Slaughterhouse Tucson 2020
COVID-19 PROTECTION AND SAFTEY PLAN
At Slaughterhouse Tucson, AZ. operational safety and cleanliness have always been our number one priority - and continues to be so.
We care deeply about our family of employees, customers and greater community during this COVID19 pandemic. We recognize that customers and staff put trust in us to provide a scary and fun experience, however, they trust us that we’ve taken many measures to ensure their absolute safety. This commitment has not changed, and the following pages are steps we plan to take to ensure additional cleanliness and safety measures. While this will change some experience expectations, we aim to continue to provide a result of fun and fright, that customers and staff have come to expect from one of the best and highest rated haunted houses in the world, while still complying with government guidelines. We continue to closely monitor government policy changes, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, government mandates, and public health advancements, and will continue to make changes appropriate to our protocols and procedures. This plan has been developed with research and consultation from local, national and international personnel and other similar attraction operators from theme parks, to large public venues, to other haunted attractions, our legal team, and owners.
While we recognize this plan meets, and often exceeds, local guidelines, it’s meant to guide and indicate the measures we’re committed to in keeping our employees, loyal customers and our community safe. It relies on the best available science on sanitization methods and infectious disease mitigation, and we will continue to update it as needed. The following will serve as our plans for our fall operating dates. Changes will be made according to updated guidance, and risk-level reductions. Additionally, updated CDC measures of how businesses open, mitigate and respond to COVID19 will be followed.
Consistent cautionary measures: Slaughterhouse wants to offer our staff and guests a safe, memorable and fun time in 2020. In order to make that happen we need all staff to watch for signs, concerns, and use caution to reduce possible contamination.
Maintain distancing guidelines of all groups: We have installed queue line markings indicating 6-8’ distances from other groups, we will use every-other queue line to ensure additional spacing, safety staff and ghostly announcer broadcasts to remind groups to remain distanced between them and others that are not part of their group. Outdoor queueing only-no indoor waiting spaces of more than 50 people. Timed ticketing utilization to decrease the numbers of individuals and groups on our property. Staff will be posted inside the attraction as well, to ensure customers are in compliance with distancing measures. Customers/Groups not in compliance and/or after two reminders will be asked to leave and/or escorted off property.
Increased cleaning of all surfaces (handrails, doors, restrooms, etc.): Staff will be hired for dedicated sanitation duties. To include minimums of every 45-minute cleaning rotations of all handrails, door knobs, etc. and every 30 minutes for all restrooms using 1000ppm sanitation solution. Additionally, other staff will be periodically cleaning their specific areas/rooms back of house inside the attraction.
Hand sanitizing stations: Hand pump sanitizing stations will be available in the Club, under the corral, the restroom area, the queue line entrance, the exit of each haunt, mini escape, and in the concession area.
Maintain signage to remind individuals to stand 6+ feet apart and abide by distancing guidelines: Printed signage and/or banners. Additional symptoms posters will be posted for staff, indicating they can’t work if they have symptoms. Additional staff will be available in all queue areas and remind/escalate customers who may not be compliance of physical distancing outside of their household group. We will broadcast reminders for physical distancing, and other guidelines.
Temperatures of all actors and staff are checked daily and taken at the entrance of the property. If over 100.4℉, persons will not be allowed entry to the property. Symptom and travel questions will also be asked via a questionnaire. Temperature, symptom and travel answers will be kept. Signage reminding staff that if they have symptoms, they must go home and cannot work.
Masks and gloves required by all staff, and customers. All Front of House PPE to include mask, face shield and gloves. Customers will be encouraged to bring a mask, if not they will be provided along with gloves.
Reduced number of actors: To ensure safety, while decreasing possibilities of contamination, we will reduce the number of actors/monsters in our attraction.
Reduced payment method contacts: Online ticket sales and purchases only are highly recommended. Cash will be accepted, but not encouraged.
Limit unnecessary travel: Ensuring management and above will not be required to attend shows, or attend other attractions at least 20 days before show operating dates.
TIMED TICKETING: To reduce the overall foot traffic of customers, we’ve restricted overall property patrons. Only a certain number of tickets can be purchased for a 30-minute time frame. Once sold out, customers will need to buy another time frame slot. Once customers pick their timed ticket (i.e 8:00), they’ll have between 8:00pm-8:30pm to arrive on property. Doing so will reduce waiting around, and customers will only be allowed on our property once it is their specific time to enter the queue.
Limiting on-property persons capacity to enable adequate distancing at all times: By use of Timed Ticketing and based on local government direction, we will comply with ensuring spacing and occupancy management, as needed, and will be variable, based on level of risk.
