Recommendations for Attendees and Organizers of Events: COVID-19 - Minnesota Dept. of Health
CDC has updated their COVID-19 guidance to help you better understand how to protect yourself and others, and what to do if you test positive or are exposed. More information is available at CDC: How to Protect Yourself and Others. MDH is actively working on updating our website and materials.

Recommendations for Attendees and Organizers of Events: COVID-19

On this page:
People attending events
    Before the event
    During the event
    After the event
    Do not attend if sick or quarantined
Event organizers
    Screening and testing
    Avoid crowding
    Planning and communications
    Employee health

The following recommendations can help people planning and attending organized events reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at the events. An event is any gathering that brings together many people from different households in a private or public space (e.g., sporting events, theater, concerts, weddings, funerals). These recommendations also include venues that regularly serve the public (e.g., museums, historical sites).

In general, the more people who interact, the more closely they interact, and the longer those interactions occur, the greater the risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. This general principle of spread applies to all types of events.

People attending events

Attending events with people outside of your household carries risk of COVID-19 transmission, so it is important to know how to Protect Yourself & Others. Staying up to date with vaccination is the most important precaution a person can take. For vaccine information, visit About COVID-19 Vaccine.

Before the event

  • Check the COVID-19 community level. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) community level tool at COVID-19 by County to find the COVID-19 community level for the county where you are gathering and the recommended prevention strategies for that level. Also consider the COVID-19 community level of the location that guests are traveling from to help decide if added precautions are needed.
  • Determine if you are at high risk. Risk of severe illness increases with age and people of any age who have underlying medical conditions may have a greater risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. For more detailed information on medical conditions that place people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, visit CDC: People with Certain Medical Conditions.
    • People who are at an increased risk for severe disease include:
      • People ages 65 years and older.
      • People who have weakened immune systems (immunocompromised).
      • People with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes; being overweight or obese; anxiety; depression; or kidney, liver, lung, and heart conditions.
      • People who are pregnant or in postpartum.
      • People with disabilities.
    • Talk to your doctor if you are at high risk and plan for what to do if you test positive. You may be a candidate for COVID-19 treatments and medication for mild to moderate COVID-19 in outpatients. Go to COVID-19 Medications for more information about risk factors and treatment options.
    • When the community level is high and you are at high risk, consider avoiding nonessential indoor activities in public places.
  • Lay low before you go. Avoid high-risk activities for at least two weeks before the event (e.g., crowded indoor public gatherings).
  • Travel safer. If you must travel to an event, follow CDC's domestic travel or international travel recommendations at CDC: Travel.
  • Consider testing with a rapid COVID-19 test on the day of the event. It is particularly important to test if you will be interacting with people at high risk. If you choose to test, know where you can test or get an over-the-counter test if the event runs multiple days or on a weekend.

During the event

  • Wear a well-fitting mask when recommended or required. You may also choose to wear a mask at any time, based on personal preference.
    • When the community level is high, everyone should wear a mask in indoor public settings.
    • People who are immunocompromised or at higher risk of severe illness and those who are around them should consider wearing a mask even when the community level is medium or low.
    • You may always choose to wear a mask when it makes you feel safer, regardless of your individual risk or the CDC COVID-19 community level.
    • Wear the most protective mask that is available to you, that fits well, and that you will wear consistently.
    • To learn more about recommendations for when to wear a mask and for types of masks for better protection, visit Masks: COVID-19.
  • Avoid crowded indoor areas and spend as much time as possible outdoors if the community level is high. Avoid activities that increase aerosol transmission (e.g., singing, shouting, dancing) or require people to remove their masks (e.g., eating, drinking).
  • Wash our hands or use hand sanitizer frequently. Learn more at Hand Hygiene.

After the event

  • Consider testing 5 days after attending a high-risk event, such as a large indoor event where people are not masked, not vaccinated, or cannot physically distance. Test immediately if you develop symptoms.
  • Have a plan for rapid testing if you develop symptoms, for example, using an at-home test. It is important to test right away after symptoms start, even if they are mild symptoms.

If you test positive and are at high risk, contact your health care provider right away or go to COVID-19 Medications for information about treatment, including eligibility. Treatment should be started as soon as possible (within five to seven days, depending on the medication) from the start of symptoms.

Do not attend events if you are sick or quarantined after exposure

Event organizers

Event organizers can take steps to lower the risk of transmission. Preventing spread during events will protect staff and attendees and will also help limit spread in the community, particularly to vulnerable people, such as those too young to get vaccinated or who may suffer severe illness if infected. Event organizers are encouraged to layer as many of these COVID-19 prevention strategies as is feasible to maximize effectiveness.


  • Recommend or require masks when the community level is high, since everyone should wear a mask in indoor public settings when the level is high.
  • If you host gatherings or events where those at increased risk of severe illness gather, especially if the setting is crowded (e.g., places of worship, concert halls, theaters), consider masking policies and other available measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission, even when the community level is low to medium.
  • Create your own mask policies. Businesses may require masks even when the law does not require them.
  • Make masks available for staff and attendees.
  • Post your masking recommendations or requirements outside and inside the venue. To download and print masking signs, visit Minnesota COVID-19 Response: For Businesses.
  • For more information on masks, visit Masks: COVID-19.

Screening and testing

  • Recommend that staff and attendees take a rapid COVID-19 test on the day of the event.
  • Communicate with staff and attendees the importance of self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms and staying home if sick. For a list of symptoms, visit CDC: Symptoms of COVID-19.


  • Optimize airflow (e.g., open windows).
  • When possible, host the event or parts of the event outdoors.
  • If the event involves activities that increase aerosol transmission (e.g., singing, shouting, dancing) or require people to remove their masks (e.g., eating, drinking), attempt to host these higher-risk parts of the event outdoors.
  • Choose a well-ventilated venue or optimize ventilation in your setting. For more information on ventilation, visit Indoor Air Considerations: COVID-19.

Avoid crowding

  • Limit the number of attendees.
  • Identify and plan ways to reduce crowding in pathways, lines, lobbies, entrances and exits, and other areas where congestion is likely.

Planning and communications

  • Check the CDC's community level tool at COVID-19 by County to see the COVID-19 community level where the event is located, and apply the recommended prevention strategies for that level.
  • Communicate the COVID-19 prevention requirements or recommendations to event staff and attendees.
  • Plan to make it convenient for attendees to wash or sanitize their hands.
  • If applicable, develop a method for checking negative test results for employees, vendors, and attendees.
  • If the event includes attendees from high-impact settings, such as K-12 schools or long-term care facilities, ensure that COVID-19 prevention plans are consistent with those settings and have been communicated to representatives of those settings. Require representatives from high-impact settings to communicate COVID-19 activity in their settings prior to the event.
  • If you plan to notify people about exposures, develop a COVID-19 notification plan to inform staff and attendees when there is a case(s) identified after the event. The plan should include when people will be notified, how they will be notified, and who will notify them. Include information on individual actions to take when an exposure occurs at the event. Refer to What to Do if You Have Had Close Contact With a Person With COVID-19.
  • Consider postponing the event when the CDC community level is high.

Employee health

Updated Wednesday, 27-Jul-2022 09:26:25 CDT