Events & Gatherings
An approved event exception is no longer required in order to host a UArizona event of any size.
While event exceptions are no longer required, we encourage all event planners to utilize the On-Campus Event Planning Checklist in order to maximize event safety.
Event planners are also encouraged to review the below general considerations and COVID-19 prevention principles during the planning process.
General Considerations When Planning On-Campus Activities & Events
Always remember when planning any on-campus event or activity:
- The more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.
- Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces because indoors, it can be harder to keep people at least 6 feet apart and the ventilation is not as good as it is outdoors.
The risk of COVID-19 spreading at gatherings and events increases as follows:
Lowest risk: Virtual activities, events, and gatherings.
More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart during all activity (including eating and drinking), wear masks, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, city, or county).
Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings and events that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart (including eating and drinking), wear masks, and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.
Please keep in mind that all UArizona announcements and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 can be found at COVID-19 Latest Updates.
Prevention Principles for On-Campus Activities and Events
These prevention principles provide event planners and participants with actions to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread during on-campus activities and events.
Please refer to these principles when planning any on-campus event or activity.
Your event should comply with the University's current face covering guidance.
For attendees wearing face coverings, face coverings or masks should:
Be made of two or more layers of breathable fabric.
Completely cover your nose and mouth.
Fit snugly against the sides of your face with no gaps.
Attendees should be encouraged ahead of the event to bring and use a mask. Have masks on-hand to provide to attendees who do not bring their own.
- The room or outdoor space reserved for the event should be of an appropriate size for the expected number of attendees. Adjust the size and location of an event based on the ability of attendees to stay 6 feet (2 arm-lengths) apart.
- Generally, outdoor events are likely to be able to include more people. If the event is indoors, the size of the venue and the ventilation need to be considered when determining event size.
- Change seating layout or availability of seating by blocking off rows or sections so that attendees can stay at least 6 feet apart.
- Remind attendees upon arrival to stay at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with them.
- Discourage attendees from greeting others with physical contact (e.g., handshakes, hugs).
- Encourage attendees to use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Ensure that you have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene including access to soap, water, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol, a way to dry hands (e.g., paper towels, hand dryer), tissues, disinfectant wipes, masks, and no-touch trash cans.
- Sanitize shared items during the event between each use (i.e. microphones, podium, etc.)
- Minimize sharing of materials, or limit use to one per group of people at a time, and clean and disinfect between each use.
- Avoid offering any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and drink stations. Consider having pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee.
- Prioritize outdoor activities, if possible.
- Limit in-person attendance or seating capacity to allow for physical distancing, or host smaller events in larger spaces.
- Use multiple entrances and exits and discourage crowded waiting areas.
- Limit food or beverage service in areas in which people are more likely to congregate as that may encourage unmasked interactions.
- Eliminate lines or queues. If that is not possible, encourage people to stay at least 6 feet apart by providing signs or other visual cues such as tape or chalk marks.
- If indoors, open windows and doors, if possible.
- If using fans, make sure they do not blow from one person onto another. Increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible (e.g., placing fans near open windows and doors).
- Encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors. If possible, keep music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.
- If setting up outdoor seating under a pop-up, open air tent, ensure guests are still seated at least 6 feet apart. Enclosed 4-wall tents will have less air circulation than open air tents. If outdoor temperature or weather forces you to put up the tent sidewalls, consider leaving one or more sides open or rolling up the bottom 12 inches of each sidewall to enhance ventilation while still providing a wind break.
- Encourage people to stay at least 6 feet apart by providing signs or other visual cues such as tape or chalk marks in areas such as entrances, exits, and restrooms.
- Establish participant traffic flow plans to reduce bottlenecks and ensure the ability to maintain physical distancing at the event.
- Utilize separate entry and exit points when feasible.
- Consider making walkways one-way or clearly divided for bi-directional movement. Provide appropriate directional signs and markers, such as those that are freestanding or on the ground, to indicate the appropriate direction of pedestrian movement.
- Collect contact information, including name, email, and phone numbers, for all participants to ensure that event communications can be sent out as needed (e.g., pre-event information, postponement or cancellation notices, or post-event follow-up).
- Prior to the event, communicate with all attendees to remind them of the event protocols and expectations, including:
- Face coverings and social distancing
- A reminder that attendees who do not feel well should stay home
- Encourage participants to download the COVID Watch App to assist with contact tracing.
- Plan and implement appropriate communication methods to ensure event protocols during the event (e.g., signage, event monitors).
- Each on-campus activity or event must have an organizer who is physically present at the event and responsible for ensuring that the event or activity is planned and implemented according to current UArizona COVID-guidelines.
- CDC: Events and Gatherings: Readiness and Planning Tool
- CDC: Guidance for Organizing Large Events and Gatherings
Event Planning Resources
The UArizona Event Resource Group has created an event planning resource list.
Use this On-Campus Event & Activity Planning Checklist to ensure you include all of the COVID prevention principles when planning your on-campus event or activity.