QUEUE LINE PHYSICAL DISTANCING EFFORTS: Overall, we have restricted ticket sales drastically to ensure extra spacing between non-household groups. Further, throughout our entire queue line, we expect groups to be in constant motion, moving to the next 8’-16’ distanced marker every 45-60 seconds, or based on input speeds.
DECREASED INPUT TIMES INTO THE ATTRACTION: For all groups entering the actual attraction, they will be spaced apart even more than usual times. Confidentially, this speed ranges depending on our occupancy load during a busy night. However, we plan to slow the entry of all household groups by over 30%. Thus, in addition to extra spacing in the queue / waiting lines, they’ll also have additional space inside the attraction while in motion. Before entering, rules and guidelines will be reminded.
ADDITIONAL FLOW/SPEED MONITORING STAFF: We’ve increased our Flow Monitoring Staff 200%. Staff inside the attraction staff inside are dedicated only to watching the flow of all groups in motion throughout the entire facility. Should a group be slow, these staff will remove them temporarily from the customer path/flow to allow other customers to pass them. Customers will then be given their single warning that they must either keep up with the group coming behind them, while maintaining 8’ distancing, or at the next concern, they will be asked to leave, due to safety concerns of them creating bottlenecks.
All flow staff will report to our Safety Director. Several A-frame 24”x36” signs will be strategically placed near queue areas, reminding customers of expectations and Consequences. These include: ● Symptoms warning ● 1 warning rule ● not touching walls, actors, sets, etc. ● physical distancing of 6’+ efforts ● Wearing gloves and masks - Should customers not be in compliance, staff will evaluate if it was accidental or intentional. If accidental, they may be given up to 2 warnings before ejection of the attraction. If intentional, they’ll receive 1 single warning, and the next offense is ejection for their entire group or household. Consequences will be told to groups at time of warning, on all tickets, and before going into the attraction.
RESTRICTING CONGREGATING: Upon arriving to our property, all customers will be stopped at a checkpoint just inside our gates, where they will be asked to display either their paper or phone/online barcode and time their ticket is valid. Customers will only be allowed further onto our property within 30 minutes to their purchased time. I.E. If it’s 8:05pm, and their ticket was for the 8p-8:30pm timeframe, they’ll be allowed to enter further. If it’s 8:05pm, but their ticket was for the 9:30pm-10:00pm timeframe, they will be asked to wait outside the gates or can return within the 30 minute range.
Those identifying as High-Risk Customers, will have an opportunity to be the first in line, in our first open 30-minute queueing time frame, Or in the final group of the night. High Risk Staff will be required to wear face shield, mask and gloves at all times.
HOUSEHOLD LANGUAGE and CHECKPOINTS: Language has been added to all online tickets and confirmation email that uses household group language to help customers comply with local guidelines: “Household groups can enter together, and will be separated from others not in their household.” Additionally, when redeeming their tickets near the entrance of our timed ticket queue line entrance, groups will be asked if they are all part of a household. Those not, will be separated and told to ensure distancing and other measures.
Restricting people in the costume room: This will be determined by spacing limitations and managed by the costuming managers.
STAFFING / BACK OF HOUSE AREAS: Similar to our plan with customers, staff will be drastically limited. While we know this may have an effect on the overall show, we have put other scare animatronics, startles, pops, sounds, etc. that can maintain 6’+ distancing. All staff will be required to wear masks in back of house areas. Thus, the following areas/steps shall also be taken: - Costume Waiting lines: 6’ floor markings will be placed on the ground. Leaders will be roaming to ensure compliance and remind employees of guidelines. More than 2 warnings will result in dismissal from their position for the night.
Costuming Room: A 68% reduction in the number of artists and their model/actor will ensure 6’+ distancing. All Personal Services guidance will be followed in costuming application spaces.
Make up room: To further reduce cross contamination in this area, no sharing of makeup or brush makeups area allowed - rather only contactless airbrush options will be applied. When possible, in lieu of makeup, we will use masks for actors. These masks will be thoroughly sanitized each night.
Ensuring 6’ spacing for staff on property. 6’ marks on the ground will be used to keep staff farther apart. Same spacing in the costuming room.
No sharing/exchanging costumes/masks: Staff shall not be allowed to change costumes/characters/masks in-show, ensuring less cross contamination. Nightly cleaning and disinfecting of masks, face shields, goggles and costumes will be conducted via washing, wiping, and/or use of disinfecting foggers, following CDC cleaning guidelines and sanitation solution/mixture.
Nightly Sanitizing of all company equipment used by staff including radios and Ipads.
