Risk and the Republican National Convention: Application of the Novel COVID-19 Operational Risk Assessment

Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2022 Aug;16(4):1612-1617. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2020.499. Epub 2021 Mar 25.


The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization broadly categorize mass gathering events as high risk for amplification of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread in a community due to the nature of respiratory diseases and the transmission dynamics. However, various measures and modifications can be put in place to limit or reduce the risk of further spread of COVID-19 for the mass gathering. During this pandemic, the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security produced a risk assessment and mitigation tool for decision-makers to assess SARS-CoV-2 transmission risks that may arise as organizations and businesses hold mass gatherings or increase business operations: The JHU Operational Toolkit for Businesses Considering Reopening or Expanding Operations in COVID-19 (Toolkit). This article describes the deployment of a data-informed, risk-reduction strategy that protects local communities, preserves local health-care capacity, and supports democratic processes through the safe execution of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The successful use of the Toolkit and the lessons learned from this experience are applicable in a wide range of public health settings, including school reopening, expansion of public services, and even resumption of health-care delivery.

Keywords: COVID-19; Republican national convention; mass gathering medicine; risk management.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Risk Assessment
  • SARS-CoV-2