Q: Are enclosed mass gatherings related to mission-essential work authorized?
A: Yes. Mass gatherings related to mission-essential work are necessary and authorized. This may include holding quarters on a cutter, conducting a navigation brief, or manning a small boat station; each of these gatherings is essential to carry out high-priority Coast Guard missions.
Q: What things should be considered when holding an enclosed-space mass gathering in accordance with normal Coast Guard customs and operations?
A: Events of any size should only be continued if they can be conducted by protecting vulnerable participants, observing social distancing, and taking the proper hand washing procedures. However, mass gatherings related to mission-essential work are necessary and authorized.
USCG or DHS hosted in-person meetings, conferences, or other indoor events that will be attended by more than 50 participants must be approved by the Secretary of DHS, regardless of whether participants include members of the public. Requests for approval shall be submitted through the chain of command to CG CCAT. Normal periodic unit meetings which exceed 50 CG participants (e.g., all hands musters, training, Area Maritime Security Committee meetings, mission-essential exercises) are exempt from this process. Command decisions regarding outdoor events of 50 participants, which do not require Secretary of DHS approval, should carefully consider the potential for unfavorable publicity/media attention.
Q: We would like to have an inside gathering at our unit. What should I consider to evaluate risk?
A: FORCECOM has created an Enclosed Space Mass Gathering Risk Assessment Tool to help units make decisions about hosting gatherings. The assessment tool can be found on the COVID-19 Community of Practice page: https://cg.portal.uscg.mil/units/cgcpe2/Pages/HomeCOP.aspx