Sanitation - Expanded Details and Methods:
Throughout the entire property, back of house and front of house, 1000ppm bleach water solution will be used for all sanitizing purposes. The solution will be created each morning by a member of management, per the ⅓ Cup to 1 Gallon of water ratio, and will be discarded at the end of each operating night to ensure its efficiency within the 24-hour period. Spray bottles, wiping rags, soaked paper towels, etc. will be utilized methods. In addition, hand sanitizer pump stations throughout the entire property to ensure there is plenty for everyone.
Staff will specifically be designated for sanitizing and cleaning all units, with a goal of constant and consistent sanitation and cleaning, in between each customer if possible, or at least a thorough unit cleaning every 30 minutes. This includes all customer and staff units. Cleaning will consist of all door handles, seat and hand sanitizer pump handle. Staff will change out gloves every 30 minutes.
It’s imperative that customers hold handrails while going up or down stairs in our facility. While not all customers do, we will treat all handrails as such, which include 2 staff who are constantly in motion in between groups throughout the attraction, who will be wiping all handrails with the sanitizer solution, on a schedule of a handrail being cleaned every 20-30 minutes. This, paired with gloves to all customers, will assist in decreasing direct contamination.
Stanchions/Queue Lines/Concession Tables:
Two staff members will be dedicated to sanitizing and cleaning all queue line waiting area stanchions, plastic ropes, and concession tables and possible nearby touchpoints.
Mini Escape/Axe Throw
After each use, each mini escape will be cleaned and sanitized with the solution. Every Axe house patron will be given one axe for their personal use. After they have completed their time, the Axepert will clean each axe and counter with the sanitizing solution. Staff will either have an IPad for touchless purchases or will direct customers to ticket window to purchase tickets.
Online ticket purchasing will be encouraged by all advertising and in Q lines as well. Ticket window will have plexiglass shield and staff will be required to wear masks and gloves.
We will use a single line to go through all haunts this year instead of 5 separate lines. This will allow the timed ticket method to work for crowd control and social distancing guidelines.
All push doors, noodles, hanging bodies, air canals, or anywhere customers must touch anything has been removed. Actors and customer will wear masks and gloves. No touching of customers will be allowed. Signs will be posted asking that the customers do not touch any props or actors. Actors will be located against the walls, behind a barrier, or behind plexiglass to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Actors will not be allowed to get into a customer’s face or follow them closely from behind as in the past. We will incorporate many more animated props, fog, dripping water, sound, video effects and lighting to enhance the customer entertainment this year. This year we will allow customers to take videos and pictures.
Signage / Warnings - Expanded Details and Methods While we’re putting many additional staff, steps, protocols and measures into place to remind people of expected guidelines and compliance, we know that signage, and consistently seeing that signage, will assist in our plans to keep all individuals safe. As such, the following signage is being adopted:
1. A minimum of three (3) double sided 24” x 36” a-frame signs will be utilized. One will l be at the front of our property, before even walking in, of graphic 1. The other two signs will be placed either in the fire lane, or queueing areas, that have safety guidelines/expectations. Reverse sides will be Slaughterhouse themed and will thank customers for visiting and being safe.
2. A minimum of three (3) 3’x5’ banners will be displayed throughout the property, of graphic 1, showing expectations of social distancing between either individuals and or households, other groups, and our actors/staff.
3. In each area of the property/scaring zones, signage reminding customers to not touch walls, actors, sets or props will be posted, as seen in Graphic 10.
4. Additionally, updated language on our waiver, which is required for all customers and staff to sign before entering the property, has been added to help show our seriousness of customer ejection if rules are not followed. Added text includes: a. IF YOU ARE SICK OR HAVE BEEN SICK IN IN THE LAST 24 HOURS, DO NOT ENTER b. COVID19/CORONAVIRUS RELATED: Assumption of the Risk and Waiver of Liability Relating to Coronavirus/COVID-19, The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. As a result, Federal, State, and County Health Agencies recommend social distancing. The Slaughterhouse has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19; however, we cannot guarantee that you will not become infected with COVID-19. By agreeing to this waiver, I acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assume the risk that I may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 by attending the Slaughterhouse Tucson and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and death. I understand that the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 at Slaughterhouse Tucson may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and others, including, but not limited to Slaughterhouse Tucson employees, owners, and contractors. I voluntarily agree to assume all of the foregoing risks and accept sole responsibility for any injury to myself (including, but not limited to, personal injury, disability, and death), illness, damage, loss, claim, liability, or expense, of any kind, that I may experience or incur in connection with my attendance at Slaughterhouse Tucson. On my behalf, I (or on the behalf of my children), hereby release covenant not to sue, discharge, and hold harmless Slaughterhouse Tucson, its employees, agents, and representatives, of and from the Claims, including all liabilities, claims, actions, damages, costs or expenses of any kind arising out of or relating thereto. I understand and agree that this release includes any claims based on the actions, omissions, or negligence of the Slaughterhouse Tucson employees, agents, and representatives, whether a COVID-19 infection occurs before, during, or after participation Slaughterhouse Tucson attendance. I understand that I am expected to keep myself, and group, physically distanced at a minimum of 6 feet from other groups, will observe and practice safe and healthy CDC suggested protocols, and will do my part to ensure safety at all times. c. You (and your entire group) will not be admitted, or will be removed, if any of the rules are not followed. There are no refunds for any reason. Slaughterhouse Tucson reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone. d. Do not enter if you are wearing any form of a cast, medical brace, using crutches, or have any type of physical limitations. Do not enter if you were taking medication or are using drugs of any type. You may not be admitted if any of these conditions or noticed by our staff and/or seem to be present. Do not enter if you suffer from asthma, heart conditions, seizures, or any type of medical problems including flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or muscle soreness). You will not be admitted or asked to leave the property, if any of the rules are not followed.
