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

David Callaway, Jeff Runge, Lucia Mullen, Lisa Rentz, Kevin Staley, Michael Stanford, Crystal Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDisaster medicine and public health preparedness
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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