As the year draws closer to the end, plans for work parties and end-of-year cocktails are in full gear. Are you planning a work party? Besides having a checklist on the theme, fashion, food and decor, a checklist to ensure the event meets all COVID-19 prevention requirements is a must-have. It will help you get that “safe event” approval stamp.
We have great news. You need not spend hours searching for tips on how to make the party safe. Here’s a COVID-19 checklist to ensure the event and venue are safe. The list captures crucial aspects of staffing, operations, cleaning and disinfecting, and maintaining robust hygiene protocols, and even garbage management.
Feel free to use this checklist (and keep referring to it) to ensure your staff party is safe.
The party must have a venue. But how safe is it? The following will help you assess different places and select the most suitable one.
- Sufficient floor space. It should be big enough to maintain a distance of at least six feet between individuals. That is no more than 25 people per 1,000 square feet of available floor space.
- Infrastructure to help guide logical and orderly entry and exits by attendees. In case the venue does not have the inbuilt infrastructure, the management could install crowd management equipment.
- Sufficient crowd management equipment to minimize close contact like visual social distancing markers to encourage attendees to remain 6 feet apart.
- A system for checking attendee body temperature and clear signage that people with elevated temperatures will not be allowed to access.
People and operations requirements
At the heart of COVID-19 restrictions are regulations on personal conduct. Health regulations also guide operations at events to minimize the risk of infection. Here’s what you can do in preparation for the party:
- Ensure the venue management can prove that their staffers are trained in COVID-19 protocols and include this requirement in the contract.
- Inform people that face coverings will be part of the party fashion. Stipulate that entry will be on condition of wearing a face covering. Only those unable to wear a face-covering due to a verifiable medical condition or disability will be allowed access. You could be a little easier on the attendees. Have some branded face covering on hand at the venue. In case someone forgets theirs, give them the alternatives.
- If you already have a draft program, confirm that there are staggered breaks to allow some control in the movement of people.
- Make a precondition that anyone with an elevated body temperature reading will not access the venue. Also, place signages prohibiting hugs and handshakes. But, this may cause the party to feel dull. So, suggest other friendly (and fun) alternatives like the namaste greeting (prayerful hands) and have some fun with it.
- Prepare a register of attendees and their contacts.
- Prepare a list of requirements for out-of-state attendees and post the information on an accessible platform.
- Remove all non-essential amenities such as magazines.
- Prepare signages to remind people not to congregate in groups of more than six and maintain social distance.
Cleaning and disinfecting
Due to the contagious nature of the virus, it is crucial to follow strict hygiene stipulations.
- Ensure venue management has a plan for regular cleaning and disinfection and maintains a log. Check the outline and ensure high traffic areas and touchpoints, like washrooms, door handles, and other surfaces have extra cleaning and disinfection during the event.
- Ensure the venue has numerous and conveniently placed hand-sanitizing stations. Also, install signages and simple motion control equipment to prevent people from crowding at these stations.
- Limit the number of people in washrooms. The queue area should have 6ft markers to enable people to maintain social distance.
- The venue management should ensure there is an adequate supply of soap and hand sanitizer.
- Ensure there is proper ventilation. Ensure windows are wide open during the event.
F & B Service and managing garbage
Do you plan on serving food and beverages during the event?
- Consider pre-packaged bitings and salads. They would help you to maintain safety. Also, have another look at the program and ensure mealtimes are staggered. Make sure there is adequate serving equipment and disposable cutlery.
- Discuss with the catering company and demand food handlers to wear protective clothing at all times and sanitize frequently. You can include this in the contract.
- Serving food will generate a lot of garbage. Therefore, ensure you have enough garbage receptacles (labeled) at strategic points in the venue.
As you plan for the work party, this checklist will help you assess and mitigate COVID-19 related health risks. Remember to check with the local health authorities for specific requirements.
You may need to go over your checklist again. So, it is crucial to have a flexible plan that can adapt to the changing COVID-19 regulations.
Is there something we missed in this checklist? We would love to know about it and learn how you fixed it in your plan.