Can I host my event?

DNR recently released the latest version of COVID safety guidelines for volunteers. We’ve put together a summary of that guidance here to answer your questions.

I want to put on a small event.

Great. According to Governor Inslee’s Reopening Plan, small events of up to 12 volunteers are allowed. And, feel free to add staff as needed. For example, this means the total group size could be 15, with 12 volunteers and three event organizers to help with logistics regardless of who came from what household. 

You can dive into the document under the section “Guided ATV, Paddle Sports, Horseback Riding, and other Guided Outdoor Activities.” 

I want to hold a large event (between 12 and 50 participants).

As of Jan. 25, 2021, DNR’s large event guidance allows for up to 50 participants may meet for up to 10 minutes to kick off an event. This is to allow for activities like safety briefings. DNR staff and crew leaders do not count in the participant limit. 

However, after the initial meeting, groups must break up into parties of fewer than 12 people for the remainder of the event, including during lunch or rest breaks. Check out the bulleted list below to make sure that you comply with all the guidelines. 

Tips For Event Organizers

If you are sponsoring an event on DNR-managed land, there may not be DNR staff there. It is up to you, the event organizer, to enforce and comply with the rules laid out in DNR’s volunteer documents. It is up to our event organizers to follow all the proper guidelines.

1. That mask looks great on you

All volunteers, event leaders, and DNR staff must wear masks for the duration of any pre-event announcements and all-volunteer tasks. Masks may be removed by a leader or staff member only while making announcements to the full group and when drinking or eating. 

2. Sharing is not caring

Volunteers should bring their own tools and refrain from sharing unless organizers observe disinfectant protocols. You can find the CDC’s guidance on disinfectants here. Note: Disinfectants based on hydrogen peroxide or alcohol are safer than harsher chemicals. The University of Washington has a handout for safer cleaning and disinfecting that also work well against COVID-19.

3. BYOL – Bring Your Own Lunch

As with the tools, we also need to avoid sharing food. All meals should be brought from the volunteer’s home, eaten outside and not shared between households.

4. Maintain your distance

All participants and leaders must maintain as much distance as possible (at least 6 feet) between themselves and anyone from another household. One helpful tip for maintaining separation is to, use chalk or another kind of marker so that people know where to stand when they arrive. This is particularly useful if your event includes a large safety briefing at the beginning of the event. 

5. Keep it for a month

DNR requires that you retain your sign-in sheets for a minimum of 30 days. Keeping the sheets is a precaution should the information be needed for contact tracing or grant management. 

6. What about the pre-event safety message? 

Go for it. But, keep it short. Large group, pre-event announcements must remain under 10 minutes. Make sure that you pick a location where households can stay six feet apart. 

7. That was fun — time to pack it up. 

Unfortunately, when folks finish, they should head straight home. Don’t host an end-of-event gathering or social time after the conclusion of the activity. Make it clear to your participants that they should not to stand around and talk in large groups. 

8. Pre-event paperwork

Volunteers need to sign and submit the Assumption of Risk Registration Form before the event. Should an individual be working alone, volunteers must complete the form before the work starts. This form needs to be completed and updated to count towards time earned for a Discover Pass. Also, bring along the kids, but make sure you have filled out the minor registration form

Stay safe

Now that you have all the guidelines down, have a great event! But, before you head out, make sure to download the WA Notify to their smartphone. The app can help keep you and your family informed of any possible contacts you may have had with the COVID-19 virus. It’s best to do this before the event, as service may be spotty out on the landscape.

Questions? Email us at recreation@dnr.wa.gov. Learn more about specific guidelines for volunteers by checking out our other blog post: New year, new volunteer guidelines.