will be provided before the start of the season. We may ask teams to provide stickers or similar to help out with this.

We are working hard to be ready to bring our events back in a safe manner once we are allowed to do so by state and local health officials. If you have any comments, concerns or suggestions, please do not hesitate to email them to us for consideration. We are in this together!

[email protected]