COVID-19 Statement

The health and wellbeing of our guests and patrons is of the utmost importance to LRCVB. To that end, we are updating our Calendar of Events on an ongoing basis as the COVID-19 situation plays out. We are working diligently to keep our guests and patrons updated with the latest information on the status of meetings, conventions and other events in Little Rock.

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Effective July 20, 2020:

Governor Asa Hutchinson has issued a statewide mask mandate for all persons over the age of 10 when a distance of six feet or more cannot be maintained. Click here for details.

 

 

Phase II Reopening Guidelines for LRCVB managed facilities Related to COVID-19

 

June 15, 2020

 

 

The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) operates the following public facilities: Statehouse Convention Center, Robinson Center, First Security Amphitheater, Ottenheimer Market Hall, and multiple downtown parking facilities. The health and wellbeing of our guests and patrons is of the utmost importance to LRCVB.

 

Providing a safe environment for our clients, visitors, attendees and staff is our top priority.  Our team is committed to upholding the highest standards of cleanliness throughout our facilities. Considering the dramatic changes to public health guidance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have updated or enhanced many of our cleaning and safety protocols to help ensure the safety and security of everyone who walks through our doors. We will adjust these protocols as new information and local guidelines become available and as we continue preparing to reopen for meetings and events.

 

 

Phase II Guidelines, Effective June 15, 2020 

 

The Secretary of Health, in consultation with the Governor, has sole authority over all instances of quarantine, isolation, and restrictions on commerce and travel throughout Arkansas, as necessary and appropriate to control disease in the state of Arkansas as authorized by Ark. Code Ann. §20-7-109--110. Based on available scientific evidence, it is necessary and appropriate to take further action to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled and that residents and visitors in Arkansas remain safe. 

 

This directive covers indoor venues for commercial, community, or civic events and activities where an audience, spectators, or a gathering of people are present, such as at concerts, weddings, plays, movies, lectures, presentations, conferences, conventions, sporting events, races, fundraisers, trade shows, and festivals. This revision for phase 2 increases the capacity allowed in the venue, as long as physical distancing of 6 feet can be achieved. 

 

Examples of such venues include auditoriums, lecture halls, movie theaters, other theaters, museums, arenas, sports venues, race tracks, stadiums, gymnasiums, auction houses, amusement centers, barns, exhibit halls, convention centers, and funeral homes. Examples also include recreational facilities, such as bowling alleys and trampoline parks. 

 

Gatherings subject to this directive also include, without limitation, community, civic, public, leisure, commercial, or sporting events. 

 

This directive is not intended to address the following, which are addressed under separate directives or guidance:

  • Places of worship
  • Community or School Sponsored Team Sports
  • Casinos 

The following requirements must be observed: 

  • A venue may increase the number of attendees at an event to up to 66 percent capacity for the facility with a plan approved by the Secretary of Health. Plans should be submitted to adh.ehs@Arkansas.gov.
    • One hundred (100) people or fewer in attendance are allowed without a requirement to submit a plan.
    • The performers/players/contestants must be separated from the audience by at least 12 feet and must be limited in number to fifty (50) or fewer.
  • Lines or cues for entrance, exit, purchases, or other reasons must be marked or monitored for maintaining a distance of 6 feet between people.
  • Seating must be arranged to maintain a 6-foot distance between members of the audience.
  • Family groups may sit together, but 6 feet should be maintained between groups.
  • Every other row of seating should be unoccupied to provide for 6 feet of physical distancing.
  • Face coverings are required for all persons present, except for children under 10 years of age, who are exempt.
  • Performers/players/contestants may be without a face covering if they are 12 feet from other persons.
  • Signs must be posted at all entrances advising the public not to enter if:
    • They have fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell.
    • They have had known exposure to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Signs must be posted at all entrances advising the public that they may wish to refrain from entering if:
    • They are 65 years of age or older.
    • They have underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, severe obesity, asthma, or weakened immunity.
  • Hand sanitizer stations must be available at all entrances and exits.
  • Refreshments may be served. However, self-service operations, including, but not limited to, salad bars, buffets, and condiment bars shall not be allowed.
  • Catered events are allowed with caterer-served buffets or plated meals.
  • Seating must be arranged so that occupied seats are at least six (6) feet from seats at adjacent tables.
  • The facility, including seating, shall be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use. Frequently touched surfaces shall be cleaned periodically during the course of the event. Products with an EPA-approved emerging viral pathogen claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for these products. For a list of EPA-approved emerging pathogen sanitizers.

