Guidance for indoor events

Updated June 9, 2021.

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These best practices are for receptions, events, concerts, auctions, theaters, trade shows, and other indoor venues.

IF THERE IS A CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19 IN THE COMMUNITY

Best practices

  • Collect contact information of guests or attendees through tactics like taking reservations, requiring RSVPs, or having sign-in sheets, and times of arrival and departure to help with potential exposure notification whenever possible.
  • Provide generous and flexible cancellation policies so that if guests start experiencing symptoms, they can cancel.
  • Encourage 6 feet or more distancing between all employees, customers, contractors and visitors. Venues may calculate capacity using the Social Distancing Space Calculator.
  • Create a queue at entrances that allows for 6 feet of physical distancing between individuals and pace entry to prevent congestion.
  • Give reminders to observe 6 feet physical distancing before, during, and after events.
  • Post signage with easy to interpret graphics in commonly used languages reminding everyone to maintain 6 feet of distance, wear masks if unvaccinated, wash hands, etc.
  • Establish single-direction traffic flow in and out of venue and seating areas. Consider separate entrances and exits.
  • If the event is catered, do not allow for self-service stations or buffets.
  • Enhance cleaning and disinfection of common touch points (doors, stairwell handles, light switch, elevator switch, etc.). (CDC cleaning guidance)
  • Ensure ventilation at the venue is in line with or exceeds OSHA guidance.
  • Install touchless hand sanitizing stations at entrances and in high-traffic areas.
  • Deploy plexiglass barriers where appropriate.
  • Booths or vendors at events should:
    • Allow spacing for vendor load-in and loadout such that vendors and staff can maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from each other as much as possible.
    • Add a minimum of 6 feet in between booths.
    • Create a single line of booths instead of double rows. If this is not possible, create at least a 16 feet thoroughfare between the two sides allowing for a single file, one-way path down the middle.  
    • Require vendors to have market booth layouts that promote social distancing. Provide them with the space to do this. 
    • Create one-way traffic flow through the booths to prevent crowding or mingling.
    • Use ropes, cones or tape to define the entrance, exit and flow.

Vendors/Employees

  • Encourage employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Consider hosting an employee vaccination event through CDPHE’s workplace vaccination program.
  • Provide guidance and encouragement on maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing.
  • Unvaccinated people are strongly encouraged to wear masks indoors. Venues may require mask-wearing. Masks are required for unvaccinated people in certain settings, including schools, under the statewide mask order. For more information, consult CDPHE’s guidance for wearing masks.
  • Require frequent handwashing upon arrival, departure and throughout the day.
  • Implement symptom monitoring protocols (including workplace temperature monitoring and symptom screening questions) where possible (Additional Guidance) and encourage sick employees to use the CDPHE Symptom Support tool.
  • Employees who have been in close contact with an exposed or symptomatic person (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) should not report to work and should self-quarantine, unless they have been fully vaccinated.
  • Group employees into teams or shifts that stick together.
  • Provide contactless payment methods.
  • Extend setup timelines to allow vendors more time to set up and not overlap.

Performers/competitors

  • Performances with vocal speech or singing, wind or brass instruments, or activities that cause heavy breathing should be 12 feet from patrons if the performer is wearing a mask.* If not wearing a mask, performers should be 25 feet from spectators. Unvaccinated performers are strongly recommended to wear masks. Venues may require performers to wear masks while performing. Performances with no forced exhalation as in the prior examples, like a piano, harp, or organ player, should be a minimum of 6 feet from patrons, but 12 feet is preferred.

  • Participants (e.g., players, performers, actors, competitors, entertainers, etc.) in events should have their symptoms checked, and participants who have been in close contact with an exposed or symptomatic person (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) should not participate and should self-quarantine, unless they have been fully vaccinated.

  • Adopt seating and spacing modifications to increase physical distance from a performer. 

  • Where necessary, install barriers to minimize travel of aerosolized particles from performers, or implement alternative placement of performers.

  • Maximize physical spacing between performers on-stage.

  • Performers should use a separate entrance/exit than patrons where possible.

  • Performers are not included in capacity limits or headcounts for events with over 100 attendees so long as they do not join the spectator/patron areas at any time. If performers join the patron spaces, they must be included in the capacity limit numbers.

  • Disinfect high-touch areas and equipment such as: microphones, instruments, props, etc. between uses.

Hosts/attendees

  • Encourage attendees to stay home if sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Consider screening attendees for fever, symptoms, or exposures before or at their arrival.

  • Encourage unvaccinated attendees who have been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) to stay home and self-quarantine. 

  • Encourage frequent handwashing.

  • Encourage unvaccinated attendees to refrain from mixing and mingling with others not in their household during events as much as possible.

  • Encourage unvaccinated attendees to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing from others as much as possible.

  • Unvaccinated attendees are strongly encouraged to wear masks in any indoor space where people from multiple households are present. Venues may require masks. Masks are required for unvaccinated people in certain settings, including schools, under the statewide mask order. For more information, consult CDPHE’s guidance for wearing masks.

  • Unvaccinated people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 should consider additional protections or staying home.

*Research and the CDC suggest that activities like singing may project respiratory droplets in greater quantity and over greater distance, increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, particularly with prolonged exposure.