COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for Northstar Fashion Exhibitors
Northstar Fashion Exhibitors (“Northstar”) is committed to providing a safe and healthy event space for all our staff, vendors, contractors, and market attendees. To ensure we have a safe and healthy market, Northstar has developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Northstar staff, vendors, and contractors are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplace, at our market, and in our community. Only through a cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our workplace and at our market.
The COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is administered by Northstar’s Project Manager, who maintains the overall authority and responsibility for the plan. However, Northstar staff, vendors, and contractors are equally responsible for supporting, implementing, complying with and providing recommendations to further improve all aspects of this plan.
Northstar is serious about safety and health and protecting our staff and attendees. Staff involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
The Plan Administrator has involved Northstar staff, partners, contracted workers, and vendors in the development of this plan. There has been frequent communication with all staff to discuss the current Stay Safe MN guidelines, inviting staff to participate in suggestions that would enhance the plan.
Northstar’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows the current Stay Safe MN Requirements for All Businesses and Other Entities in addition to the Stay Safe MN Requirements for Indoor Non-seated Venues (https://staysafe.mn.gov). This guidance is based upon best practices outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Guidelines for COVID-19, in addition to the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) statutes, rules and standards, and Minnesota’s relevant and current executive orders.
Integration of Contractors’ and Partners’ Plans
Northstar works with contractors and partners in developing, running, and providing specific services at its markets. Each of those parties has provided a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Northstar has reviewed each of those plans and finds them adequate to Northstar’s expectations. Further, Northstar integrates such plans—in whole—as part of its plan.
Where management, oversight, or auditing of such third parties services is required, Northstar staff will conduct such actions (as deemed necessary) to ensure conformity with such plans developed by its contractors and partners.
Copies of such plans will be made available to anyone so interested either (1) upon direct request made to Northstar’s Project Manager or (2) available as a copy to be reviewed at the Registration Desk during the market.
Those organizations whose plans have specifically been reviewed, and are so integrated by reference, include:
- The RiverCenter;
- MHC Culinary Group
- Best Meetings; and
- Chrom Expo Services
Any other contractor or partner not herein noted will have their COVID-19 Preparedness Plan available at the Registration Desk during the market.
Staff, Vendor, and Contractor Screening
Northstar staff, vendors, and contractors have been trained on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 of and are encouraged to self-monitor. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess staff, vendors, and contractors’ health status prior to entering the venue and to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms:
Prior to arriving at the venue, staff, vendors, and contractors must:
- Self-check for symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature check
- Notify Northstar Director of Operations immediately of any symptoms of COVID-19
- Stay home if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19
Upon arrival to the venue, staff, vendors, and contractors must complete an on-site health screening, including temperature check.
Northstar has implemented leave policies that promote staff staying at home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household. Northstar offers paid sick leave and job protection should a staff member, or member of his or her household become infected with COVID-19. Alternative work arrangements will be made for staff with underlying medical conditions or who have household members with underlying health conditions.
Market Attendee Screening
Northstar will conduct health screenings and temperature checks of every market attendee at the entrance of the market to verify that they are not potentially infectious. This will be done as a service to market attendees. Any person presenting with a temperature above 99.6 will be notified and advised to consider whether their symptoms (and any additional symptoms with which the individual may be presenting) could be COVID-19 related. Northstar makes no representation that it or its staff have any medical training, and further warrants that it cannot make assertions of whether a person has COVID-19. Any temperature check completed for a market attendee is purely for the benefit of the attendee.
Symptomatic Staff, Vendors, Contractors, and Attendees
Should staff, vendors, contractors, or attendees begin to experience symptoms while at the venue, they have been instructed to notify the Director of Operations and return home immediately. If it is not possible to return home immediately and the individual must remain at the venue, the individual will isolate in the Show Manager’s Office.
Northstar will keep records of all staff, vendors, contractors, and attendees present in the building at all times. Should the Director of Operations be informed that any staff, vendor, contractor, or attendee may have been exposed to COVID-19, the Plan Administrator will work with MDH on any necessary contract tracing. Northstar will protect staff, vendor, contractor, and attendee privacy by not releasing the names of individuals reporting potential or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
Social distancing of at least six feet will be implemented and maintained between staff, vendors, contractors, and market attendees at all times through the following physical and administrative controls:
Attendees will be required to register online prior to the market for specific time slots during which they will be allowed to enter the market. New stores will have the option of submitting required documentation electronically. Pre-registration will minimize time spent at the Registration Desk and ensure capacity limits can be met at all times.