Marketing / Communications efforts: As expected, marketing these new steps and requirements will require additional artwork, funding and resources. As part of our commitment to customers and staff being in compliance while on our property, the following are additional areas we plan to communicate our requirements. Graphic examples are near the bottom.
1. Create artwork to be posted on our website, with a call to attention (our Commitment to Safety) button on main landing page
2. Social Media specific artwork to be posted consistently on all social media, with updates as needed
3. Create artwork and instructions for banners at the entrance gate indicating symptoms that are not allowed, physical distancing, and other rules and mitigation efforts that must be followed or face ejection.
4. Requirements (masks and gloves required for all customers, timed ticketing, 8’ physical distancing) notes in all ticket text via online purchases portal. www.slaughterhousetucson.com
5. Updated content in all direct customer correspondence (ticket purchase confirmation emails, email blasts, reminder emails, etc.)
6. Communicate 6’-16’ expanded queueing areas for added space from crowds
7. Two page FAQ details added to our Contact Us/FAQ website page. Similar content will be sent via email blast.
Additional signage, warnings, and posted collateral will be provided.
During operating nights, all back of house staff and actors will have ample access to hand sanitizer in their assigned areas throughout the entire property for ease and convenience. Their leadership will make rounds every 30 minutes, offering sanitizer to all staff, and/or opportunities to step away from their position to access hand sanitizer, and reminders will be made across all radios.
All costuming artists will follow the Governor's guidelines for masks, distancing, gloves, face shield or goggle PPE, and guidance during and between each actor. After each actor (approximately every 10 minutes), the entire costuming station (counters, chair, etc.) will be wiped down with a sanitizer solution-soaked paper towel, and discarded. Gloves will be changed between each actor (approximately every 10 minutes). Additionally, a big change is no sharing of makeup or brush makeup is allowed We have only allowed contactless makeup applications only.
-Back stage offices, spaces, door knobs, etc.:
Staff members will be assigned for all back of house/back stage areas. These will all be sanitized and cleaned every 30 minutes.
-Staff hand washing stations:
All staff will have access to restrooms with sinks for hand washing, in addition to the many hand sanitizer locations. These faucets (and the entire bathroom) will be sanitized every 30 minutes.
Guidance for Administrators in Parks and Recreational Facilities
Parks, trails, and open spaces can provide opportunities for physical activity while also providing opportunities for a break, health, and wellness. People are encouraged to use parks, trails, and open spaces safely while following current guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The following offers guidance for the use and administration of local, state, and national parks. Public parks and recreational facilities can be operated and managed by groups such as:
County, city, state, or national governments;
Post information to promote everyday preventive actions.
Park administrators should consider displaying posters and signs throughout the park to frequently remind visitors to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These messages should include information about:
Staying home if you are sick or do not feel well, and what to do if you’re sick or feel ill.
Using social distancing to maintain a distance of 6 feet between others in all areas of the park.
Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of the elbow. Used tissues should be thrown into the trash.
Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rub hand together until dry.
Young children should be supervised to ensure they are using sanitizer safely.
Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Using cloth face coverings as feasible. Face coverings are most essential in times when social distancing is difficult. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on:
Children younger than 2 years old
Anyone who has trouble breathing
Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance
Maintain restrooms that remain open. Ensure they have functional toilets, clean and disinfected surfaces, and handwashing supplies.
If possible, restrooms should be open if a park is open for public visitation. If restrooms will be closed, notify visitors ahead of time so they can prepare appropriately. Ensure that open restrooms are:
Operating with functional toilets.
Cleaned and disinfected regularly, particularly high-touch surfaces such as faucets, toilets, doorknobs, and light switches.
