How to Secure Your Essential Outdoor Events/Crowds During the Pandemic
With Los Angeles County as well as others under a ‘Safer At Home’ order, all members of the public are being told to remain indoors unless it is necessary to leave home. Wearing facial protection is a requirement, and the reasons it is acceptable to go outside make for a short list.
This is the new normal during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and it looks as if this is going to be life for the foreseeable future.
Despite the ‘Safer At Home’ order, there are a number of outdoors businesses and events which are deemed necessary. Naturally, every person going to these events is expected to observe social distancing rules. This means that people should remain at least six feet apart from each other at all times to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
An ‘event’ in its usual definition, such as a sports game, concert or other gathering, is extremely unlikely to take place in the current environment. The only outdoors events that are permitted at the moment include those which offer necessary services to the public. An example of this type of event is a Farmer’s Market.
As of early April, Los Angeles County has relaxed regulations surrounding farmers markets to allow some to open on weekends.
An important step towards getting these markets to reopen was the provision of a detailed security and public safety plan. Market owners were required to put forward a social distancing and hygiene plan that would ensure a safe shopping experience.
The plan to secure farmers markets had to include:
- How they plan to implement social distancing measures. For example, ensuring that only a certain number of customers were inside the market at any one time.
- The location and provision of handwashing stations for the arriving public.
- Creation of signs explaining the situation to customers. The public must be made aware of the social distancing and hygiene measures being overseen in the markets.
Security personnel are an important part of securing outdoor events, in terms of ensuring there is a social distancing and one-way system in place to prevent overcrowding in some areas.
Other duties would be to check the effectiveness of face masks worn by the public, and maintain levels of hand sanitizer at handwashing stations inside the area.
Equipping security guards with two-way radios is a great way to ensure regulations can be followed. In a standard setup, security personnel would be at either end of a one-way system. The person nearest to the exit would communicate with the guard monitoring the entrance about people leaving the area, so more people can be allowed inside.
When securing an essential outdoor event during these times, here are some ideas to consider:
- Measure the area you are working with, and decide roughly how many people should be allowed into the area at any one time based on the six-foot rule. It is always better to go for a lower number if you aren’t completely sure.
- Consider which resources you will need to build an effective one-way system around the area. Will security guards be enough, or should you use tape and place markings on the floor?
- How will you remind people of the rules? For example, in a shopping situation, only vendors should be permitted to touch products. Will signs suffice, or should security people be present to announce reminders?
Securing emergency triage tents
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, emergency hospitals and treatment centers are being set up for patients who cannot get attention from main hospitals since they are too full. Some companies that would usually be pitching tents for music festivals are now putting all their effort into assembling emergency triage tents for coronavirus patients.
Since these new overflow areas are being designed with COVID-19 in mind, security guards are necessary around the perimeter. Overcrowding needs to be prevented to stop further spread of the virus, and communication between guards should be made easy. There should be as few complications as possible when it comes to the admission and release of patients.
It is vital that the six-foot social distancing measures are followed in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and security personnel at outdoor events are central to this.