This is Part 3 of a series of posts where we will be sharing transcripts from our "Looking Forward" webinar featuring Legalease With the Ladies- powered by HopSkip.
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Do we need to provide temperature checks to our event attendees?
This is another arena that could be fraught with peril. First of all, a temperature check is a moment in time. The fact that a person doesn't have a fever right now doesn't mean that they aren't already infected and that they couldn't infect somebody going forward, so it's not necessarily proof of anything. It's also doing what is called under the law “assuming a duty” - you are taking on responsibility for doing something that you wouldn't otherwise have responsibility for doing.
Once you assume that duty and take on the responsibility, if you don't do it right, you can be held responsible for that. So, if you think that some kind of health check is going to be appropriate or necessary during your meeting, I would consider hiring a third party agency that specializes in this arena to administer those health questionnaires, or do the temperature checks, or do whatever that is so that they bear the responsibility for doing it right and making sure that it's done appropriately so that you're not opening yourself up to that potential liability.
And again, as Barbara and I said, we think things like mask requirements and distancing probably are better than doing temperature checks. I saw that somebody asked, well, should you require masks even if the local jurisdiction doesn't require it? Again, this is a very political issue, very fraught with all kinds of issues, but at this point the CDC is still recommending on a national basis, that everybody wear masks, and in fact is recommending double masking in most places. So, I would go with the national standards for my event because people are coming from all over.
I agree with you Lisa, the group can have more stringent restrictions than what the local area requires. I think setting up a code of conduct, as one of the questions noted, is a good idea.
Again, their shared responsibility and the Events Industry Council last summer did a great job in their report of really identifying the shared responsibility between the organizer, the attendee and the venue when it comes to COVID risks and I think that's true. I absolutely agree as to the third-party provider. Again, it's difficult to give the impression that a group or its staff would check temperatures and somehow make a diagnosis.
Similarly, with health questionnaires, remember if you collect that information you've got to protect it, so that's not necessarily foolproof as well. So, I think deferring to the lowest common denominator if you will, that is just practical management of risk on site. I think that is the best strategy going forward.
Also keep in mind, program schedules are likely going to change. It would take a hotel or a venue a lot of time, maybe up to a half hour to turn a room in terms of doing the cleanliness, wipe downs and whatnot, and so groups need to think about how their schedules will change as well. You don't want to rush things like that. You obviously want to look at different strategies and I know that impacts food and beverage service. We can certainly talk more about that question, but again, as I'll point out on the group side, “the same old same old” just can't be “the same old, same old.”
This post is a multi part series where we will be sharing the questions and answers that were originally generated from HopSkip's recent "Looking Forward Webinar" featuring Legalease With the Ladies. You can download the recorded webinar here.