A record 7.6 percent of Americans now work in food services and drinking establishments.  A large part of America is simply trying to get by and the number of people pursuing this field is growing. The service industry, event staffing, and retail industry have been hit extremely hard by the restrictions brought on by COVID-19. “America’s restaurant and food-service industry is home to nearly 16 million trained and skilled employees, and the industry is a key economic driver in communities,” said Mollie O’Dell, a spokeswoman for the National Restaurant Association, a Washington D.C.-based industry organization. “We are carefully monitoring the impact that COVID-19 will have on our workforce.”

Reopening Concerns

Many are welcoming the news of more re-openings as a positive sign.  As the uncertainty over the spread of COVID-19 continues, the event industry is contemplating whether to move forward or to withhold for a bit longer.  The limited capacity restrictions are good for business but may come with dire consequences.  Some studies have shown that in some enclosed sites even 50 feet away was enough to cause infection and in some cases, death from the virus. The recommended restrictions set forth for continuing social distancing coupled with the task of continual sanitizing is looming heavily over the event staffing industry. 

Those directly impacted by COVID-19, feel they cannot justify events coming back before a cure, a vaccine or herd immunity is reached.  We are going to add fuel to the viral fire by re-opening too soon.  The risks and concerns event attendees and staff are feeling is understandable.  Enclosed environments with poor air circulation and a high density of people, are breeding grounds for the virus to be released in the air.  Some studies of COVID outbreaks in offices show that sharing the same air for a prolonged period of time increases your chance of exposure and infection.  Therefore, some will not proceed with their indoor gatherings such as weddings, birthdays and funerals.  These situations account for a large percentage of transmission of the virus with people talking, laughing or singing in close proximity to each other.