Clean, and disinfect restrooms daily or more often if possible using EPA-registered disinfectantsexternal icon that are effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Following the Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting to develop, implement, and maintain a plan to perform regular cleanings to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Regularly stocked with supplies for handwashing, including soap and paper towels for drying hands or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and no touch trash cans.
In addition, advise employees to always wear gloves appropriate for the chemicals being used when they are cleaning and disinfecting, and that they may need additional PPE based on the setting and product. Employees should follow the directions on the label of the products. Ensure that cleaning products are stored properly and kept away from children.
NOTE: Often restroom facilities without running water, such as portable toilets and vault toilets, are not stocked with hand hygiene products. Encourage visitors to bring their own hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol for use in these facilities.
Be prepared to cancel or postpone large events and gatherings.
Monitor and adhere to guidelines issued at the national, state, and local levels related to limiting the size of gatherings.
Continually assess current conditions regarding the spread of COVID-19 and engage with federal, state, and/or local public health officials when deciding whether to postpone, cancel, or reduce the number of attendees (if possible) for gatherings.
Be thoughtful about the re-opening and care of playgrounds.
Consult with public health officials and refer to state and local regulations regarding the appropriate timing of re-opening playgrounds.
Outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. Spraying disinfectant on sidewalks and in parks is not an efficient use of disinfectant supplies and has not been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public. You should continue existing cleaning and hygiene practices for outdoor areas.
The targeted use of disinfectants can be done effectively, efficiently, and safely on outdoor hard surfaces and objects frequently touched by multiple people (e.g., handrails, benches); make sure disinfectant has thoroughly dried before allowing children to play.
Ensure safe and correct use and storage of disinfectants, including storing products securely away from children.
Make sure people are social distancing in the park.
In order to decrease the chance of COVID-19 spread, park administrators should consider:
Monitoring areas where people are likely to gather and consider temporary closure to support social distancing practices. These areas might include sports fields, playgrounds, skateparks, basketball courts, tennis courts, and picnic areas. In the event of facility closures, park administrators may place physical barriers in these areas and post signs communicating that the area is closed.
Posting signs discouraging groups from gathering in larger numbers than are currently recommended or allowed.
If necessary, consider providing physical guides to ensure that people remain at least 6 feet apart while in the park. For example, markings on the ground, colored tape, or signs (in appropriate languages) to indicate safe distances.
Consider the appropriate timing and process for resuming youth camps, activities, and sports.
Consult with public health officials and, as relevant, camps and youth sports leagues, about any plans for resuming activities and sports. Public health officials can provide guidance on appropriate timing of resumed activities in your community.
When ready to resume camps, activities, and sports, review CDC’s Considerations for Youth and Summer Camps and the Considerations for Operating Youth Sports for specific information on ways in which these organizations can protect campers, players, families, and communities, and slow the spread of COVID-19. These include promoting behaviors that reduce spread, maintaining healthy environments and healthy operations, and making plans for if someone in the program (campers, athletes, or staff) becomes sick. Consult with state and local health officials to determine if and how to put these considerations into place.
Use flexible sick leave and telework policies, especially for staff at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Remind staff to stay at home if they are sick.
Be as flexible as possible with staff attendance and sick leave policies.
Identify staff whose duties would allow them to work from home and encourage teleworking when possible.
Consider offering revised duties to staff who are at higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19.
Keep your park staff informed about COVID-19 and preventive actions.
Provide staff with up-to-date information about COVID-19 in the local area and park policies on a regular basis.
Communicate to park staff the importance of practicing healthy hygiene habits, such as washing hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Recommend and reinforce use of cloth face coverings among staff. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on:
Children younger than 2 years old;
Anyone who has trouble breathing;
Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.
If staff develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, while at work, immediately have them return home from the park as soon as possible. Ask them to follow CDC-recommended steps for persons who are ill with COVID-19 symptoms.
If a staff member has a confirmed COVID-19 infection, inform other staff about their possible exposure to the virus, while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act; see Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure .
Review CDC’s guidance for businesses and employers.
Review CDC’s guidance for businesses and employers to identify additional strategies to protect park staff during an outbreak of COVID-19.
For additional questions or guidance, contact your state or local health department public health officials and in the case of the National Park Service, contact public health officials in the Office of Public Healthexternal icon
Considerations for Events and Gatherings
As some communities in the United States begin to plan and hold events and gatherings, the CDC offers the following considerations for enhancing protection of individuals and communities and preventing spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Event planners and officials can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials, whether and how to implement these 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. Organizers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gatherings.
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.
Targeting COVID-19’s spread
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is thought to be mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It is thought that the virus may also spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose, mouth or eyes, causing infection. Therefore, personal prevention practices (such as handwashing, staying home when sick, maintaining 6 feet of distance, and wearing a cloth face covering) and environmental prevention practices (such as cleaning and disinfection) are important ways to prevent the virus’s spread.
