Healthy Procedures for Face-to-Face Training During the COVID-19 Pandemic
If your organization decides to hold face-to-face training during the COVID-19 pandemic and even during the regular flu season, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that your attendees stay safe and healthy.
Prior to the event:
- In your event description, let attendees know that you will be following additional safety procedures and describe the steps you will take so that people know what to expect. Let them know that if they are uncomfortable following the procedures, then your face-to-face event is not for them.
- Require that all participants – trainers and attendees – wear masks throughout the full event.
- Make it clear that anyone who is not feeling perfectly well - or who has been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 - should not attend the training event. Adjust your organization policies to ensure that you will reimburse any registration fees if someone is unable to attend the event due to a health concern.
- Limit registration based on your event location. Keep the group size small enough to be able to space attendees at least 6 feet apart.
- Space seating at least 6 feet apart. Provide physical cues such as tape to show people where to sit. Remove or block all extra chairs.
- Face all tables in the same directions so that people sit on only one side, all facing in the same direction. Be sure to remove chairs to keep spacing at least 6 feet apart.
- Place course materials and handouts on the chairs and tables that will be used, to show people where they may sit and to avoid having multiple people touch the items.
- Mark the floor at the entrance to the event with taped X’s that are spaced at least 6 feet apart, to show people where to stand as they wait to sign in.
- Set up the sign in table to include extra masks for those who need one, and hand sanitizer.
- Consider adding additional people to assist during registration, so there is someone monitoring and guiding attendees to follow the procedures while they wait to sign in, and another person overseeing attendance.
- Lay out the attendance taking area to start with extra masks if attendees need one. Next, place hand sanitizer and ask each attendee to sanitize their hands. Finally, have two containers for sign-in pens: one with clean, unused pens and one to hold pens that have been used. Ask attendees to take a clean pen, sign the attendance sheet, and then discard that used pen in the used container.
- Use the attendance sheet provided in the event resources at the Growing Futures Registry to ensure you collect all required information for each person. Not only is this standard Registry procedure but it will also provide contact tracing information if someone at the training later tests positive for COVID-19.
- Try to keep traffic flowing in one direction. If it’s possible to have separate doors for entering and exiting, that is best.
- Model distancing yourself. Stand at least 6 feet from others.
- Close the doors at the start of the event and do not allow late entries.
During the training:
If providing safe and healthy face-to-face training feels too uncertain or difficult during the pandemic, remember there are other options for real-time training delivery. Many training sponsors are using virtual platforms such as Zoom or Go-to-Meeting. Learn more about this option.
- If it’s possible and safe, open windows to increase the flow of outside air into the meeting space.
- Direct attendees to sit in the marked chairs or tables, spacing them at least 6 feet apart.
- Discourage sharing of materials, pens, and so on.
- If you are providing refreshments, have those portioned out in individual servings so that multiple people are not touching the same items.
- Change your training learning activities to make sure you maintain distance between attendees throughout the event.
- Dismiss attendees at the end of the event so that they can maintain distance going out the door.