2021 ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELD SCHOOL COVID-19 SAFETY AND TRAVEL PROTOCOLS
PRE AND POST TRAVEL TESTING REQUIRED OF ALL STUDENTS
APPROPRIATE MASKING AND SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIRED OF ALL STUDENTS
Anthropologists and other types of Ethnographers have been on the front lines of social and medical issues for many decades. From pandemics such as HIV to other infectious diseases, the history of ethnographers providing critically needed data to help slow and prevent the spread of disease has been life saving on a global level. The COVID-19 era is no different.
Ethnographers must understand and work within the context of 'the field' in which they are conducting their research. At this time, we are working within the context of COVID-19 and will address this context seriously, but safely. For our summer 2021 session, we encourage our students to address a COVID-19 related issue within their research, but all research projects will be conducted within our required COVID Protocols.
We have adapted our training to include technologies that allow us to provide a safer, yet extremely productive learning environment. For example, while there will be daily contact in outside and distanced environments, some traditional lectures or training segments will happen through online discussions. While every researcher will be in direct social contact, safely, they will also be using online communications with research subjects, providing a means for in-depth data collection while also maintaining good rapport and empathy.
We have adopted many of the CDC and WHO suggestions, such as the wearing of masks, washing hands frequently, social distancing and cleaning of environments and items used frequently, but we will also require COVID-19 testing of all students prior to arrival, soon after arrival and before departing the island.
The field school will require a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of travel. Once the students arrive, they will be kept as a pod at our housing facility or when in transit (in open air golf carts or boat) with contact only with essential faculty for the first 7 days. Our medical staff will conduct antigen tests on all students at the housing facility at a determined day after arrival (to be determined by the medical staff), regardless of symptoms being expressed. Our medical staff will also conduct the same test three days prior to the students departing at the end of their program, as most countries require this for re-entry.
Refusal to respect local laws in terms of masking and social distance requirements will result in immediate expulsion without refund from the program.
The state of Quintana Roo uses a 'stop light' system for COVID restrictions, which all program participants will abide by. Our practices on the island, coupled with our breezy open-air environment, have kept C19 cases very low and the population safer than most places in the USA or other countries. But as noted earlier, we will also co-opt CDC and WHO suggestions.
For more information about the CDC and WHO protocols please see: