March 11, 2020
COVID-19 Response: Guidance Regarding Mass Gatherings in Meriden
On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, Governor Ned Lamont declared a public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please be advised that as of March 11, 2020 there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Meriden; however the virus is present and circulating in Connecticut. The City is actively planning for a local response to COVID-19 cases when they occur Meriden.
Therefore, as a result of the Governor’s declaration and social distancing guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State Department of Public Health, at this time the Meriden Department of Health and Human Services strongly recommends that Meriden organizations and staff responsible for planning mass gatherings or large community events postpone or cancel any event scheduled through April 17, 2020. The Department will re-evaluate the situation as they have more information.
A mass gathering is defined as a planned or spontaneous event with a large number of people in attendance; guidance from the Connecticut Governor’s office sets this number 100 or more persons. These events can include but are not limited to concerts, festivals, conferences, worship services, and sporting events.
If events must be held, the following principles of public health risk management should be applied:
- For events or meetings with large numbers of people within arm’s length of each other, encourage those who are at higher risk due to age (70 or older), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or chronic lung diseases like COPD, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems not to attend or dial in.
- Provide COVID-19 prevention supplies at your events.Plan to have extra supplies on hand for event staff and participants, including sinks with soap, hand sanitizers, and tissues.
- Promote messages that discourage people who are sick from attending events.This should include messages requesting that people leave events if they begin to have symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. They should seek medical advice promptly by calling ahead to a doctor’s office or emergency room to get guidance.
- If possible, identify a space that can be used to isolate staff or participants who become ill at the event.Designate a space for staff and participants who may become sick and cannot leave the event immediately. Work with partners, such as local hospitals, to create a plan for treating staff and participants who do not live nearby. Include a plan for separating and caring for vulnerable populations.
- Promote the daily practice of everyday preventive actions. Use health messages and materials developed by credible public health sources to encourage your event staff and participants to practice good personal health habits. Promote everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, which include:
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
Organizers and staff should be aware that COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation, and the Meriden Department of Health and Human Services will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.
The City also recommends that private business and organizations follow the interim CDC guidelines for business, which can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html .
All of City of Meriden services will continue at this time. We ask that all members of the public practice the recommendations above.