In light of the present circumstance and the Govornor’s Strike Force to Reopen Texas policies regarding businesses and COVID-19, Geronimo Oaks is committed to navigating these uncertainties with the utmost focus on supporting our community ceremonies and traditions while prioritizing safety and respecting every person’s right to their own points of view. Here is our COVID-19 Protocol for Weddings.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in responding to the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) that is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness worldwide.
On May 18, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order to announce the second phase of the ongoing plan to open additional businesses and activities in Texas. Review all DSHS guidance for Opening the State of Texas.
The following is Geronimo Oaks COVID-19 Event Protocol (taken directly from the Govornor’s Strike Force to Open Texas)
REVISED MAY 5, 2020
Wedding venues and the services required to conduct weddings may operate. Outdoor venues should be used when possible. Weddings held inside a facility other than a church are limited to 50% of the total listed occupancy of the facility. Employees and contractors of the wedding venue are not counted towards the 50% occupancy limitation
The following are the minimum recommended health protocols for weddings in Texas.
We know now that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions that place them at higher risk. Because of the hidden nature of this threat, everyone should rigorously follow the practices specified in these protocols, all of which facilitate a safe and measured reopening of Texas. The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities. We should continue to observe practices that protect everyone, including those who are most vulnerable.
Please note, public health guidance cannot anticipate every unique situation. Wedding venues should stay informed and take actions based on common sense and wise judgment that will protect health and support economic revitalization. Wedding venues should also be mindful of federal and state employment and disability laws, workplace safety standards, and accessibility standards to address the needs of both workers and customers.
*Geronimo Oaks is not responsible for anyone not following state guidelines.
MINIMUM STANDARD HEALTH PROTOCOLS
- Employees, vendors and attendees will wash or sanitize their hands upon entering.
- Employees, vendors and attendees will maintain at least 6 feet separation from other individuals, including while waiting to be seated at the reception, while waiting at the bar or food service, in bathrooms and anywhere on the property at all times.
- Face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation will be rigorously practiced.
- Employees, vendors and attendees must wear cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth). If available, they should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks.
- In a wedding reception, minimizing in-person contact is difficult, and wearing face coverings or masks is not feasible while at a table. For this reason, tables should not exceed 6 individuals.
- When individuals go to a wedding reception, individuals should, to the extent possible, minimize in-person contact with others not in the individual’s household. Minimizing in-person contact includes maintaining 6 feet separation from individuals. When maintaining 6 feet separation is not feasible, other methods should be utilized to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing a face covering or mask, washing or sanitizing hand frequently, and avoiding sharing utensils or other common objects.
- Wash or disinfect hands upon entering a reception and after any interaction with employees, other attendees, or items in the venue.
- Consistent with the actions taken by many individuals across the state, consider wearing cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth) when not at the table, or when within 6 feet of another person who is not a member of the individual’s household. If available, individuals should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks.
- Carry hand sanitizer, and use it regularly, while at the wedding reception, especially after contact with individuals outside the household and before and after eating.
- Individuals aged 65 or older are at a higher risk of COVID-19. To the extent possible, avoid contact within 6 feet with individuals aged 65 and older. Individuals aged 65 and older should stay at home as much as possible.
- We strongly encourage the at-risk population2 to watch or participate in the service remotely.
- We will designate an area inside the facility reserved for the at-risk population.
- Proper spacing between attendees:
- Keep at least six feet separation between parties in any row, except as follows:
- Two or more members of the same household can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
- Two individuals who are not members of the same household but who are attending together can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
2 At-risk population are those who are 65 or older, especially those with chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; chronic heart disease; severe obesity; diabetes; chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis; liver disease; or weakened immune system
Health protocols for bathroom and bridal/groom suites:
- Bathrooms will be regularly and frequently cleaned and disinfected, (and cleanings will be documented)
- Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water, or similar disinfectant will be made readily available to employees and customers as availability allows
- When using soap to wash hands, wash hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds
- Bathroom occupancy will be limited in order to comply with stated social distancing measures
- Bridal/groom suite occupancy will be limited in order to comply with stated social distancing measures
- All appropriate social distancing measures must be observed inside suites and/or bathrooms at all times
Health protocols for employees:
- All employees will be trained on appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
- Employees vendors, and attendees must practice self screening before attending or working an event at Geronimo Oaks
- Any employee who has any of the following new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19 will be sent home:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
- Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19
- Employees with the new or worsening signs or symptoms listed above will not be allowed to return to work until:
- In the case of an employee who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to work when all three of the following criteria are met: at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); and the individual has improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; or
- In the case of an employee who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and does not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, the individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to work until the individual has completed the same three-step criteria listed above; or
- If the employee has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to work before completing the above self-isolation period, the individual must obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis.
