Odyssey of the Mind understands that people are concerned about traveling and attending an event during the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency. The well-being of the OMers who participate in our program and the families that support them is the highest priority and we would not be conducting this event if we did not believe whole-heartedly that it can be done in a safe manner.
Odyssey of the Mind HQ recently visited the Florida Odyssey of the Mind Association (FLOMA) state tournament to witness in-person how a safe tournament can be conducted at the Orange County Convention Center.
Upon entering the convention center, all attendees will undergo an infrared temperature check and verify via health screening form that they have not felt signs of illness in the past 12 hours. (The health screening form will only be required on first arrival, not both days.) Upon clearance of these checks, attendees will receive a wristband indicating to volunteers and staff that they are clear to compete, spectate, judge, etc., and otherwise explore the event safely. Visitors must go through a temperature check each day of competition to receive that day's wristband. Those who can present their completed COVID-19 vaccination record cards will receive their wristband without temperature check.
Once inside the event, visitors will find that due to the OCCC's immense size, setup of events has easily been spaced to comply with CDC guidelines. This includes layout of seats for judges and spectators in a way that will not only keep everyone safe but also provide excellent viewing opportunities. Additionally, one-way traffic has been instituted where applicable. This is especially true at the entrances/exits to competition sites, where volunteers will be stationed to control the flow of traffic.
- Souvenirs can be purchased with minimal/no contact
- One-way pedestrian traffic through most of the event
The Performance Sites:
Sanitation products will be provided to each performance site. An Odyssey of the Mind World Finals Official will be posted at each performance site to ensure that every surface is properly sanitized between performances. Once the performance area has been sanitized, the next team and ticketed spectators may enter the site.
Spectator seats will be separated into pods of four seats. Pods will be spaced 10 feet apart from each other. The first few rows of pods are reserved for ticketed spectators, i.e., friends and family who have been given tickets by the team. The back rows of pods are for general admission. General Admission seats are first come, first serve. Once the General Admission pods have been filled, no one is allowed to enter until a General Admission pod have been vacated and sanitized.
Opening and Awards Ceremonies:
Both the Opening Ceremonies and Awards Ceremonies will take place in a socially distant and safe environment. Continuing the same "pod" concept, teams will be able to sit together while keeping an acceptable amount of distance between them and other teams.
Teams who are honorably mentioned during the Awards Ceremonies will stand and stay in their assigned area. Teams who place first, second, and third will also stay in their assigned area. These teams will stand when they are announced and "runners" will deliver the medals to the team. The runners are to help eliminate congestion in areas while the Odyssey of the Mind World Champions are announced.
The safety of our guests and attendees continues to be our No. 1 priority and swift proactive measures have been taken in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) continues to monitor the situation through updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Public Health, along with direct dialogue with Orange County Government officials. The OCCC is adhering to guidelines from the CDC and continues to urge people to take health precautions including washing hands regularly and observing physical distancing.
The OCCC is meeting on a regular basis with key stakeholders at Orange County Government, the Florida Department of Health, Visit Orlando and partner agencies to evaluate the rapidly evolving situation.
- COVID-19 Testing Site
- COVID-19 Vaccinations
- Mask Mandate
- Sanitation Measures
For the full details regarding the OCCC's COVID-19 health and safety measures, please visit their website.
- Wear a mask. OCCC requires everyone to wear masks while in the buildings.
- Your mask should cover your mouth and nose.
- If you are constantly adjusting your mask, it does not fit you. Procure a mask that fits properly.
- Be mindful of social distancing, stay at least 6 feet from others.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before touching your face
- After using the restroom
- After leaving a public place
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling your mask
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.