Attendees are encouraged to set appointments with vendors prior to arriving at the market so that social distancing can be maintained in vendor booths.
Monitoring of Occupancy
Attendees may only be allowed into the market during the time slots for which they have pre-registered. Occupancy will be monitored by event staff stationed at the entrance and no more than 250 attendees will be allowed inside the market at one time.
Social distancing signage, stanchions, and floor markings will be placed throughout the venue so that staff, vendors, contractors, and attendees can maintain the appropriate distance of at least six feet from others at all times. Signs will be located throughout the exhibition halls and in areas such as entrances, exits, loading docks, restrooms, elevators, and concourses.
Hall Layout Modification
The following modifications have been made to the venue to ensure that social distancing can be maintained at all times:
- Exterior entrances and exits will be marked to indicate one-way traffic flow;
- Elevator and escalator signage will indicate maximum capacities encouraging six feet of distancing and giving priority to guests with impaired mobility;
- Predetermined out-of-service sinks and urinals will be marked to encourage physical distancing;
- Acrylic shields are installed in locations where physical distancing may not be able to be maintained;
- Expedited registration will be available, with two lines separated by six feet, in addition to markings to keep attendees spaced out by six feet;
- The width of aisles throughout the exhibition halls will be increased from 10 feet to 14 feet;
- Aisles throughout the exhibition hall will be one-way;
- Eight foot high dividers will be placed between exhibitor spaces;
- Elevator capacity limits will be posted on all elevator doors; and
- Designated seating for eating and drinking will be designed to ensure that social distancing is maintained while eating and drinking.
Face coverings are required at all times for all staff, vendors, contractors, and market attendees per MN Executive Order 20-81. The Executive Order includes exemptions for people who are unable to wear or tolerate a face covering due to medical conditions, mental health conditions, or other reasons. Face coverings may be temporarily removed when eating or drinking, if social distancing is maintained between members of different parties and the face covering is put back on when not eating or drinking. Face masks and a limited number of face shields will be available at the Registration Desk.
Basic infection prevention measures are being implemented at all times. Staff, vendors, and contractors, are instructed to wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water on arrival, at the end of shifts, prior to any mealtimes, after using the restroom, and frequently throughout the day. Attendees will be encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the facility through the use of signage and announcements made using the venue’s PA system. Contactless hand sanitizer stations—with at least 60% alcohol—will be located throughout the venue, including key locations such as near main entrance vestibules; in concourses and lobbies; near entrances to events; by elevators; and near all food service locations. Most restrooms are equipped with automated sinks, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers, as well as toilets and/or urinals.
Signage will be posted to encourage personal hygiene habits, such as:
- Washing and/or sanitizing hands frequently
- Covering mouth and nose with sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Avoiding touching of the face—in particular mouth, nose, and eyes—with hands
- Disposing of tissues in provided trash receptacles and washing or sanitizing hands immediately afterward
Venue Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
- The RiverCentre’s HVAC filtration systems have been upgraded to MERV-13 air filters. All HVAC systems run at full economizer levels as outside air conditions allow.
- Relative humidity levels of RH 40—60% are maintained
- HVAC systems have extended operating time to enhance the ability to filter air contaminants
- A flush cycle added to the HVAC system controls operates the system two hours before and after occupancy
- HVAC system is checked and rebalanced to provide negative air pressure whenever possible
- HVAC fan speeds are managed to minimize air flow circulation across groups of people
Venue Cleaning and Sanitizing
Northstar’s partner (and host venue) for the market, The RiverCentre, has purchased appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfecting supplies which are available for use in accordance with product labels, safety data sheets and manufacturer specifications, and are being used with required personal protective equipment for the product.
Northstar’s Contractors and Partners Have Represented to Northstar the Following:
- The RiverCentre cleans and disinfects with the following EPA-approved disinfectants: Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Oxivir Tb Wipes (Diversey), Oxivir Tb Sanitizer Spray (Diversey), Renown Foam Disinfectant Cleaner, Lysol Disinfectant Spray, Diversey Alpha-HP Multi-Surface Cleaner (closet dispensers), Diversey Morning Mist Disinfectant (closet dispensers), Diversey Raindance Neutral Floor Cleaner (closet dispensers), Ecolab Sure-Pak Neutral Floor Cleaner.
- Shared facility operational equipment is kept to a limited number of users and is cleaned and sanitized after every use.
