SDCC has a small number of events currently scheduled for April 2020; for those events, we will continue to consult with local and state health officials to determine appropriate next steps.
While countries and organizations around the world address issues related to the new coronavirus and COVID-19, we would like to provide more details about SDCC precautionary measures and preparations. As you might imagine, our SDCC team has been receiving many questions from media, event organizers, local hospitality professionals and our peers across the United States. We understand the importance of communications during unexpected situations and we are committed to maintaining a dialogue about this situation as it evolves.
As a venue with experience welcoming travelers for more than 30 years, SDCC has been operating with thorough cleaning and disinfection practices in place to maintain a clean environment for staff, business partners and attendees. We adhere to CDC recommendations for products and we had already heightened our custodial activities during and following a recent, more local public health situation: San Diego’s 2018 Hepatitis A outbreak.
Upon hearing of COVID-19 in January, we immediately reviewed our practices and completed the following actions:
- Consulted with the Chief of Epidemiology & Immunization Services at the San Diego County Department of Public Health to review appropriate precautionary measures.
- Assembled a meeting of staff to collaborate on COVID-19 related activities, including lead staff from facilities, public safety, event services and communications.
- Posted prominent signage in restrooms (pictured below) to remind attendees of good hygiene habits.
- Positioned 12 additional hand sanitizer stations across the facility, for a total of 32 stations in public areas.
- Increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched objects such as doorknobs, elevator buttons and railings.
- Continuing to build knowledge through staff participation in COVID-19 trainings and webinars, and regular check-ins with the County Department of Public Health, San Diego International Airport, the San Diego Mayor’s office and other industry partners.
- Increasing communication by providing all-hands meetings for all three shifts of employees and business partners to share information we have received from the County, CDC, WHO, and contracted first-aid providers; continuing to disseminate information via email and our employee newsletter; posting a public FAQ to our website; and facilitating interdepartmental meetings before the start of each large convention or event to review plans and questions.
- Working with organizers on enhancements and adjustments to their events, such as providing gloves for food stations, adding individualized portions or pre-packaged snack items, offering video broadcasts of sessions for attendees who cannot attend due to travel restrictions (pictured at top) and increasing pre-event communications to attendees.
- Preparing for the future by ordering back-up supplies of disinfectants, hand wipes and other cleaning products.
We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and we thank our partners across San Diego for their ongoing collaboration and guidance.
For more information, see Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information & FAQ.
Authored by Maren Dougherty
Maren Dougherty is the San Diego Convention Center's Executive Director of Marketing & Communications. When she isn't writing articles or talking to media, you can find her enjoying San Diego's climate. She loves running through neighborhoods, visiting Balboa Park, and relaxing at San Diego's beautiful beaches.