EL PASO, TX – March 1, 2021 – On February 26, 2021, the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation (MCA) hosted a one-hour webinar featuring presentations from El Paso’s top medical and City/County legal experts who discussed the future of planning events in 2021 while still dealing with COVID-19. The webinar is now available to the public on the MCA’s website and YouTube page for reference and sharing.
Due to the pandemic, most of last year’s events, whether business or cultural events, fundraisers, or life celebrations, were halted or taken virtual. With decreasing infection rates and hospitalizations as well as the increasing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, many experts predict that things will go back to a new normal by the Fall of 2021. For those organizations and institutions where events play a large role, uncertainty remains about what the actual timeline will be, what the new normal will look like, and what precautions should be taken when planning events for the remainder of 2021.
“Our inability to gather safely has been one of the most significant impacts to our lives during the pandemic,” laments Emma W. Schwartz, president of the MCA. “Sadly, events, which are a major part of our community’s quality of life, our ability to raise funds, and our culture, were gravely impacted with the onset of COVID-19. With a light finally showing at the end of the pandemic tunnel, being smart about the transition from social-distanced events to in-person events will be key to achieving a safe new normal. Arming people with reliable information and resources about the health, safety, and legal aspects of events in the future is the best way to achieve this.”
Dr. Ogechika Alozie, CEO of Southwest Viral Med, and Dr. Hector Ocaranza, El Paso Health Authority, provided information on projections for the pandemic, the impact that vaccines are having on herd immunity and what this means for events in our region for the remainder of 2021. They also discussed creative ways to gather safely our future’s new normal.
“Vaccinating our community is our path to a new normal,” said Dr. Alozie. “I hope that we never go back to the old normal because that would mean that we did not learn anything. The pandemic taught us a lot about how we should interact as humans, and I hope that the information we provided in this webinar will help our event planners create safe gatherings in the future.”
Legal representatives from the City of El Paso and El Paso County were also featured at the webinar to ensure that people and businesses understand legal restrictions related to events during the pandemic. Josette Flores, Senior Assistant City Attorney, and Erica Rosales, Assistant County Attorney, discussed how to ensure compliance with the City and County Public Health Ordinances during the coming months, and they shared resources that can be used if they have questions about their event’s legality or compliance.
Watch the webinar at the MCA Foundation’s website or YouTube page to watch and share with family and friends.