Safely Reopening the Midway in the COVID-19 Era
A COMMITMENT TO OUR FAIR AND FESTIVAL PARTNERS
North American Midway Entertainment (NAME) recognizes that resuming public gatherings in 2021 will require a reevaluation of cleaning and other protocols given the advent of the novel coronavirus. As you, our event partners, well know: Safety has always been our number one priority. This philosophy applies not only to the quality of our rides and inspections, but also to our commitment to minimizing the risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus as much as possible on our midway.
We are monitoring the markets where we have events scheduled for any changes in state by state guidelines with respect to the novel coronavirus. As states begin to ease restrictions on public gatherings, we are going to take time to review our operations and ensure we have necessary precautions in place to protect our guests and team members before we open our midway. We will not open an event until we can meet applicable local and state guidelines and your expectations.
In general, we anticipate that the midway this year will include some combination of the following:
- NAME staff self-screening and temperature checks prior to each shift
- Enhanced sanitizing and disinfecting, especially of high touch areas
- All Midway Rides will be sanitized between each ride
- Increased availability of hand sanitizing stations
- Facial coverings and glove use as recommended by the CDC
- Additional staff training and supervision on new protocols and best practices
- Physical distancing in queue lines and on rides
- All midway riders will be required to follow local health guidelines regarding the use of masks. If local health authorities do not require you to wear a mask, you will not need to wear a mask on the midway.
- Implementation of no-touch admission and/or cashless payment, where possible.
- Substantial signage through-out the event that asked guests to social distance from others not in their party a minimum of six feet.
- Provide a Media Liaison that will communicate our positive and progressive programs.
- NAME Pandemic Safety Program Administrator will oversee the all facets of the program and ensure that high level set standards are enforced.
- North American Midway has retained Doctor Barry Eppley to oversee our entire Pandemic Safety Program and offer advice and assistance at a moment’s notice to so that NAME can offer beyond the scope of best practices for employee and customer safety.
We will work with each one of you to mutually determine the best approach to opening the midway at your event, given the individual space constraints and other relevant factors. In the meantime, we are already working to develop social distancing and other protocols to ensure that we will be able to deliver a safe experience for both our team members and our guests. A safe midway experience is our very highest priority.
In the fall of 2020 we attended the Mississippi State Fair in Jackson and the Greater Gulf State Fair in Mobile, Alabama. We entertained 310’000 fairgoers in Jackson and 74’000 persons in Mobile. Due to the strength and attention to our pandemic program we did not report a single case of Covid-19 within our 325+ employees.
At the conclusion of each of these fairs and the weeks and months that followed we found that the number of Covid cases reported in both cities were well below the entire state averages, which certainly suggests that our pandemic program was effective and these fairs were not super spreaders of the virus.
We look forward to working with you in the coming weeks and months to make 2021 a safe and successful year for all of us!
President & CEO
North American Midway Entertainment