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Public Gathering During a Pandemic | Overview

It is important to follow state and CDC guidelines during any pandemic, including COVID-19.

If you find yourself in a situation that you cannot avoid, here are some tips from the Region 1 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit to help reduce your risk of infection.

Before and during

  • Wear face coverings and masks (cloth masks, scarfs, bandanas) while demonstrating, especially when shouting or chanting, as this could increase the risk of spreading COVID-19 if a mask is not worn.
  • Consider the use of signs and noise-makers to get your message out.
  • Do not participate if you are sick and/or feeling ill.
  • If you have a chronic medical condition, please take that into consideration before making a decision to attend.
  • Think about the health of others, specifically those in your household and/or immediate family members/friends who may be older or have health considerations that make them more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19.
  • Stay hydrated. Bring water with you.
  • Follow social distancing guidelines. Please try to stay at least six feet away from others and stay in groups of no more than 15 people that you know, as much as possible.
  • Avoid physical contact. Greet others from afar.
  • Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, and comfortable shoes. If it's too warm out, supplement long clothing for sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Wear a hat; tie hair back.


  • Once home, remove masks, clothing, and other supplies.
  • Wash your clothes and cloth masks in hot water.
  • Clean your cellphone upon returning home as well. They are the most used, touched, and breathed-upon items we all carry.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
  • Perform hand hygiene before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth (especially after touching anything that might be contaminated).
  • Shower and/or bathe.
  • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested, if needed.

More info

Visit the CDC's website for additional considerations to enhance protections for you and your community that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 at events and gatherings.

This publication is intended as a general resource and does not constitute advice otherwise attainable upon evaluation by a medical provider.

Disclaimer: This material was supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and funded in part by the cooperative agreement award number 1NU61TS000296-01-00 from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
Acknowledgement: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports the PEHSU by providing partial funding to ATSDR under Inter-Agency Agreement number DW-75-95877701. Neither EPA not ATSDR endorse the purchase of any commercial products or services mentioned in PEHSU publications.