C+S February 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 2 (web)


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sports and entertainment industry has come to a screeching halt as venues around the world grapple with understanding the virus and its transmission paths in order to make their facilities safer. Knowing that fans are anxious to return to the venues they know and love but that they’ll only do so when they feel the risk of infection is low enough, design professionals are working hand-in-hand with leagues and owners to develop strategies to control any potential spread of infection. A recent video published by The Wall Street Journal illustrated why stadiums are incubators for the spread of the coronavirus: the close and prolonged proximity of fans as well as fomite transmission of the virus from shared surfaces. While scary, these risks can be addressed and mitigated to allow venues to welcome patrons back safely. As we know, viruses can be spread in a variety of ways. As it relates to most coronaviruses, including COVID-19, there are three primary methods: droplet transmission, surface contact, and airborne infection. At Henderson Engineers, design specialists have outlined infection control strategies to limit surface, droplet, and airborne transmission. Below we go more in-depth on each these strategies to help venue managers make their event settings safer when concerts, sporting events, conferences, and other gatherings return. While no single strat- egy is perfect, by combining a variety of solutions that address all three transmission vectors, we can effectively lower the risks for fans when While guidance on the likelihood of infection from any single vector continues to change based on additional research, it appears that droplet is likely the most prominent way that people who are exposed become ill with COVID-19. Airborne and surface transmission shouldn’t be ignored, but each are not as likely as droplets due to decreased viral load and time in contact with the virus. This mode of transmission oc- curs when two people are in close contact, either from small droplets expelled simply when talking or larger droplets resulting from sneezes or coughs. Social Distancing As we’ve all experienced thus far in 2020, the most common and ef- fective strategy to avoid contracting COVID-19 is to practice social distancing. To be fully effective, individuals should maintain at least six feet of separation from fellow citizens where possible. In addition, the use of a mask shows benefits in keeping the spread of droplets to a minimum. Amask also helps keep nasal and throat passages warm and moist in climates that are cool and dry to inhibit the virus from lodging in your lungs. they’re back in the stands. Droplet Transmission

Line Management & Mitigation To prevent congestion in facilities, there are several ways to help keep individuals safe. This process starts during arrival. In an effort to keep your facility healthy, it’s best to screen guests as far from the build- ing as possible. This can be accomplished by moving the screening perimeter away from the building and using technology like thermal cameras at these entry points to scan the crowd for raised temperatures. In some cases, entry cameras can be used for both temperature read- ings as well as guest identification and weapons detection. Installing a robust system can have a positive effect on the fan experience and will also help expedite the welcome process. Once inside the building, lines often form around concessions and re- strooms throughout concourses. Most people don’t follow a given path once inside the building and have a tendency to move towards areas closest to their seats, creating a cross flow of traffic. To alleviate this, app-based technology for concessions and restrooms can make a big difference in keeping lines at bay. Pandemic or not, no one likes waiting in line, so by integrating apps with payment systems or navigation features, venue design can improve the overall fan expe- rience for years to come. As it relates to concessions, app technology can help guests pre-order food from their seats, pre-pay for those items from their phones, and receive alerts when their food is ready. This allows for a systematic




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