You must be a party animal if you’re considering throwing a get-together amidst social distancing rule. This article, “How Can You Safely Plan a Party During Social Distancing Periods?” is an ultimate guide crafted to help you navigate through the complexity of planning a safe and enjoyable gathering during these challenging times. It contains all the information you will need to ensure your event is not only enjoyable, but also compliant with social distancing guidelines. Because even during a pandemic, there are ways for you to stay connected and host a memorable time for your friends, all while prioritizing everyone’s health and safety.
This image is property of www.orangecountync.gov.
Understanding the Necessity of Social Distancing
In light of the current global health crisis, it’s essential to understand the importance of maintaining social distance. The term “Social Distancing” might seem new to most of us, but it is a basic public health practice used to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
COVID-19: How it spreads
In the specific case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it primarily spreads when someone comes into close contact with an infected person. It’s transmitted through respiratory droplets, ejected when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes or even talks. These can directly infect someone if it lands in their mouth, nose, or eyes or indirectly if someone touches a contaminated object and then touches their face.
Importance of following CDC guidelines
To prevent the spread of the disease, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together several guidelines. These include wearing masks, washing hands regularly, and maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others, hence the term “social distancing”. It’s important for everyone to adhere to these guidelines to keep ourselves and others safe.
Maintaining safety while socializing
While maintaining social distance might mean less face to face interaction, it doesn’t mean you have to stop socializing altogether. It just means getting creative with how we spend time with friends and family for the time being. Whether that’s through video chats, phone calls, or carefully planned in-person gatherings.
Factors to Consider Before Planning the Party
Before deciding to throw a party during this time, several factors must be borne in mind.
Assessing the current health scenario
The first and foremost consideration should be the local and global health scenario at the time of the party. Are the cases on the rise? Are hospitals in your area overwhelmed? Or has the situation improved significantly?
Understanding local regulations and guidelines
Once you have an idea of the health scenario, look up your areas local COVID-19 regulations and guidelines. It’s important to abide by these restrictions not just for the safety of your attendees but also to avoid breaking any laws.
Evaluating the health status of potential attendees
Additionally, consider the health of your potential attendees. Do any of them fall under the high risk category for severe COVID-19 illness, such as the elderly or people with underlying health issues? Are potentially allowing attendees traveling from areas with high infection rates?
Choosing the Right Location
The location where you host your party can greatly impact the spread of the virus.
Home setting vs. outside venues
Having the party outside would allow for better air circulation and more room for social distancing, making it a safer option. However, if it isn’t possible, be sure your home has ample space for guests to keep a safe distance.
Space consideration for proper social distancing
Ensure the selected location has enough space to accommodate all attendees while keeping at least 6 feet apart. It’s essential to avoid overcrowding and restrict the size of your party to ensure this.
Ventilation and airflow at the chosen location
Wherever the location, the availability of good ventilation and airflow are significant factors for the prevention of COVID. If inside, keep the windows open to allow fresh air.
Deciding on the Guest List
In a time like this, choosing who you invite to your party becomes an even more crucial task.
Limiting the number of attendees
The number of guests should ideally be dependent on the space of the location; the larger the space, the more people it can accommodate, but always whilst maintaining social distancing.
Considering the risk level of guests
Give thought to the risk levels of potential guests. If someone is high risk, you might want to think twice before extending the invitation or discuss it with them beforehand.
Communicating safety measures to guests prior to the party
Lastly, make sure that your guests are well aware and willing to follow the safety precautions being implemented at the party. It’s important to communicate this upfront so there are no surprises for them when they arrive.
This image is property of media.npr.org.
Designing an Appropriate Party Format
Segmenting the party into designated areas and times can also help with reducing the risk of germ spread.
Daytime vs. evening parties
Hosting a daytime party would allow for the use of outdoor spaces which have been deemed safer due to better ventilation. However, if an evening party is a must, be extra careful about indoor safety measures.
Seated dinner vs. buffet
Seated dinners are a safer alternative as they avoid the risk of multiple people touching serving utensils. If a buffet is chosen, consider assigning one person to serve all the food.
Activities that maintain social distancing
Plan activities that can be enjoyed while maintaining a safe distance. Things like trivia games, karaoke, or even silent discos can ensure everyone has a good time while staying safe.
Implementing Safety Precautions
The main priority should always be the safety of the people attending.
Provision for masks and hand sanitizers
Make sure that masks are worn at all times by everyone. Provide hand sanitizers at various points throughout the party, especially at the entrance so guests can sanitize their hands as soon as they arrive.
Setting rules for mask-wearing
Whilst it’s understandable that masks will be removed when eating or drinking, they should be worn all the other times. Make sure guests are aware of this rule.
Signage for social distancing and hygiene practices
Signages can serve as gentle reminders for guests to maintain distance and follow other preventive measures like washing hands frequently.
This image is property of ca-times.brightspotcdn.com.
Food and Drink Considerations
The handling and serving of food and drinks can greatly affect the risk of spreading the virus.
Pre-packaged or served meals
Pre-packaged meals or meals served by a designated person can help minimize the risk of germs spreading.
Rules for eating and drinking
Make sure attendees are aware they should put their masks back on as soon as they finish eating or drinking. Also, they should avoid walking around while eating or drinking as this may lead to closer interaction than necessary with others.
Safe handling and serving of food and drinks
It is crucial to decide who will handle food and drinks. This person should wear gloves and a mask to avoid the spread of germs.
Cleaning and Disinfection Measures
Regular cleaning and disinfection can significantly reduce the risk of virus transmission.
Before, during, and after the party
Cleaning could be done before, during, and after the party. Try to clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces at least once a day.
Frequent touch points
Certain areas and objects are touched more frequently than others. Consider points like doorknobs, handrails, bathroom taps, and dinner tables that will need more frequent cleaning.
Handling of food and drink utensils
Be smart about how plates, glasses, and utensils are handled. Encourage guests to handle only their own utensils to prevent contamination.
This image is property of cdn.who.int.
Restrooms are unavoidable at parties and hence need extra attention.
Encouraging frequent hand washing
Ensure there’s a steady supply of hand wash and encourage guests to wash their hands before and after they use the restroom.
Keeping cleaning supplies available
Keep cleaning supplies in the restroom for guests to use after they leave.
Timing restroom breaks
Staggering restroom breaks can also help prevent overcrowding in the restroom.
The party might be over, but precautions should continue to take place.
Communicating potential exposure
If any guest tests positive after the party, it is essential to alert the other attendees so that they can get tested and quarantine if necessary.
Dealing with leftover food and drinks
Handle food and drink leftovers with the same precautions as during the party. It’s better view leftovers as possibly contaminated and take necessary precautions.
Deep cleaning and disinfection post-party
Last, deep clean and disinfect the entire party area to ensure the risk of germs has been minimized.
Remember, the goal is to balance having a good time and maintaining safety. Also, important to remember is that risk can be minimized but not completely eliminated. Therefore, safety measures should be practiced at all times, not only during the party but also before and after it. Stay safe!
This image is property of cdnsm5-hosted.civiclive.com.