How to Alert Event Attendees to Covid Exposure

January 3, 2022

While the appearance of the omicron variant has complicated many offices’ plans for a return to in-person events, some law firms have decided to rely on the safety protocols recommended by public health professionals — vaccines, boosters, masks and social distancing — and forge ahead with scheduled in-person events. As these leaders and their support staff book conference rooms and place catering orders, they should also carve out some time to plan for how they will handle the possibility of a Covid exposure during the event. What is the best way to quickly notify attendees?

One firm in our network recently experienced this unfortunate scenario — despite careful planning and meticulous safety measures, an attendee tested positive for Covid following the firm’s first in-person event. Firm leadership quickly drafted an email to alert everyone who was present and possibly exposed. With the firm’s permission, we share a generic version of that email below, in case it will be of help to any of our colleagues who find themselves in a similar situation. This sample email is also available for download here

“Thank you, once again, for attending our 2021 Law Leaders reception Tuesday evening at the Ivy Club. We are so glad to have had the opportunity to connect in person and truly value the time we were able to spend together.

As we all know by now, even in environments where people are masked and fully vaccinated, breakthrough Covid infections can occur. We have been notified than an attendee at Tuesday evening’s event tested positive for Covid this weekend.

We wanted to make you aware of this development, especially as many of you are planning upcoming business and family travel.

Public health guidelines do not require quarantine or testing unless you have been in close or direct contact with someone with Covid. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a person for more than 15 minutes, while direct contact involves actions such as kissing or sharing a glass.

The Illinois Department of Public Health advises that “if you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 but not in close contact, you can continue to go to work or school but you should monitor your health for 14 days and, if you become ill, you should stay away from others and contact your health care provider.”

Obviously, if you are over 65 years of age, pregnant, have certain underlying medical conditions, or live with or plan to visit someone at increased risk of Covid complications, you might wish to contact your health care provider about additional precautions or testing options.

We deeply value your and your family’s health and wish you all the best in the new year. As colleagues working diligently to serve our clients, we are striving to balance vital safety precautions with the need to work collaboratively. We appreciate all you do to support and protect others during these uncertain times.