How the RNC is Screening Attendees

screening attendees

There’s a lot to learn about COVID-19 protocols for large meetings
and strategies for screening attendees from this week’s Republican National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

A detailed plan for screening attendees before, during and after the Republican National Convention, which kicked off today in Charlotte, NC, can be used as a model for meeting organizers. Unlike last week’s Democratic National Convention, 336 delegates from around the country are expected to attend live, along with vendors, employees, security and others working behind the scenes.

Pre-convention, the Republican National Committee advised attendees to practice enhanced social distancing, stay home as much as possible and avoid crowds. All attendees were sent a test in the mail and required to have a negative test result before traveling to the event. The RNC tapped a company called Vital Circle to create an online health portal where they were required to report daily during the preceding week on any symptoms they experienced.

All delegates and workers were again tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival in Charlotte using rapid swabs, with the results back in hours. Each day, representatives from Novant Health will screen delegates for symptoms of COVID-19 at the Westin Hotel, where all are staying. If they pass, they are given a wristband that provides them access to the Charlotte Convention Center. Atrium Health is conducting similar screenings at the convention center for the others who are attending.

If anyone tests positive, they will be ordered to quarantine in Mecklenburg County for 14 days and contact tracing will be started “immediately.”

On site, masks are required and seating has been assigned and separated by 6 ft. Food and beverages will be pre-packaged and can only be consumed in specific areas of the convention center. Social gatherings are limited to 10 individuals indoors and 25 outdoors.

Post-convention, the RNC is recommending that all attendees continue to socially distance for 14 days. They will be asked to continue to report on the health portal, and they plan to follow up once a week for the next three weeks.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.