The Minnesota Department of Health issued guidelines for safe celebrations and events. The department reminds everyone that gatherings put yourself and others at risk of Covid-19. Accordingly, the department’s guidelines attempt to aide event planners, venue managers and owners, catering companies, and others who may be involved in the planning and coordination of any celebrations and events, whether they are outdoor or indoor.
Being in close proximity with other people is the primary reason that risks of infection rise.When you are writing up your guest list, consider if people who are in high risk groups such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions, will have their risks of infection increase.
Because of the risks of in-person gatherings, you should only hold in-person events if your guests can commit to social distancing, which is keeping at least 6 feet of space between people from different households and wearing face masks. General guidelines for events are below:
- Stay home if you do not feel well or are at higher risk for getting very sick from Covid-19. Anyone, including yourself, who is feeling sick or is showing Covid-19 symptoms or lives with people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 should not attend.
- Keep gatherings small.
- Hold small gatherings outside, if possible.
- Wear masks and stay 6 feet away from other guests.
- Wear a mask indoors and outdoors if gathering with anyone that does not live with you.
- Always stay at least 6 feet away from people that do not live with you.
- Open windows and/or doors to allow air to flow if gathering indoors.
- Remember who came to the gathering.
- Keep a list of invited guests in case one of them gets Covid-19 so that the list can be used for contact-tracing later on.
Develop a preparedness plan in case anyone does not follow the guidelines or the guidelines are somehow breached. Make it clear that the success of the event requires the cooperation of everyone. If guests refuse to comply with the guidelines, stop the event.
By law, everyone is required to wear face masks in public spaces except those who are unable to wear or tolerate a face covering due to medical or mental health conditions or other reasons. There are also situations in which a face covering may be temporarily removed, such as when eating or drinking, if social distancing is maintained between members of different parties and the face covering is put back on when not eating or drinking.
Social distancing guidelines limit events in private homes to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. In an event venue, capacity is limited to 25% of normal capacity for a maximum of 250 people, assuming social distancing can be maintained. The department makes other provisions for how event planners must deal with speakers, tables and other such things.
Don’t forget that you still have other health considerations you need to keep in mind when it comes to guests outside of new guidelines related to Covid-19, as well. For instance, you need to ensure that guests at your events have their bathroom needs taken care of, and working with a portable toilet provider can ensure you have enough for everyone.
Overall, the guidelines emphasise preparedness, wearing of masks, social distancing, small crowds and reducing the risks of high-risk groups.