CDC Guidelines for Meetings

CDC guidelines
The CDC has posted guidelines for meeting planners on its web site.

CDC guidelines around coronavirus are there to help meeting organizers take appropriate actions.

Looking for guidance on coronavirus protocol for meetings? Following are highlights of the CDC guidelines for meetings. The full document can be found here.

Meet with your emergency operations coordinator

Discuss the emergency operations plans and determine how they may impact aspects of your events, such as personnel, security, services and activities, functions, and resources. Work with the emergency operations coordinator or planning team to prepare for the key prevention strategies outlined in this guidance. Develop a contingency plan that addresses various scenarios described below which you may encounter during a COVID-19 outbreak.

Provide COVID-19 prevention supplies at your events

Plan to have extra supplies on hand for event staff and participants, including sinks with soap, hand sanitizers, tissues, and disposable face masks (for persons who start having symptoms).

Note: Disposable face masks should be kept on-site and used only if someone (worker or attendee) becomes sick at your event. Those who become sick should be immediately isolated from staff and participants who are not sick and given a clean disposable face mask to wear.

Discourage people who are sick from attending

This should include messages requesting that people leave events if they begin to have symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. They should seek medical advice promptly by calling ahead to a doctor’s office or emergency room to get guidance. See CDC guidance on what to do when sick with COVID-19.

Identify a space that can be used to isolate anyone who becomes ill

Designate a space for staff and participants who may become sick and cannot leave the event immediately. Work with partners, such as local hospitals, to create a plan for treating staff and participants who do not live nearby. Include a plan for separating and caring for vulnerable populations.

Limit in-person contact for staff supporting your events

Reduce the number of staff needed such as staggering shifts for staff who support essential functions and services during events.

Develop flexible refund policies for participants

Create refund policies that permit participants the flexibility to stay home when they are sick, need to care for sick household members, or are at high risk for complications from COVID-19.

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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.

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