As restrictions against gatherings lift across the US, event planners must balance enthusiasm for the end of isolation with safety practices to protect those not benefiting from immunity. How can you make your event safer? Read on for more information about how to perform a Covid event risk assessment.
What should I consider when creating a Covid event risk assessment?
Familiarizing yourself with industry safety practices is a great way to prepare for evaluating your event. Knowing where the dangers lie means you can make adjustments to make the event safer for vendors, employees, and attendees.
Evaluating risk of transmission in the area and attendees’ vulnerability
Since the tier system restrictions will largely be discontinued in June 2021, event planners must employ different tools to assist them in determining how to mitigate risks. Thankfully, online calculators have emerged to do just that. Using metrics based on location and number of attendees, the tool calculates risk of event attendance in percentage form.
The audience of your event is also important to consider. If the risk of event attendance is low, but you know for sure you have one or more people who don’t benefit from immunity attending, working, or presenting at your event, you may not need to take precautions beyond minimum industry standards. People who have had organ transplants or who have other immune disorders don’t benefit from full immunity after getting vaccinated like your average person.
You should also consider whether your event will attract travelers. If your event will attract many people from a particular area (ie, visitors from an opposing sports team) you should consider the risks from that particular area as well.
Evaluating your venue
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer guidance for Covid-safe event practices, which covers some key aspects you should keep in mind.
Optimizing airflow at your event should be a priority, with the safest option being an outdoor event. If your venue is an indoor event, you should take steps to increase airflow where possible. HVAC systems should be evaluated and checked to ensure they are running at full capacity.
Also, if the venue has remained closed throughout most of the pandemic, you should make sure CDC reopening protocols are closely followed to prevent illness. Standing water that isn’t cleaned properly could spread Legionnaires’ disease. Other contamination resulting from mold or infestation may have occurred while the building was closed, so it’s important to get the venue professionally cleaned before opening.
Make sure you have the resources to comply with enhanced sanitation practices that prevent the spread of Covid-19. Vendor and employee schedules should afford more time for cleaning tasks, as well as personal hygiene tasks.
Layout and visual cues
Effectively laying out your event to encourage social distancing is a challenge for event planners in the New Normal. Hitting a balance between staying safe and satisfying guests’ craving for the intimacy of pre-pandemic gatherings can seem like an impossible task.
Luckily, industry experts have been designing creative solutions so events can offer the best of both worlds. Unique furniture arrangements can help guests instinctively follow rules without even realizing it. You can also use décor to your advantage to help make new layouts feel like just another part of your experience. Guests may even respond positively to new concepts such as “owned” spaces.
Visual cues like signs or decals can help remind excited guests to abide by the rules without making them feel self-conscious. It’s also helpful to set up sanitation stations and have masks on hand for the event. Not only will the event feel safer, but guests will feel more assured that their safety has been seriously taken into account.
Considering risk of event activities
The more activities that take place at your event, the more opportunity there is for the virus to potentially spread. Part of any Covid event risk assessment is understanding the risks of various activities, which is vital to putting together a practical safety plan.
If you’re serving food at your event, you are probably best off working with a vendor well-versed in Covid-19 safety requirements. If that isn’t an option, you should review the CDC’s recommended guidance regarding food service during Covid-19.
As a simple summary:
- You should lean towards prepackaged individual servings and stay away from buffet service
- You also should avoid areas with communal utensils, condiments, napkins, etc.
These simple steps greatly reduce the opportunity for virus transmission.
Other event activities
If you have other event activities that guests can participate in, apply the same concepts regarding food service safety towards these activities. If communal items for event participation are unavoidable, ensure there is a practical plan to sanitize items between use while keeping attractions running smoothly.
Considering legal liability for outbreaks
Generally, US law has opted not to hold businesses liable for Covid-19 outbreaks if they are in compliance with legal and industry guidance. A number of state laws are being passed or are in consideration to officially protect businesses that comply. Some states are focusing on specific industries like healthcare, but many appear to be expanding protections to all businesses acting in good faith.
Most of these state laws do not shield liability in which the spread was the result of blatant disregard for safety measures. You should check on the status of Covid-19 business liability protection laws in your state and keep them in mind as you plan your event.
The value of Covid-19 onsite rapid testing
If limiting event attendance only to those vaccinated is not an option, the next best step you can take to stop Covid-19 from entering your event is pre-entry testing for attendees. Rapid testing has emerged as a valuable tool to keep people safe in large-group scenarios, preventing outbreaks by stopping the virus at the door.
- Rapid antigen tests produce results in 15 minutes or less with a 1 in 5 false negative ratio.
- If your sponsors have concerns about legal liabilities, consider the rapid Accula PCR test. This test delivers the same accuracy as the “gold standard” RT-PCR test in just 30 minutes.
If you’re an event planner utilizing a third-party vendor, it’s possible that they will have their own testing requirements for your event attendees. If this is not a service that your venue offers, you can utilize the services of a mobile Covid-19 testing service like Drip Hydration for your event.
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Partner With Drip Hydration To Stop Covid-19 At The Door
Contact Drip Hydration to find out more about our mobile Covid-19 testing services. Our services are run by Registered Nurses under the guidance of our medical director, an M.D. In the days leading up to your event, we can offer advice and guidance on the best strategies to reduce transmission opportunities, i.e., the layout of the testing area.
The day of your event, our expert(s) will bring all the supplies necessary to administer tests to your guests. Should someone test positive, that guest will be given advice on what to do until they can contact their primary care doctor, and how to keep others in their household safe.
In addition to rapid antigen and rapid Accula PCR testing, we also offer mobile IV treatments with a choice of 12 formulas to enhance general wellness. We’re ready and waiting to help you plan your event – call or click the button below for a custom consultation today!