Cherry Blossom Festival taking preventative measures for Coronavirus

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Cherry Blossom Festival organizers say they’re taking preventative measures because of the Coronavirus.

As the number of people diagnosed with the virus increases, Emergency Management Officials in some communities have decided to cancel big events.

Here in Middle Georgia, it doesn’t get any bigger than the Cherry Blossom Festival. That’s why festival organizers are paying close attention to the outbreak.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a staple of Macon.

Organizers say they’re planning to do what they can to keep everyone safe from the outbreak.

“We have ordered double the hand washing stations that we had last year on site,” festival president Stacy Moore said. “As well as some very large signage reminding people if they have dirty hands. Please wash them before they eat food or just in general and we have some anti bacterial soaps we will be placing at all of the tables.”

She says nothing is canceled or rearranged.

“There might be some minor travel restrictions regarding some of our Japanese delegations,” Moore said.

Moore added she’s taking all necessary preventative measures and is talking to the festival’s insurance provider.

Attorney Kathy McArthur says that’s exactly what event coordinators need to do during a time like this. Otherwise, events could be held legally liable if visitors can prove they contracted the virus at their event.

“Having a festival like that, I don’t think there’s going to be liability for having the festival unless it gets a lot worse than what it is and it’s just predictable,” McArthur said. “It’s got to be foreseeable in order for there to be liability.”

McArthur recommends event coordinators talk with their insurance providers and get everything in writing in case the Coronavirus forces cancellations.

“Saying, ‘This is my understanding of this. This is what’s included specifically to the Coronavirus and if claims are made. X,Y, and Z will be covered by my insurance,'” McArthur said.

That’s why Moore says public safety is their number one priority.

“We want to make sure we give everyone of our guests the opportunity to prevent from getting sick at one of our events,” Moore said.

McArthur says an obvious liability case would be if an employer sent you to a high-risk area for Coronavirus and you came back with it. In that case, you’d have potential for a worker’s comp claim.

For events like the Cherry Blossom Festival, she says organizers will need obvious signs and other preventative measures.

Moore says they will keep monitoring the situation and give updates if anything changes.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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