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What if an attendee becomes ill? Planning your on-site response to COVID-19


October 12, 2021 // Educational Series

When it comes to dealing with complex public health challenges like those presented by COVID-19, there’s one old cliché that sums it up perfectly: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Proper preparation has been the key factor in metroConnections’ ability to safely host in-person events for our clients during the pandemic. By combining information from an extensive list of sources including federal organizations like the CDC, as well as local health departments and industry-specific experts, metroConnections will work with your company to create a detailed, easy-to-follow plan that will help keep your event’s attendees safe if one of them should become ill.

“We prepare everything to make sure that everyone in the client’s company, from attendees to management, can feel safe and secure in the knowledge that there is an ironclad plan in place,” says metroConnections Director of Program Management Amy McCollum.

After meeting with our clients discuss company-specific health policies, metroConnections will develop a point-by-point safety plan that factors in national, local, and venue-specific best-practices created by the brightest minds in those respective fields.

For a recent event’s safety plan, metroConnections put together a list of step-by-step instructions for employees on how to get tested, if needed, including a list of client-approved testing sites located near the event venue. To ensure immediate access to transportation, metroConnections also coordinated a standby SUV ready to take any person in need of a test to their testing site–and safely back to a predetermined hotel room to quarantine while they waited for results.

“Our plan even accounted for minute details such as how quarantining attendees could safely receive meals and other supplies from room service staff,” explains McCollum, “No matter how specific the situation might be, we’re accounting for it.”

While an exactingly detailed safety plan is a must for maintaining a successful in-person event during the pandemic, McCollum also stresses that metroConnections understands the importance of giving attendees simple, actionable steps to take when they begin to feel under the weather.

“We don’t want to cause unnecessary anxiety for attendees by asking them to memorize 50 different steps that they should take if they start to feel sick” McCollum says, “Being sick is hard enough!”

metroConnections therefore recommends providing attendees with a distilled version of their event safety plan that outlines the initial steps that an individual should take, and provides them with a pre-determined point-person or organization to contact for next steps.


“Our recommendation is to keep it simple,” McCollum says, “Any attendee that feels sick needs to mask-up and isolate right away, and then contact our point-person to learn more details about where they can get tested or seek treatment.”

By providing our clients, attendees, and venue partners with the right information and making sure all parties are on the same page about policies and standards, metroConnections has been able to produce events during COVID-19 that deliver fun and memorable experiences while still maintaining the safety of everyone involved.

“The pandemic can create a lot of uncertainty, and nobody likes to dwell on negative scenarios like an attendee getting sick,” says McCollum, “But by making sure we’re taking the right precautions, we can handle tricky situations and keep everyone safe.”