What are some best practices to keep my event as safe as possible?
Before the event:
- Remind volunteers not to attend if they are sick, have a fever, or are not feeling well.
- Consider collecting emergency contact details for all attendees. You should make it clear to them that this information will be shared with local public health authorities to enable rapid contact tracing if an attendee tests positive for COVID-19.
- Create an emergency response plan in case one or more attendees become ill during the event. This should include rapid isolation of the affected person and arrange for their safe transfer to a local hospital or health care facility.
During the event:
- Promote handwashing, respiratory hygiene, and social distancing. Help your volunteers follow these prevention measures by providing masks, gloves, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or access to soap and water, tissues, and trash bins with lids that close.
- Consider putting up signs to remind attendees to remain socially distant.
- Regularly disinfect and clean all surfaces and equipment before, during, and after use.
- Provide bottled water instead of communal water sources such as water fountains or water coolers.
- Provide individually wrapped snacks and/or lunches.
- Reduce the size of workgroups and encourage volunteers to stay at least 6 feet apart.
- Make sure all activities are conducted outdoors. If any activities must be conducted indoors, ensure there is adequate ventilation, all volunteers wear masks, and there is enough room to remain at least 6 feet apart.
How can I keep volunteers informed about last-minute changes to my event due to COVID-19?
The best way for Site Managers to keep volunteers informed on the status of their event is to update the event posting on NEEF’s website. Check that all contact information, including website and social media links, is accurate in case volunteers have additional questions or concerns (see example below).
If you required participants to register for your event, consider sending a group email message as well so your volunteers will have all the information they need prior to the event.
Where can I go to find up-to-date information and guidelines regarding COVID-19 in my state?
The Council of State Governments has an interactive map which links to each state’s official COVID-19 resources website. There you can find recommended guidelines or restrictions for your location and type of activity, answers to common questions, and current statistics on COVID-19 case rates in the area.
If you believe that volunteers may be traveling from outside the area to attend the event, please remember CDC guidelines currently state that the following persons should not travel:
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms
- Tested positive for COVID-19
- Are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test
- Had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and are recommended to quarantine.
What should I do if someone at my event is sick, or tests positive for COVID-19?
In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that anyone who is sick, or thinks they may be sick, should self-isolate and get tested if possible. When communicating with your volunteers, make sure they know ahead of time to stay home if they aren’t feeling well.
During your event, if you are concerned that an attendee is sick and may spread illness to others, you should ask them politely to return home. If they refuse, consider switching them to a task that is away from other volunteers to reduce the chance of spreading infection.
If a volunteer or another Site Manager tests positive for COVID-19, do your best to conduct as thorough a contact tracing protocol as possible, including notifying anyone who may have been in close contact with the infected person. According to CDC guidelines, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more, even if they were wearing a mask.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
Please contact NEEF at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We have also created a new Facebook group for NPLD Site Managers where members can ask questions and share their own tips for hosting an event.
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