 

    LRCVB Event Operations:

    Cleaning Products and Protocols. The facility, including seating, shall be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use. Utilize only cleaning products and protocols which meet EPA guidelines and are approved for use and effective against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and bloodborne pathogens.

     

    Frequent Contact Surfaces: All frequent contact surfaces shall be cleaned and disinfected on a frequent basis during event hours and following all events. Frequent contact surfaces including, but not limited to, front desk check-in/ticket counters, public water fountains, door handles, public bathrooms, ATMs, stair and escalator handrails, concession counters, elevator call buttons, and common area tables and seating. Employees shall sanitize these areas at least once per hour when events are taking place at the facility.

    Restrooms: Frequent and thoroughly disinfected during event hours. Restrooms feature touch-free soap dispensers, sink faucets, toilet fixtures, urinal fixtures, and paper-towel dispensers. The touch-free designs reduce cross-contamination and encourage better hygiene.

    Meeting/Event Space: Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting conference room doors, tables, chairs, light switches, registration desks and other equipment after each group use.

    Elevators and Escalators:  Elevator buttons will be sanitized at least once per hour and no more than 2 guests at a time will be allowed in the elevators.  Escalators handrails will be sanitized at least once per hour.

     

    Entry Protocols. Signage shall be posted outside all entry points notifying guests of all distancing requirements and any other modified policies. Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout each facility in public areas, and at each building entrance. The touch-free stations dispense an alcohol-based disinfectant that meets all CDC recommendations.

     

    Signage. Print and digital signage in public areas, including restrooms, will remind guests of important hygiene measures and physical distancing. Additional signage with information that includes communicating COVID-19 symptoms, guidance to local public health resources in case testing or treatment is needed; materials describing good health practices to protect themselves and others; communications encouraging others to stay home if they are sick and stay home until they are well, and information outlining all First Aid locations shall be placed at each facility entrance.

     

    Temperature Screening at Entry: All LRCVB employees will be screened for body temperature upon entry each day/shift. Temperature shall only be taken at the beginning of each shift and is not necessary if an employee leaves the premises during their shift at a later time. Any temperature checks that indicate an above normal temperature (100.4°F) may be given the opportunity to step aside and be re-scanned after two to three minutes. If an individual’s temperature registers at or above 100.4°F both times, they will be placed on STD or PTO and asked to return home. HR will be notified immediately by the person assigned to taking temperatures. The employee should be temperature free for a minimum of 72 hours before returning to work.

     

    Screenings at LRCVB managed facilities: There will be a non-touch digital thermometer placed at all designated time-clock locations within each of the managed facilities, including parking decks. All managers and directors will be responsible for screening each of their assigned employees prior to each shift and maintain a daily log. 

     

    Protocol for Event Setups. Seating capacities and floor plans will be reviewed on an event by event basis to ensure appropriate physical distancing that follows local guidelines (in coordination with Catering & Banquets).  Signage shall be posted outside of meetings and events reminding guests of appropriate physical distancing guidelines.

    • Capacity charts for all exhibit halls, ballrooms, and meeting rooms will be revised to allow for physical distancing standards.
    • All public areas will be configured to include wider aisles and orderly queues, where needed. Some walkways will be designated “one way.”
    • Where possible, public access doors will be designated as either entrance or exit only, to limit cross pedestrian traffic and personal contact.
    • Communal areas will be closed or rearranged for social distancing until further notice.
    • Visitor information brochures will be removed in each facility until further notice.
    • Any area where our guests or employees line up will be clearly marked for appropriate physical distancing.  This includes registration lines, concession lines, lines into meeting rooms, into or on elevators or escalators, and security screening lines.
    • Turnover time between events shall be lengthened to allow for cleaning and sanitization.

