Published on March 9th, 2020 | by TLV News0
The 2020 Oxford Film Festival Announces Preparations Due to Concerns Posed Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Oxford Film Festival, which is scheduled to take place as planned March 18–22, has announced procedures and plans that will be executed during this year’s edition of the film festival to address concerns regarding the coronavirus and effectively provide for the safety of the attending audience members, filmmakers, and the community of Oxford, Mississippi.
While the film festival’s staff is closely monitoring the daily developments both locally, nationally, and internationally, they also want to allay any fears or concerns the community may be having about the coronavirus, and state with all confidence their comfort and enthusiasm in moving forward with this year’s edition of the film festival.
“As we continue to prepare for next week’s film festival, we want to inform everyone of the aggressive steps we are taking in light of the evolving status of COVID-19,” said Executive Director Melanie Addington. “It’s also important to note that the Oxford Film festival has a history of mobilizing and dealing with challenges during the course of presenting our great fest—and through it all we persevered. Therefore, with safety first, we look very forward to enjoying the fest and watching some wonderful movies this year.”
The priority, first and foremost, is the health and well-being of the film festival’s attendees and the proactive measures listed below will be taken to ensure public health during the Oxford Film Festival. Addington and the film festival’s production team are in communication with local and county officials, who have not requested the cancellation or postponement of the event, as well as monitoring all developments with Malco Oxford Commons Cinema Grill, which will host the majority of the film festival’s screenings and events. The Oxford Film Festival will take the lead of the local and county officials in following recommended procedures as well as taking additional precautionary measures, including but not limited to increased health-related messaging, on-site sanitation resources for attendees, and fortified cleaning protocols at all venues and events.
The Oxford Film Festival is also in close contact with Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, who stated the following: “Hospital operations continue as usual, and all our patients, team members, and visitors are safe. The most important things you can do are to remain calm and to reassure others that they and their loved ones can continue to rely on us for their care. We are always ready to treat patients in any circumstance, and we have been preparing for this particular scenario for the past two months. We have the technology, equipment, and the expert team necessary to provide excellent care to all our patients.”
Among the actions that the Oxford FF will undertake include:
- Place stations throughout theater and event locations with hand sanitizers and hand santizer wipes for staff and attendees
- Frequently clean high traffic areas and hard surfaces, including doorknobs, railings, bathrooms, and table and counter tops at all venues utilizing products that are effective against common disease-causing organisms as well as products that will not trigger asthma or allergic reactions
- Sanitize all microphones in between panels, and talks
- Any and all food preparation will be done with festival staff wearing gloves which will be changed frequently
- Provide hand sanitizer to all participants (filmmakers and press) on red carpets, panels, and parties via festival staff
- Provide disposable masks for attendees on request
- Discourage hand shaking, hugs, or close greetings throughout the course of this year’s film festival
- Monitor all staff, filmmakers, and attendees for any signs of illness and take appropriate action in the advent that someone is suspected of being ill in accordance of CDC guidance
Following are the current general recommendations provided by the CDC:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask
- (CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.)
- (Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.)
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
This information can also be found on the film festival’s website, which will be updated frequently as new information comes in and is made available to the public. For that information or to purchase tickets and festival passes and find the full film festival schedule and program, please go to https://www.oxfordfilmfest.com/.