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Coronavirus risk assessment for public events

By Gavin Heaton

Note: as at MARCH 2020, most public events have been cancelled and the shift towards online meetings is underway. 

When it comes to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) there is a great deal of misinformation spiralling around the internet. For those of us who host public events like hackathons, workshops and conferences, it can severely impact planning, business and, of course, our personal lives. The flow on effect can be huge – communicating with attendees, reassuring sponsors and collaborating with partners can become a fulltime job.

To provide some consistency in planning and communications – and to help with risk assessment, the Center for Disease Control in the USA have released a decision making flowchart. This is used from a personal point of view and should be answered based on an individuals actions over the last 14 days.

It is expected that this flowchart will be updated on an ongoing basis to take into account new outbreaks across the world – so while it currently focuses on China and Hubei specifically, this may change. Please check the CDC website for updates closer to your event.

Remember: Assessing and managing the risk of public events in the face of the COVID-19 Coronavirus is an essential part of event management. Organisers are encouraged to check with official agencies in your country – and to stay in regular contact with attendees, sponsors and partners.

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