     

    Engineering. Control and optimize fresh air flow and building pressurization through HVAC enhanced filtration systems. This will offer the cleanest internal air possible and positive pressurization throughout the facilities.

     

    Catering & Banquets. All shared equipment to be sanitized before and after each use or be single use if not able to be sanitized. All linen, including underlays, to be replaced after each use. All buffet and self-serve style events to be suspended until further notice. All food and beverage items to be individually plated and served. Coffee and other break items to be attended and served by a server until further notice. Flatware to be provided as a roll-up. Condiments to be served in individual packaging or sanitized individual containers. Seating capacities and floor plans to be reviewed on an event by event basis to ensure appropriate physical distancing that follows local guidelines. Bulk water will no longer be available in meeting rooms. Bottled water and any additional water service needs can be provided through the Marriot or Doubletree Hotel, our exclusive caterers.

    • Concessions:  Single cup use for beverage (no refills).  Must comply fully with Restaurant Guidelines in place at the time.

     

     

    Security. A clear bag policy shall be implemented until further notice. New protocols for magnetometers shall be implement; example: patrons without a clear bag shall hold keys and cellphones overhead as they walk through. 

     

    Ticketing. Tickets shall be scanned immediately following each security check point to eliminate lines at each performance hall entrance.

     

    Hearing Impaired System at the Robinson Performance Hall.  Will not be available for use during the initial phase and/or patrons must provide their own earphones in order to use the device.

     

    LRCVB Staff Protocols & Training

    Employees are vital for an effective sanitation and health program.

    • Handwashing.   Correct hygiene and frequent handwashing with soap is vital to help combat the spread of viruses. All employees should wash their hands, or use sanitizer when a sink is not available, every 60 minutes (for 20-seconds) and after any of the following activities: using the restroom, sneezing, touching the face, blowing the nose, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, smoking, eating, drinking, going on break and before or after starting a shift.
    • COVID-19 Training. All employees will receive COVID-19 awareness training along with safety and sanitation protocols with more comprehensive training for our teams with frequent guest contact including Housekeeping, Food & Beverage, Event Operations, Maintenance/Engineering, Technical Services and Security.
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Gloves and face coverings will be provided to all housekeeping, engineering, ticket takers, ushers, event setup, technical services and security employees. If required by state or local regulations, appropriate PPE will be worn by all employees based on their role and responsibilities. Training on how to properly use and dispose of all PPE will be mandatory.  
    • Staff Meetings & Timekeeping: Employee meetings will be conducted in areas that allow for appropriate physical distancing. Hand sanitizer will be available at each timeclock location and employees will be required to sanitize their hands after clocking in. Our management team will ensure constant communication and proper PPE and sanitation procedures are followed and updated per the latest expert guidance.
    • Back of the House. The frequency of cleaning and sanitizing will increase in high traffic back of house areas with an emphasis on the employee restricted areas, uniform control rooms, employee restrooms, loading docks, dressing rooms, offices, kitchens, security scanning podiums, concession areas, and employee breakrooms. Signage will be posted reminding employees of all distancing requirements, local guidelines and any other modified policies.
    • Shared Equipment. Shared tools and equipment will be sanitized before, during and after each shift or anytime the equipment is transferred to a new employee. This includes phones, radios, computers and other communication devices, payment terminals, kitchen implements, engineering tools, folios, cleaning equipment, keys, time clocks, field equipment, audio visual equipment, scoreboard equipment and all other direct contact items used.

     

    Additional Helpful Information: 

     

    Arkansas Department of Health

    They can be reached at (800) 803-7847.  Also, regular updates can be found here: 

    www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus

     

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  

    Regular updates can be found at: 

    www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/