The World Health Organization (WHO) recently came out with criteria all events organizers must follow for preventing, managing, and containing the spread of COVID-19 at their mass gatherings. A news article from Event Planner summarizes the WHO's requirements, and we provide selected highlights below. Read on to learn how the WHO takes a look into the future of events.
- First, event organizers are expected to examine the context in which the event will take place. They must evaluate any risk factors associated with the event, take into consideration how likely their event will contribute to spreading COVID-19, and decide whether health care services will be able to handle the spread.
- Event organizers must determine to what extent prevention and control measures can be applied. For instance, planners and administrators may need to adjust different aspects of the event, such as facilities, audience, or venue. They may also need to look at how effectively they will be able to communicate with and prepare care providers about any cases of COVID-19.
In this pre-event phase, the WHO requires that planners and managers to develop a preparedness and response plan that is aligned with national emergency preparedness and response plans.
Developing a preparedness response plan
- Establish direct channels of communication between the event organizers and health authorities.
- Make provisions for detecting and monitoring COVID-19 cases.
- Set up strategies to reduce the spread of the virus.
- Make provisions for managing and treating people who become sick.
Assessing capacities and resources
Event administrators must make provisions for human resources and for acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE). They must also:
- Make isolation rooms available.
- Establish cleaning schedules.
- Coordinate provisions with all relevant national and local authorities.
Event venue modifications
Event planners will be responsible for:
- Moving events online or moving the venue indoors
- Limiting attendance
- Making sure that everyone has access to hand washing facilities
- Designating specific staff to clean and disinfect the venue regularly
Administrators must advise people to observe physical distancing, cover coughs, and practice handwashing. In addition, they must:
- Let those who have a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 know that they should not attend the event.
- Advise those that are at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19 and those individuals who are in contact with higher-risk patients that they should not come to the event.
- Be prepared to limit contact among participants.
- Event administrators must use culturally appropriate messages to participants and the public in the specific languages they speak.
- They must ensure coordination and consistency in crafting and delivering those messages.
- Their key messages must be in line with national health policies.
- Event administrators must make isolation facilities available at the event site where initial assessment and triage performed by medical staff takes place.
- They must make transportation available to a health facility if required.
- Event organizers must make arrangements with national and local health authorities regarding any COVID-19 cases that are identified during the event.
After the mass gathering concludes, event organizers must formally contact authorities:
- Event organizers must contact health authorities and report cases of participants and staff that develop symptoms during the event. They must liaison with authorities in the participant's home city or country, as well as national and local authorities to share information.
- Event organizers should also advise individuals who develop symptoms once they return to their home city or country to report their potential exposure to their public health authorities.
- Lastly, they should communicate with health authorities to ensure that systems are in place to detect cases of COVID-19 within the local population.
The COVID-19 epidemic has changed the future of event planning as administrators must prevent and contain the spread of the virus. InitLive can help planners address these responsibilities through its all-in-one communication, safety, and management software. For more information on how you can use InitLive to meet WHO requirements.
We have created a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the World health Regulations has you begin to plan your future events. Click the button below to download the free guide.