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Special Events

COVID-19 Event Planning Guidelines

The health and safety of the university’s faculty, staff, students and guests remains the top priority as special events resume on campus. There will be a risk at any event, so event organizers should be mindful of the risk and consider all factors before planning an event.

Important Factors to Consider

  • Venue — location, size, type, crowd density, indoor/outdoor, air flow
  • Attendees — age, health status, travel to the event
  • Event activities — level of interaction among participants
  • Duration — length of the event
  • Reasoning —purpose and necessity of the event
  • Accomodations for individuals with registered disabilities – how to identify and accommodate participants

If there is substantial risk, planners should conduct the event virtually or in a hybrid of in-person and virtual means.

Communication with Employees, Vendors and Guests

  • Communicate in advance of event about event modifications to manage expectations:
    • face coverings
    • advance or in-person health screenings
    • maximum event capacity/RSVP deadlines
    • event ticketing
    • physical distancing guidelines
    • staggered arrival/departure times
    • ingress/egress plans
  • Employee/vendor pre-shift meetings should be conducted virtually or outdoors to review event specific details (special needs of guests, event program, etc.)
    • establish plan to notify guests of possible exposure post-event

Employee and Vendor Health Screening and Training

  • Follow the University’s Return to Work (RTW) daily screening protocol
  • Face coverings required for all employees during events; gloves when appropriate and changed frequently per industry standards
  • Modified event checklists with extensive cleaning and sanitation protocols and guidelines for modifications to event space and event practices
  • Establish plan to alert campus health officials and others if guests or staff get sick to contain and trace as necessary

Modifications to Event Space and Event Practices

  • Revised occupancy limits and floor plans to ensure compliance with established social distancing guidelines.
  • Removal of high touch, shared items from venue, such as magazines, pens, bowls of mints, etc.
  • Touchless event registration is recommended.
  • Limit personal belongings brought to event; items remain with guest
  • Use only paper/disposable printed materials at events. This includes nametags, table cards, place cards, menu cards and food identifiers.
  • Event signage to promote safe guidelines as needed; utilize university links to printable signs
  • Monitor event entrances/exits, restrooms, elevators and shared spaces to control safe capacity.
  • If possible, adjust air handlers, prop doors open and use outdoor space.
  • Increased availability of hand sanitizers.
  • Reduce practices — such as group photographs — that reduce social distancing.
  • Use of face coverings in concert with social distancing and other risk mitigation guidelines

Food Service Modifications

  • The same general/basic food safety guidelines are applicable, with extra safety and sanitation precautions now in effect.
  • No buffet or self-serve catering will be allowed; offer served or packaged items. Ensure alterative meal
    selections for individuals with allergies
  • Use of sneeze guards and other protective measures are encouraged when appropriate.
  • No shared utensils or service vessels; flatware should be rolled up in napkins or individual cutlery packets provided.
  • Coffee, beverages and other break items should be attended to by a server unless individual bottled
    beverages and snacks are provided for guests.
  • Cocktail napkins should be given to the guest with their beverage by a gloved server.
  • At served meals, guests should not pass bread baskets, cream/sugar, salt/pepper. Bread will be served and condiments served should be disposable, individual packets or sanitized individual containers
  • All linens, clean or soiled, should be wrapped or placed in single use plastic for transport.

Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

  • A sanitation plan will be created for each venue prior to an event and should be supervised and documented throughout the event.
  • UofSC Facilities can assist with procurement of supplies as needed
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers (touchless whenever possible) should be placed at the main entrance and throughout the venue. Handwashing stations should be used if outdoors and appropriate.
  • It is highly advised to have trained custodial/facilities staff present to properly clean, although all event staff should be trained to clean and sanitize correctly.
  • Specific sanitation consideration should be paid to the following items in the public areas prior to, during and following events:
    • High-touch areas
    • Desks, counter tops, tables and chairs
    • Phones, AV, electronic equipment and remotes
    • Thermostats
    • Cabinetry, pulls and hardware
    • Doors and doorknobs
    • Elevator fixtures and handrails
    • Restroom vanities/accessories, fixtures and hardware
    • Windows, mirrors and frames
    • Lights and lighting controls
    • Closets, hangers and other amenities

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.