Further limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus is the goal of advisory guidelines for event organizers that have been added to the Kenosha County Kickstart plan as the pandemic continues. The further addition to the plan was announced Wednesday by Kenosha County Health Officer Jen Freiheit.
As in the initial plan, the recommendations in the addendum are not binding by law. Freiheit said they are best practices that Kenosha County Public Health is recommending to maximize health and safety.
Events will be ‘coming back’
“While the recommendations in the original Kickstart document remain valid, that plan was created at a time when there were still not relatively large-scale public events occurring in the community,” Freiheit said. “This year, we know that these events will be coming back, and so we now have this addendum available for organizers to consult as they make their plans.”
Among the recommendations are guidelines for grandstand and stadium seating, stage capacity, and the spacing of camp sites. Such guidelines are appropriate for organizers of events such as Country Thunder, the Kenosha County Fair, those held at race tracks in Brighton and Wilmot, and the Kenosha Kingfish, county officials suggested.
Guidelines regarding health screenings, face masks, social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing and physical distancing are also included in the addendum.
The original Kickstart plan, released in May 2020, provided a long list of advisory practices to help guide businesses and organizations through the process of operating as safely as possible during the pandemic. It was created by the City and County of Kenosha, in partnership with the Kenosha Area Business Alliance and workgroups representing various business sectors.
The 2021 addendum categorizes events into three risk-level categories — High, Medium and Lower — based on factors such as the number of attendees, site capacity, indoors versus outdoors, the number of event sites and days, and patterns of attendance. It provides a safety checklist that event organizers can consult.
Category 1: High-level risk events include those involving more than 10,000 people on site per day.
Category 2: Medium-level events are those occurring indoors involving 500 to 10,000 people per day and/or outdoor events involving 1,500 to 10,000 people per day, or multiday events with fewer than 1,500 people per day that include on-site accommodations such as camping.
Category 3: Includes indoor events involving fewer than 500 people per day and outdoor events with fewer than 1,500 per day.
Organizers of Category 1 and 2 events are asked to submit a COVID-19 Safe Event Plan to the Kenosha County Public Health for review and approval.
Public Health staff are available to review plans and have discussions for any event, even weddings and other Category 3 gatherings, for the safety of the community.
Kenosha County Public Health also encourages event organizers to ask all attendees to become vaccinated at least two weeks before the event to improve safety for all who attend.
“We look forward to working with organizers to facilitate a safe transition back to holding these events, while also taking steps to ensure that people can participate or attend them safely,” Freiheit said.