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Enabling Risk Informed Decision Making

The Canadian government released a set of guidelines for event-planners to decide whether or not to hold mass-gatherings based on criteria.

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The guidelines for mass-gatherings during COVID-19 was provided by the Canadian government last week before government restrictions were put in place, officially closing events with more than 250 people. At the time, I was in the midst of leading my student union in planning our Dodgeball Tournament and annual Formal banquet, yet the situation surrounding COVID-19 was still unclear. 

As the President of my team, I needed to decide whether or not it was safe to continue our event. I came across this guideline and it helped to give a better understanding of the risks involved for holding our events that involved physical activity and close interaction between different demographics of people. 

The guidelines outlined:

  • Characteristics of the Events
  • Risk considerations
  • Implications
  • Weight (severity of risk to COVID-19)

Simple Information that allowed for Informed Decision Making

The simple chart provided by the guidelines laid out all of the risks by assigning the severity of the risk to each consideration, it gave a better understanding of what actions to take (whether or not to cancel the event). 

Right now, people are heavily reliant on the government to take action when many of the preventative measures can immediately be taken and started from the grassroots at the individual scale. 


  • Give simple guidelines with clear calls to action for individuals to follow 
  • Allow people to identify and categorize their situation and take the appropriate action necessary  
  • University students are the most connected to COVID-19 updates from university updates, social media networks and friends, but other demographics have less exposure such as seniors

Upload or share a link to this resource/message/source of information to share it with others.

Did this resource motivate you to change your behaviors?

  • Yes

In what ways did you change your behaviors as a result of this resource?

As a result of these guidelines, on March 13th I consulted my community and mentors for event planning and decided to cancel the Dodgeball Tournament and Formal Banquet. This was before the our university cancelled all student events and moved away from in-person lectures. 

From the guidelines, my committee and I were enabled to take action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and initiate beginning precautions, without having to wait for an official announcement from the university.

Did you share this information with your network?

  • Yes

In what ways did you share this information?

The website guidelines were shared within our team group chat through Facebook Messenger, a place where we regularly communicate as a team. The guidelines were discussed in our regular meeting. 

Where are you getting information around COVID-19?

  • National Government
  • Social Media
  • WHO (World Health Organization)
  • University Emails

What populations or personas are not currently being addressed with today’s COVID-19 information?

More information needs to be designed and disseminated to the seniors of the communities who are not as connected to social media. 

How might we connect the elderly who are living alone with specific information and resources that are available to them in their community so they know who to trust and how to stay healthy/what to do in the event they fall ill? 

What is your current profession?

Contract UX Designer // Interaction Design Student

In what city are you located?

Burnaby, British Columbia

In what country are you located?



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