2020 has certainly been nothing short of eventful. As social isolation and uncertainty of the ongoing COVID situation, it should come as no surprise that everyone is going a little stir crazy. Fall is a time that brings people together, as the weather cools and season changes people are looking to engage in their autumn traditions. Pumpkin spice lattes, apple orchards, hayrides, camping, and other fun, social events to make memories with the ones they love are among common fall traditions.
However, while encouraged to continue making memories with friends and family, it is imperative that everyone is still engaging in safe practices. Here are some quick fall safety tips for the upcoming season.
Per the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outdoor gatherings and activities pose less risk than indoor festivities. So, apple orchards, haunted houses, mazes, hayrides, and camping are all still viable, safe fall activities you can enjoy.
Please keep in mind the following factors to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during your fall time fun:
- COVID-19 impact to local communities. Some communities experience a greater impact than a neighboring community. It is important to stay informed of COVID-19 outbreaks, local news, and other relevant information regarding your local and neighboring communities.
- Duration of activity or gathering. It should come as no surprise that the longer social gatherings last, the higher the risk for COVID-19 exposure. If camping, make sure you are able to still physical distance and practice preventive care (i.e., handwashing and other hygienic care).
- Number of people. As the number of people increase, so does the risk. While the CDC has not provided a limit or recommended number, reducing and limiting contact between attendees should be top of mind and aligned with state, local, territorial, and tribal health and safety laws.
- Attendees’ location and behaviors. Consider where your attendees may be traveling from (i.e., a COVID hotspot or area with increased COVID cases). Also consider the attendees’ behavior before and during the social activity. For example, does the attendee(s) wash his or her hands? Does he or she wear a face mask and practice physical distancing?
Many event venues and organizers are implementing COVID-19 safety guidelines for attendees and staff members. This may include:
- Requiring face masks or other personal protective equipment
- Limiting the venue’s capacity restrictions, moving events outdoors if option is available
- Setting up sanitation stations and ensuring common areas are stocked with sanitation materials, as well as implementing proper and frequent cleaning and sanitation of common areas
- Modifying distribution of food and beverages (i.e., removing high contact food prep items from menu, no contact methods such as trays or holders for food and drinks)
If you’re planning going to a festival or holiday party, please consider the health and safety guidelines provided above. As an employer, if you’re looking to host a holiday party or group activity outside of work hours, please ensure you establish formal guidelines, conduct due diligence in compliance and risk management, and consult an HR management expert like AccessPoint for best practices.