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New CDC guidelines for events in the US leave the onus on local authorities

16 Jun 20202m read

As some communities in the United States begin to plan and hold events again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updated guidelines for events.

The CDC list of considerations for enhancing protection of individuals and communities and preventing spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) can be seen as a framework for event professionals to follow in the US, although it leaves the onus very much on local authorities and many questions unanswered. Below is an extract from the introduction to the new guidelines and the full document can be read here.

Event planners and officials can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials, whether and how to implement the considerations, making adjustments to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Because Covid-19 virus circulation varies in communities, these considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which gatherings must comply. Organisers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gatherings.

Guiding Principles

A gathering refers to a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, with a small number of people participating or a large number of people in attendance such as a community event or gathering, concert, festival, conference, parade, wedding, or sporting event.

The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with Covid-19 and Covid-19 spreading.

The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of Covid-19 spreading during a gathering.

The size of an event or gathering should be determined based on state, local, territorial or tribal safety laws and regulations.

The risk of Covid-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:

Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.

More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).

Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.

Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

The guidelines go on to cover hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, as well as offering advice on maintaining healthy venue environments.

There are also new operational guidelines listed covering regulatory awareness, protecting staff and attendees and considerations on shifts and attendance times, as well as travel and transit.

The full document can be read here.

Source: CMW

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