Top Nav

Approval of Special Events during COVID-19 Emergency

The City of Prescott has received several inquiries about special events, both public and private events that may take place in the City, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency.

The City does not regulate all events or gatherings at this time.  Here are examples of events that the city DOES NOT Regulate:   PRIVATE events, invitation only gatherings, such as weddings and funerals, and church gatherings.

  • If you want to have a public event and it’s more than 50 people, there will need to be some oversight, based on the current Governor’s executive orders. Here are some rules & recommendations:
    • If it’s a public event over 50 you do need approval from your local officials. If the event is on City property, then the City will need to approve the event.  If the event is scheduled to be on county property, then the County would need to approve.
  • If an event is on private property, the organizer should first obtain approval from the property owner. In some cases the property and/or organizer may also need to check in with the local officials to find out if they are allowed to let the event happen.


The City has worked with the Yavapai Community Health Services department, who has provided an in-depth list of COIVD-19 recommendations for Events and Gatherings, which is attached.  Regardless of the type of event you may be considering large, small, public or private please see the attached guidelines from Yavapai Community Health Services.


For approval or to check status of events on City property, go to:  http://www.prescott-az.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2017_special_event_application.pdf or call 928-777-1552.

For approval or to check the status of events on County property, go to https://prescottdowntown.com/ or call 928-443-5220.


Yavapai County COVID-19 Recommendations for Events and Gatherings:

Effective June 29, 2020, organized public events of more than 50 people are prohibited unless the city, town or county in unincorporated areas has approved the event, and only if adequate safety precautions are implemented, including physical distancing measures.

Evaluating Risk Levels

  • Events with the lowest-risk are virtual-only gatherings.
  • Those with a moderate risk include smaller, outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals remain six feet apart, wear face masks, do not share objects and come from the same local area.
  • Medium-sized in-person gatherings where guests stay six feet apart and come from the local area pose a higher risk.
  • Events with the highest risk (50 or more) are large in-person meetings where attendees travel from outside the local area and it is hard to maintain social distancing.

Considerations for Cancelling or Postponing

  • How many people are expected to attend? Gatherings with more than 50 people have a higher risk of coronavirus transmission.
  • How many of the attendees are more vulnerable to COVID19? Older adults and people with pre-existing helath conditions are considered to be at higher risk.
  • How close will the attendees be? Person-to-person spread is most likely to occur within close contact of six feet or less.
  • Are there any ways to reduce the number of attendees? Setting up socially distanced seating can help reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Can you move the gathering outside?

For events that are scheduled to go on, the CDC has offered the following recommendations:

Before the Event

  • Designate a person or office to be responsible for COVID-19 concerns. Ensure all employees and guests who know this person is and how to contact them.
  • Encourage the event staff and all attendees to practice good personal health habits each day. Be sure to share resource materials from reputable sources on symptoms, prevention and more.
  • Gather supplies such as soap, hand sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol, tissues, disinfectant wipes, no-touch trash cans and face masks that will be distributed on-site. Make sure both attendees and staff members will have access to the supplies. Staff members should be required to wear face masks, according to the CDC. Attendees should be encouraged to wear them as well especially when physical distancing cannot occur.
  • Modify the event layout for social distancing. This includes limiting attendance or reducing seating capacities. Multiple entrances and exits should also be offered and event organizers should consider staggering the use of shared indoor spaces, such as dining halls and lounges.
  • Promote and encourage outdoor activities where social distancing can be maintained.
  • Encourage online options in addition to in-person attendance to help reduce the number of guests.

During the Event

  • Stay informed and closely follow all coronavirus-related news and updates. Pay particular attention to developments in the local area.
  • Require the use of cloth face coverings among staff. Cloth face coverings are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult (e.g., when moving within a crowd or audience).
  • Share frequent updates with employees, participants, partners and more. Promote preventive resources and address any concerns.
  • Maintain a healthy stockpile of prevention supplies such as hand sanitizer, soap and face masks. Frequently touched surfaces and objects should be cleaned on a regular basis with detergent and water prior to disinfection.
  • Post signs in highly visible locations such as the entrances and restrooms that encourage protective measures.
  • Limit the number of people who can use a restroom at one time and post signs or markers outside the restroom to prevent crowds from forming.
  • Avoid offering any self-serve food or drink options such as buffets and salad bars. Use disposable dishes and utensils and offer prepacked foods or individually plated meals.
  • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors when feasible.

Health Recommendations for Serving Food or Beverage at Events

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other groups at all times, including while waiting to be seated.
  • Make hand sanitizing station available upon entry of event.
  • No table more than 10 people. (Group families or groups that arrived together for event).
  • Avoid offering any self-serve food or drink options such as buffets and salad bars. Use disposable dishes and utensils and offer prepacked foods or individually plated meals.


  • Do not leave condiments, silverware, flatware, glassware, or other traditional table top items on an unoccupied table.
  • Provide condiments only upon request and preferably in single use (non-reusable) portions.
  • If buffet is offered, only venue employees (wearing masks and gloves) are to serve the food to attendees.


After the Event

  • Hold a post-event meeting with the venue’s emergency operations coordinator or planning team to discuss lessons learned. Ask participants, partners and staff to share additional feedback.

Cleanliness Guidelines

Cleaning and disinfection can help reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and are key to reopening public spaces, according to the CDC. The organization has issued reopening guidelines for how to properly clean public spaces, including what the appropriate disinfectants are and how frequently surfaces should be cleaned. The guidelines can be viewed here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html



For further information please contact: Carol Lewis at the Yavapai County COVID Phone Bank at 928-442-5572  or email at carol.lewis@yavapai.us




Please note because COVID-19 virus circulation varies in communities, these considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which gatherings must comply. Organizers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gathering.









No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Website Design by DRCMedia LLC