These prevention principles are covered in this document. They provide event planners and individuals with actions to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread during gatherings and events.
Promoting Healthy Behaviors that Reduce Spread
Event planners should consider implementing strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 among staff and attendees.
Staying Home when Appropriate
Educate staff and attendees about when they should stay home.
Advise employees and attendees to stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
Advise employees and attendees to stay home and monitor their health if they have had a close contact with a person who has symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
Develop policies that encourage sick employees to stay at home without fear of reprisal, and ensure employees are aware of these policies.
CDC’s criteria can help inform when employees should return to work:
If they have been sick with COVID-19
If they tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms
If they have recently had a close contact with a person with COVID-19
Consider developing flexible refund policies for attendees for events that involve a participation fee.
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
Require frequent employee handwashing (e.g., before, during, and after taking tickets; after touching garbage) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence.
If soap and water are not readily available, employees can use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rub their hands until dry.
Encourage staff to cover the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Encourage attendees to wash hands often and cover coughs and sneezes.
Attendees often exchange handshakes, fist bumps, and high-fives at meetings and sporting events. Display signs (physical and/or electronic) that discourage these actions during the event.
Cloth Face Coverings
Require the use of cloth face coverings among staff. Cloth face coverings are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult (e.g., when moving within a crowd or audience).
Provide all staff with information on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
Advise staff that cloth face coverings should not be placed on:
Babies or children younger than 2 years old
Anyone who has trouble breathing
Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance
Encourage attendees ahead of the event to bring and use cloth face coverings at the event.
Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or respirators. They are not personal protective equipment.
Cloth face coverings are strongly encouraged in settings where individuals might raise their voice (e.g., shouting, chanting, singing).
Ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hygienepdf icon behaviors. Supplies include soap, water, hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, cloth face coverings (as feasible), and no-touch trash cans.
Signs and Messages
Post signs in highly visible locations (e.g., at entrances, in restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spreadpdf icon of germs by properly washing handsand properly wearing a cloth face coveringimage icon.
Broadcast regular announcements on reducing the spread of COVID-19 on public address systems.
Include messages (for example, videos) about behaviors that prevent spread of COVID-19 when communicating with staff, vendors, and attendees (such as on the event website and through event social media accounts).
Consider developing signs and messages in alternative formats (e.g., large print, braille, American Sign Language) for people who have limited vision or are blind or people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Find freely available CDC print and digital resources about COVID-19 on CDC’s communications resources main page.
Maintaining Healthy Environments
Event planners should consider implementing several strategies to maintain healthy environments.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces within the venue at least daily or between uses as much as possible—for example, door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, grab bars, hand railings, and cash registers.
Clean and disinfect shared objects between uses—for example, payment terminals, tables, countertops, bars, and condiment holders.
Consider closing areas such as drinking fountains that cannot be adequately cleaned and disinfected during an event.
Develop a schedule for increased, routine cleaning and disinfection.
Plan for and enact these cleaning routines when renting event space and ensure that other groups who may use your facilities follow these routines.
If transport vehicles like buses are used by the event staff, drivers should practice all safety actions and protocols as indicated for other staff—for example, washing hands often and wearing cloth face coverings and maintaining social distance of bus riders. To clean and disinfect event buses, vans, or other vehicles see guidance for bus transit operators and drivers for hire, and adapt as needed.
Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaners and disinfectantsexternal icon to avoid harm to employees and other individuals. Always read and follow label instructions for each product, and store products securely away from children.
Use EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19external icon.
Cleaning products should not be used near children. Staff should ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent attendees or themselves from inhaling toxic vapors.
Use disposable gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash.
After using disposable gloves, throw them out in a lined trash can.
Do not disinfect or reuse the gloves.
Wash hands after removing gloves.
Consider limiting the number of people who occupy the restroom at one time to allow for social distancing.
Do not allow lines or crowds to form near the restroom without maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from other people. It may be helpful to post signs or markers to help attendees maintain the appropriate social distance of at least 6 feet.
Ensure that open restrooms are:
Operational with functional toilets.
Cleaned and disinfected regularly, particularly high-touch surfaces such as faucets, toilets, stall doors, doorknobs, countertops, diaper changing tables, and light switches.
Clean and disinfect restrooms daily or more often, if possible, with EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19.
Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep products away from children.
Adequately stocked with supplies for handwashing, including soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), paper towels, tissues, and no-touch trash cans.
If you are providing portable toilets, also provide portable handwashing stations and ensure that they remain stocked throughout the duration of the event. If possible, provide hand sanitizer stations that are touch-free.
Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible, for example, by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk to staff or attendees (e.g., risk of falling or triggering asthma symptoms).
If portable ventilation equipment like fans are used, take steps to minimize air from them blowing from one person directly at another person to reduce the potential spread of any airborne or aerosolized viruses.
To minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water, take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (e.g., sink faucets, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown. Drinking fountains should be cleaned and sanitized, but encourage staff and attendees to bring their own water, as feasible, to minimize touching and use of water fountains.
Limit attendance or seating capacity to allow for social distancing, or host smaller events in larger rooms.
Use multiple entrances and exits and discourage crowded waiting areas.
Block off rows or sections of seating in order to space people at least 6 feet apart.
Eliminate lines or queues if possible or encourage people to stay at least 6 feet apart by providing signs or other visual cues such as tape or chalk marks.
Prioritize outdoor activities where social distancing can be maintained as much as possible.
Offer online attendance options in addition to in-person attendance to help reduce the number of attendees.
Physical Barriers and Guides
Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that individuals remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times (e.g., guides for creating one-way routes).
Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart. Barriers can be useful at cash registers and other areas where maintaining physical distance of 6 feet is difficult.
Change seating layout or availability of seating so that people can remain least 6 feet apart.
Stagger use of shared indoor spaces such as dining halls, game rooms, and lounges as much as possible and clean and disinfect them between uses.
Add physical barriers, such as plastic flexible screens, between bathroom sinks and beds, especially when they cannot be at least 6 feet apart.
Clean and disinfect bathrooms regularly (e.g., in the morning and evening or after times of heavy use) using EPA-registered disinfectantsexternal icon.
For more information on communal spaces in event housing (e.g., laundry rooms, shared bathrooms, and recreation areas) follow CDC’s guidance for Shared or Congregate Housing.
There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread by food. However, people sharing utensils and congregating around food service areas can pose a risk.
If the event includes food service, refer to CDC’s COVID-19 considerations for restaurants and bars.
Use touchless payment options as much as possible, if available.
Ask customers and employees to exchange cash or card payments by placing them on a receipt tray or on the counter rather than by hand to avoid direct hand-to-hand contact.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as pens, counters, or hard surfaces between use and encourage patrons to use their own pens.
Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that individuals remain at least 6 feet apart when waiting in line to order or pick up.
If a cafeteria or group dining room is used, serve individually plated meals or grab-and-go options, and hold activities in separate areas.
Use disposable food service items including utensils and dishes. If disposable items are not feasible or desirable, ensure that all non-disposable food service items are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.
Individuals should wash their handsafter removing their gloves or after directly handling used food service items.
Avoid offering any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and drink stations. Consider having pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee.
Discourage people from sharing items that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect.
Limit any sharing of food, tools, equipment, or supplies by staff members.
Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible; otherwise, limit use of supplies and equipment to one group of staff members or attendees at a time, and clean and disinfect them between use.
Maintaining Healthy Operations
Event organizers and staff may consider implementing several strategies to maintain healthy operations.
Be aware of local or state regulatory agency policies related to group gatherings to determine if events can be held.
Protections for Staff and Attendees who are at Higher Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19
Offer options for staff at higher risk for severe illness (including older adults and people of any age with underlying medical conditions) that limit their exposure risk. For example:
Offer telework and modified job responsibilities for staff, such as setting up for the event rather than working at the registration desk.
Replace in-person meetings with video- or tele-conference calls whenever possible.
As feasible, offer options for attendees at higher risk for severe illness that limit their exposure risk (e.g., virtual attendance).
Consider limiting event attendance to staff and guests who live in the local area (e.g., community, city, town, or county) to reduce risk of spreading the virus from areas with higher levels of COVID-19. If attendance is open to staff and guests from other communities, cities, town or counties, provide information to attendees so they can make an informed decision about participation.
Put policies in place to protect the privacy of people at higher risk for severe illness regarding their underlying medical conditions.
Limited, Staggered, or Rotated Shifts and Attendance Times
Consider ways to significantly reduce the number of attendees.
Use flexible worksites (e.g., telework) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts) to help establish policies and practices for social distancing of 6 feet between employees, volunteers, and others.
Rotate or stagger shifts and arrival times to limit the number of employees in a venue at the same time.
Stagger and limit attendance times to minimize the number of guests at the venue.
Travel & Transit
Encourage employees to use transportation options that minimize close contact with others (e.g., walking or biking, driving or riding by car – alone or with household members only). Consider offering the following support:
Ask employees to follow the CDC guidance on how to Protect Yourself When Using Transportation, including public transit.
Allow employees to shift their hours so they can commute during less busy times.
Ask employees to wash their hands as soon as possible after their trip.
