Safety Precaution Guidelines for Event Organizers
COVID-19 is highly contagious and can spread rapidly especially among social gatherings, according to the CDC. Without the proper precautions and protocols in place, the virus can infect multiple people in a matter of minutes. Therefore, as the pandemic continues, it is essential that event organizers and hosts consider the safety of their attendees and minimize any risk of spreading the illness.
Follow all safety precautions from public health and local authorities
Look into recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and their protocols on social distancing, face coverings and sanitation. Also, research orders particular to your local area. Different states and areas have different rules for gatherings, such as the maximum number of people allowed in an enclosed space for certain types of functions.
If the event is open to the public, you should also contact local health officials regarding your plans to make sure your event is in accordance with regulations.
Check attendees’ health before they enter the venue
Before the event begins, verify that all individuals are informed of health precautions and expectations to maximize safety in the venue. For example, ask them to wear masks and bring their own water bottles or provide water bottles for them.
Also, consider making sure that each attendee is low-risk. Ask them if they have been in contact with any COVID-19 patients, traveled recently or show symptoms of sickness.
Furthermore, if possible, provide temperature screenings or symptom checking before anyone enters the venue by using infrared thermometers. Many venues are now providing this equipment but you may have to bring your own.
Use signs and guides
To reduce confusion and maintain distance, implement signs to mark exactly where sanitation stations, bathrooms, exits and entrances are located. Additionally, mark certain hallways or paths to create one-way traffic so attendees will not run into one another.
These steps ensure that individuals will know exactly where everything is positioned so there is no need for them to walk around and search for facilities.
Provide sanitation supplies
Place various sanitation supplies such as hand sanitizers, tissues and disinfectant wipes at all table settings so attendees can easily reach for them if necessary. Also, if possible, provide masks, filters and even gloves to ensure that all individuals are free from spreading germs and particles.
In restrooms, make sure there are paper towels or dryers and soap to encourage proper hygiene, and, if feasible, place numerous trash cans throughout the venue so attendees do not need to stand up and move to find one.
Arrange a clean and healthy environment
Design the room so that safety precautions are met and cleanliness is maximized. For instance, follow the CDC’s guidelines on social distancing by arranging tables and chairs so attendees are six feet apart from one another at all times.
Furthermore, consider opening windows and doors to circulate the air and ensure proper ventilation. Not only will open doors allow for moving airflow, but they will also eliminate the need for individuals coming in physical contact with door handles.
Finally, as stated previously, utilize signs to create one-way paths so there will be no accidental run-ins that break social distancing.
To take a step further, consider creating a seating chart so that individuals can quickly and easily have a place to sit without coming into contact and running into others. Perhaps, if applicable, place those who live or work together near each other.
Close communal spaces and systems
Because communal spaces and systems such as waiting areas, restrooms and water fountains pose the risk of spreading germs, consider closing them. Instead, encourage attendees to bring their own water bottles, if necessary, or provide plenty for your guests. Limit spaces such as restrooms to just one or two people based on how large the area is.
Follow up after the event
After the gathering, reach out to attendees and check up on their health. Ask them if they notice any symptoms for the next few days as a precaution to make sure there is no chance of spreading the virus. To eliminate any dangers, consider asking your guests to isolate themselves from others, especially high-risk individuals, after the event as well.
If someone does develop symptoms, notify your local health officials immediately to decrease the spread as soon as possible. Also, notify other guests that were in attendance so they can quarantine accordingly.
Ultimately, event organizers must be cautious and aware of the highly contagious nature of this virus. Creating a specific plan with necessary precautions will maximize the safety of all attendees and staff, which will likely result in a smooth gathering without any hiccups.