- No employee with known close contact to a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19 will be allowed to return to work until the end of the 14 day self-quarantine period from the last date of exposure (with an exception granted for healthcare workers and critical infrastructure workers).
Health protocols for facilities:
- Any event with more than 10 employees and/or vendor staff present at one time, will require an individual wholly dedicated to ensuring the health protocols adopted by the venue are being successfully implemented and followed.
- This will be the responsibility of the customer to procure for their own event
- Any regularly touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, tables, chairs, and restrooms will be regularly and frequently cleaned and disinfected .
- Seats will be wiped and sanitized between events.
- Any items that come into contact with attendees will be disinfected after each event.
- Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water, or similar disinfectant will be readily available at each event.
- Readily visible signage will be placed to remind everyone of best hygiene practices at doors, sinks, tables, and any food/bar areas.
- Rigorous sanitation practices will be maintained: like disinfection, handwashing, and cleanliness when preparing or serving anything edible
- Designated personnel will manage and control access to food & bar areas, including opening doors to prevent patrons from touching door handles.
- Visible signage will be placed at sinks and on doors to remind everyone of best hygiene practices.
- Clean and disinfect the area used for dining (table, etc.) after each group of attendees depart,
including the disinfecting of tables, chairs, stalls, and countertops.</li
- Golf carts will be cleaned and sanitized between uses.
- Except for members of the same household, no more than one individual per golf cart.
Health protocols for vendors:
- All vendors will be required to sign a release form stating they are willing and capable of complying with all COVID-19/CDC regulations in order to mitigate unnecessary spread of virus. They will practice the following:
- Social Distancing
- Hand Washing
- Gloves & Face Coverings
- Cough & Sneeze Etiquette
- Sanitizing their respective High Touch areas
- We will require all bar and food services be held outside in order to minimize over-gathering. Indoor bar(s) will remain closed (or be moved outside).
- Do not leave condiments, silverware, flatware, glassware, or other traditional table top items on an unoccupied table
- Provide condiments only upon request, and in single use (non-reusable) portions.
- Use disposable menus (new for each patron)
- If a buffet is offered, venue employees and/or contractors serve the food to attendees.
- Tape/Markers will be placed at the bar and food areas for optimal social distancing
- We will not be installing a service shield but will require a shield or staff be masked. Bartenders and food handlers will wear gloves and masks at all times
- Bartenders and food handlers will place orders on the counter for guests to pick up, minimizing cross contamination.
- Bartender and food handling staff will be required to regularly sanitize their work area
- Hand sanitizer will be offered on the bars and at food areas for the guests
- No kegs
- No garnishes
- We will also ban the use of straws (unless individually wrapped for the guests to take) and garnishes until further notice. We prefer all cocktails are made in plastic, single use cups disposed of by the client, or gloved catering staff. I would recommend a small sign be printed at the bar or clients be made aware of the change for their safety, and ours.
- All cups, plates and/or utensils must be provided to the bartending/food handlers service pre-packaged and ready to serve prior to the event.
- No guests can ask the bartender to fill up their own personal cups.
- Special cleaning materials will be provided to sanitize beverage & food service utensils such as wine keys, bottle openers, ice scoops, serving utensils, etc.
- We are counting on vendors to take extra precaution for their team as well by providing their own masks, gloves (catering), and hand sanitizer.
- Designated safety officers will be required onsite during events to frequently sanitize high touch locations at the venue. We will ask that vendors also take care of their supplies and plan accordingly through the event. Wash hands upon arrival, frequently wash hands through evening plus hand sanitizer, bar supplies, ice scoops, etcetera. All supplies must be wiped down with 80% alcohol, or bleach after each event. I would encourage employees to train themselves on appropriate cleaning, disinfection, and hand hygiene.
Thank you all for helping deal with the present crisis with the utmost grace, respect, and concern for the safety and well being of one other. We’re in this together and recognize the importance and significance of the ceremonies we have the honor of hosting. It is for this reason that we intend to do everything in our power to continue to work with families to honor our traditions and will do our part to create memories that will usher us into the future with hope, determination, and a spirit of community and comradery!