Reconfigure parking lots to limit congregation points and ensure proper separation of employees (e.g., closing every other parking space).
Encourage rideshare drivers to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the vehicle and avoid providing pooled rides or picking up multiple passengers who would not otherwise be riding together on the same route.
Designated COVID-19 Point of Contact
Designate an administrator or office to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. All staff and attendees should know who this person or office is and how to contact them.
Put systems in place to:
Encourage staff and attendees to self-report to event officials or a COVID-19 point of contact if they have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days, in accordance with health information sharing regulations for COVID-19 (e.g., see “Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts” in the Preparing for When Someone Gets Sick section below), and other applicable privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.
Advise attendees prior to the event or gathering that they should not attend if they have symptoms of, a positive test for, or were recently exposed (within 14 days) to COVID-19.
Notify staff, attendees, and the public of cancellations and restrictions in place to limit people’s exposure to COVID-19 (e.g., limited hours of operation).
Identify and address potential language, cultural, and disability barriers associated with communicating COVID-19 information to event staff and participants. Tailor information so that it is easily understood by various audiences and is available in alternative formats and languages.
Learn more about reaching people of diverse languages and cultures by visiting: Know Your Audience. You also can learn more about communicating to staff in a crisis at: Crisis Communications Plan.external icon
Leave (Time Off) Policies
Implement flexible sick leave policies and practices that are not punitive and enable employees to stay home when they are sick, have been exposed, are caring for someone who is sick, or who must stay home with children if schools or child care centers are closed.
Examine and revise policies for leave, telework, and employee compensation as needed.
Ensure that any relevant policies are communicated to staff.
Back-Up Staffing Plan
Monitor absenteeism of employees, cross-train staff, and create a roster of trained back-up staff.
Develop policies for return-to-work and event facilities after an employee has COVID-19. CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation and quarantine can inform these policies.
Train staff on all safety protocols. Consider using CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers as a guide.
Conduct training virtually to ensure that social distancing is maintained during training.
If training needs to be done in person, maintain social distancing. Virtual training is clearly better for infection control when feasible.
Recognize Signs and Symptoms
If feasible, conduct daily health checks (e.g., temperature screening and/or symptom checking) of staff and attendees safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations.
Event administrators may consider using examples of screening methods in CDC’s General Business FAQs as a guide.
Encourage any organizations that share or use the same venue to also follow these considerations and limit shared use, if possible.
Support Coping and Resilience
Promote employees’ ability to eat healthy foods, exercise, get enough sleep, and find time to unwind.
Encourage employees to talk with people they trust about their concerns and how they are feeling.
Consider posting signs for the national distress hotline: 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUsto 66746; The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224; and The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Lessons Learned After the Event
Meet with the emergency operations coordinator or planning team for your venue to discuss and note lessons learned.
Determine ways to improve planning and implementation processes if the event will happen again.
Update your plans regularly according to the state and local situation and orders.
Preparing for When Someone Gets Sick
Event planners should consider several strategies to implement when someone gets sick.
Advise Sick Individuals of Home Isolation Criteria
Communicate to sick staff members that they should not return to work until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.
Isolate and Transport Those Who are Sick
Make sure that staff and attendees know that they should not come to the event and that they should notify event planners (e.g., the designated COVID-19 point of contact) if they become sick with COVID-19 symptoms, test positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with symptoms or a suspected or confirmed case.
Immediately separate staff and attendees with COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath) at the event. Individuals who are sick should go home or to a healthcare facility, depending on how severe their symptoms are, and follow CDC guidance for caring for themselves.
Individuals who have had close contact with a person who has symptoms should be separated, sent home, and advised to follow CDC guidance for community-related exposure (see “Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts” below). If symptoms develop, individuals should follow CDC guidance for caring for themselves.
Planners may follow CDC’s Guidance for Shared or Congregate Housing for any staff who live in event housing.
Work with venue administrators, local officials, and healthcare providers to identify an isolation area to separate anyone who has COVID-like symptoms or who has tested positive but does not have symptoms. Event healthcare providers should use Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions when caring for sick people. See: What Healthcare Personnel Should Know About Caring for Patients with Confirmed or Possible COVID-19 Infection.
Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone sick to their home or to a healthcare facility. If you are calling an ambulance or bringing someone to the hospital, call first to alert them that the person may have COVID-19.
Clean and Disinfect
Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfecting them (for outdoor areas, this includes surfaces or shared objects in the area, if applicable).
Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaningexternal icon and disinfection products, including storing them securely away from children.
Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts
In accordance with state and local laws and regulations, event planners should notify local health officials, staff, and attendees of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)external icon and other applicable laws and regulations.
Advise those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home, self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
Part of this document used with permission form Fear Factory Salt Lake City.