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Harlan Center halts events due to COVID-19

By Brandon Pennington

Harlan Tourism Executive Director

Harlan Tourism and the Harlan Center employees are aware that the COVID-19 outbreak is evolving rapidly and we are taking precautionary steps to maintain and monitor building cleanliness for our guests. This is a situation many of us have never encountered before and is unprecedented. We are currently navigating waters that we have never been through before and we are learning as we go. We hope to be responsive and not reactive in light of the virus. However, we maintain that the health and safety of our clients, guests, visitors and employees continues to be a top priority. Our virus and infection control protocol are outlined below:

1) As of today, we are enacting some guidelines at the Harlan Center that fall in line with the CDC. Currently the CDC is calling for no events with more than 50 people. We will be following this protocol. If the CDC changes the guidelines, the Harlan Tourism board and Harlan Center will reassess.

2.) At this time, event cancellations are at the discretion of the event organizer/client. Please check with event organizers (not the Harlan Center) for event status. We encourage every event at the Harlan Center to assess the need for their event and to use best judgement when choosing to continue with the event.

3.) The Harlan Center is no longer taking any bookings for the remainder of March in 2020.

4.) We are suspending our refund policy at the Harlan Center for bookings and events. Our guidelines state that you must cancel your event outside of 2 weeks to receive a refund. However, we are suspending that policy due to the extraordinary circumstances that we face as a nation.

5.) As we do not have any public events slated from a tourism stand point for the remainder of March, we do not have to cancel anything at the moment. At the beginning of April, we will assess if we will host Harlan Chows Down due to the virus. This trend will likely continue with the rest of our events. Should the outbreak grow worse, you can expect cancellations.

6.) On days that there are no events that fall within the guidelines of the CDC, we will have minimum employees at the Harlan Center. Please know that this may mean that some of our services to the community may be interrupted or slower.

7.) If any of our employee’s feel sick, we will be dismissing them from their shift immediately seeking medical guidance.

We completely recognize the importance of being responsive to the COVID-19 outbreak and encourage folks to stay home as much as possible. If you must leave your home for any reason, we encourage you to practice best hygiene practices. This situation is actively changing, growing, and evolving. We hope that we are doing enough to help mitigate this growing global issue where we can. We also ask that the community check back with us often as this protocol may change rapidly depending on the spread of the virus. Most of all, we hope that all of our community members stay safe.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a developing story and will continue to be posted and updated as a way to keep the public informed. For more information on the virus in Kentucky, visit www.kycovid19.ky.gov.