PHA Support Group In-Person Meeting Policy

Effective March 1, 2022

The safety and health of our volunteers and community members is the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning March 1, 2022, PHA will support in-person support group meetings, virtual meetings and hybrid meetings (i.e., in-person meetings that offer a video or phone option).

Groups that meet in person must follow PHA’s safety guidelines to protect all meeting attendees. Community members who are unable to follow these guidelines may not join in-person meetings at this time. However, they are encouraged to join a virtual support group meeting.

PHA staff can assist with identifying a meeting that is right for you.

Contact Support@PHAssociation.org or 301-565-3004 x777.

In-person PHA support group meetings may take place beginning March 1, 2022, if:

  1. Meetings follow either local health regulations at the time of the meeting or the guidelines below, whichever is stricter;
  2. All attendees show proof of up-to-date vaccination including initial shots and boosters per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines OR show proof of a negative rapid diagnostic COVID-19 test or PCR test within 24 hours of the meeting. (“Up-to-date vaccination” is defined as two Moderna/Pfizer vaccinations plus a booster, or one J&J vaccination plus a booster from Moderna/Pfizer);
  3. All attendees wear masks at the meeting when not actively eating or drinking;
  4. Attendees commit to alert PHA if they experience COVID-19 symptoms and/or receive a positive COVID-19 test within one week after attending an in-person PHA support group meeting;
  5. Leaders send PHA attendee names and valid contact information (i.e., phone number and/or email address) immediately following each meeting to enable PHA to contact attendees about a positive COVID test, if necessary;
  6. A PHA-provided disclaimer is read out loud.

When considering whether to attend an in-person support group meeting, members and guests should follow CDC guidelines regarding close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the CDC as of 2/1/2022: Fully vaccinated people should get tested 5-7 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative. For more up-to-date information, see the CDC guidelines.

If PHA is notified that a group member or guest received a positive COVID-19 test, we will act to alert other group members. PHA staff and volunteers will make every reasonable effort to protect the privacy of group members and guests during this process.

PHA reserves the right to require cancellation or shift to virtual meetings if local or national guidance on the safety of group gatherings becomes more restrictive. PHA will review this policy regularly and relax restrictions as COVID-19 conditions and CDC guidelines permit.

DISCLAIMER TO BE DISTRIBUTED AND READ PRIOR TO EACH MEETING

“As we all know, COVID-19 continues to be a challenge. The Pulmonary Hypertension Association encourages everyone to get fully vaccinated against infectious diseases in consultation with their pulmonary hypertension care team and to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines at all times during our meetings. This includes:

  • Show proof of up-to-date vaccination (including a booster) or a negative COVID test from a sample taken within 24 hours of the meeting,
  • Do not attend if you are sick or have been recently exposed to COVID-19, and
  • Alert PHA if you experience COVID symptoms or receive a positive COVID test within a week after this meeting.

Due to the high-risk nature of pulmonary hypertension, meeting participants are expected to wear masks when not actively eating or drinking.

Remember, no measure is 100% effective. PHA, as the meeting organizer, disclaims any liability for exposure to any infectious disease as a result of attendance at this meeting.  By attending the meeting, you agree that you are waiving any claims against PHA for exposure to any infectious diseases that may occur because of your attendance.”