- All hand sanitizer used in the venue will be at least 60% alcohol for ethanol (ethyl) based hand sanitizers per CDC guidelines.
- Contactless hand sanitizer dispensers are placed in key locations throughout the facility, including near all main entrance vestibules in concourses and lobbies, outside meeting rooms and ballrooms, near entrances to events, by elevators, and near all food service locations.
- Any employees of contractors and partners using gloves are required to change them regularly to avoid contamination.
- Any employees of contractors and partners are encouraged to wash and sanitize hands frequently.
- Public areas and high touch point areas of the RiverCentre are (and will continue to be) cleaned and sanitized on an ongoing and frequent basis. Public areas include, but are not limited to, entrances/exits, lobbies, skyway, concourses, elevators, stairwells, escalators, restrooms and nursing mother’s rooms. High touch point areas within the RiverCentre include, but are not limited to: door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, trash and recycling receptacles, reception desks, circulation furniture, tables and chairs, house telephones and vending machines.
- RiverCentre shall use Clorox Total 360 System Electrostatic Sprayers for multiple surfaces including hard-to-reach places—including the side, underside and backside of surfaces and furnishings.
- RiverCentre shall use NanoSeptic self-cleaning adhesive skins to continuously eliminate bacteria, and it will be placed on high touch door handles and elevator buttons.
- Wherever possible, RiverCentre shall lock or close off spaces after cleaning until designated next use to prevent recontamination.
- Booth sanitation remains the responsibility of individual exhibitors, however exhibitors will be provided with hard surface chairs and encouraged to use hard surface table coverings so that these items can be more easily disinfected.
Northstar utilizes the services of MHC Culinary Group for all on-site food and beverage services. MHC employees are to abide by the guidance of the company’s own COVID-19 safety and disinfection protocols, which can be found at rivercentre.org/assets/doc/RC_Covid_BroadDocument-81d27d636e.pdf
There will be no self-service of food or beverage at the market. All food and beverages will be served to attendees by MHC staff utilizing the appropriate PPE and staff, vendors, contractors, and attendees will only be allowed to eat and drink on-site in designated seating areas. Social distancing must be maintained in designated seating areas and will be communicated with the appropriate signage.
Communication and Training
Northstar has reviewed and incorporated the COVID-19 Requirements for Indoor Venues provided by the state of Minnesota for the development of this plan. This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan has been communicated to all Northstar staff, vendors, and contractors virtually via email and video conference calling. Documentation will be kept on file indicating that staff, vendors, and contractors have read, understand, and agree to abide by the procedures described plan. Additional communication and training with staff, vendors, and contractors will be ongoing.
Signage outlining and reinforcing the guidelines described in this plan will be displayed throughout the venue. Northstar managers are in close contact with the Minnesota Department of Health and will closely monitor operations. Additionally, Northstar managers will update the plan and signage as necessary to remain in compliance with any new federal, state, or local laws and guidance.
Northstar and RiverCentre staff will be monitoring the event to ensure that this plan is followed in its entirety at all times. Violations of this plan should be brought to the attention of Northstar staff immediately by calling 612.240.8659. Individuals not adhering to the safety protocols outlined in this plan may be subject to removal from the market.
This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan has been certified by Michelle Sung, Project Manager and COVID-19 Plan Administrator and Stephanie Siegel, Director of Operations. Northstar’s plan, in addition to partners’ plans, are available for review on Northstar’s website, or at the Registration Desk during the market.
Director of Operations
Project Manager and Plan Administrator
Appendix A – Documents Referenced in Northstar’s Development of its COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
Government Entities – General Guidance
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Coronavirus (COVID-19) – www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH): Coronavirus – www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus
State of Minnesota: COVID-19 response – https://mn.gov/covid19
Guidance for Businesses
CDC: Resources for businesses and employers – www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html
CDC: General business frequently asked questions – www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/general-business-faq.html
CDC: Building/business ventilation – www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
MDH: Businesses and employers: COVID-19 – www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/businesses.html
MDH: Health screening checklist – www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facilityhlthscreen.pdf
MDH: Materials for businesses and employers – www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED): COVID-19 information and resources – https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI): Updates related to COVID-19 – www.dli.mn.gov/updates
Federal OSHA – www.osha.gov
MDH: Handwashing video translated into multiple languages – www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdQuPGVcceg
Respiratory etiquette: Cover your cough or sneeze
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
Employees exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19
State of Minnesota: https://mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/index.jsp
Federal OSHA: www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf