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7 Ways Party Hosts Can Prepare for the Coronavirus

[Update: With Stay at Home orders in place throughout the country, the below suggestions are now out of date. Please consider hosting virtual gatherings and practice social distancing so we can flatten the curve.]

You’ve spent months planning the perfect celebration for a loved one. But now the big day has come, and the news of the coronavirus has you concerned. Keep listening to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as they release recommendations and updates.

If you have an event coming up, here are seven ways that you, as a host, can help everyone feel more comfortable and in a celebratory mood.

1. Hand Sanitizer Stash

Make it easy for your guests to clean their hands as often as possible during the celebration. Place hand sanitizer in strategic places like on a table when they walk in, at the buffet, the drink station, and at any activity that you have planned. Also, make sure your guest bathroom is well stocked with soap.

2. Smart Food Table Prep

Before guests arrive, make sure you have a separate serving utensil for every dish you’re serving. This is especially true for finger foods that people may reach for with their hands. If you don’t have enough tongs or servers, putting a fork or spoon on each plate is signal to guests that they should use it for serving.  

If you still have some time, consider only serving foods that need a fork, spoon, or knife. It’s additional dishes, but it will prevent guests from getting their fingers near their mouths!

3. Adhere to the 2-Hour Rule

Don’t let any food item sit out longer than two hours, as once food becomes room temperature it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Consider staging your food in shifts, keeping the majority of it in the fridge or oven on warm until you need to replenish.

4. Strategic Party Games

Now is the time to select activities and games that keep everyone’s hands to themselves! Refrain from games that pass items back and forth or involve shaking hands or touching one another. Consider games like bridal bingo or an arts and crafts activity that everyone can do on their own.

5. Paper Towel Swap

Instead of providing a regular hand towel for guests to dry their hands in the restroom, opt for a disposable roll of paper towels or specialty single-use hand towels if you’re feeling fancy.

It’s not the most sustainable option (which we’re normally all about) but these times call for extra measures. If you’re committed to using a reusable hand towel, plan on switching it out frequently throughout the party.

6. 20-Second Hand Wash Reminder

We’ve all seen the reminders to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while washing our hands to make sure we reach the 20-second mark. And since “Happy Birthday” can get boring after a while, some folks on Twitter (h/t @JenMonnier) have suggested some alternative song choruses you can sing while you wash. Download this free printable and place it in your bathroom to give guests a subtle and fun reminder to wash their hands. (Download Printable Here.)

coronavirus handwash song printable

7. Be Ready to Cancel

If you, or the guest of honor, start feeling under the weather, now is not the time to take a risk. Everyone will appreciate you canceling out of an abundance of caution rather than risking their health. It will be frustrating to postpone, but better for literally everyone in the long run.

The Coronavirus is scary, but we can all do our part to stem the spread by keeping good hygiene and staying home when we feel under the weather. If you’re hosting an event soon, or have any additional tips we should add, let us know @RentandRevel!