Covid-19 policies and procedures for rehearsals
There are a number of actions Whim W’Him is taking to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and reduce the spread during rehearsals. The more people a person interacts with, the closer the physical interaction, the more sharing of equipment there is by multiple individuals, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Therefore, risk of COVID-19 spread can be different, depending on the type of activity. The way dancers and staff rehearse, and the way equipment is shared can influence the spread of COVID-19. The goal of this document is to minimize risk wherever possible and create procedures for monitoring and responding to potential cases of COVID-19.
Assessing the risk of spread, please consider:
- Physical closeness of dancers, and the length of time that dancers are close to each other or to staff.
- Amount of necessary touching of shared equipment and gear (e.g. mats or water bottles).
- Ability to engage in social distancing while not actively engaged in dancing (e.g. during breaks, while others are rehearsing).
- Dancers and staff at higher risk of developing serious disease.
- Size of the group rehearsing together.
- Nonessential visitors, spectators, and/or volunteers will not be allowed unless tested.
- Traveling outside of our local community.
Whim W’Him is implementing several strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Contact tracing, recognizing signs and symptoms
- Fill the 20/21 COVID 19 – Contact Tracing – Whim W’Him Dancers Log daily
- Fill the COVID 19 – Whim W’Him Dancers daily self-attestation when rehearsing in person
Staying home when appropriate
- If you, your partner, or roommate have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) please notify Keri, Olivier and/or Karl, and STAY HOME.
- Also please notify your secondary employment managers.
Identifying and maintaining Whim W’Him isolation cell
- Avoid contact with other people or groups as much as possible.
- Consistent with applicable law and privacy policies, please self-report to Keri, Olivier and/or Karl if you have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days in accordance with health information sharing regulations for COVID-19.
- Whim W’Him leave policies are flexible and not punitive for taking time off; we will allow sick employees to stay home and away from co-workers.
- Return-to-work after COVID-19 illness and/or exposure needs to be approved by staff following the CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation and quarantine.
Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used (for dancers and staff who can safely use hand sanitizer).
Cloth face coverings
- We are encouraging the use of cloth face coverings. Wearing cloth face coverings is most important when physical distancing is difficult.
- Face coverings are not intended to protect the wearer, but rather to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 from the person wearing the mask (who may not have any symptoms of disease).
- Face coverings may be challenging for dancers to wear while rehearsing but should be worn whenever possible.
- Face coverings should be worn by staff at all times.
- People wearing face coverings should be reminded to not touch the face covering and to wash their hands frequently.
- Information will be provided to all participants on the proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
- Whenever possible, we will use flexible rehearsal sites and flexible work hours (e.g. staggered schedules) to help with physical distancing between dancers, and dancers and staff.
Whim W’Him is implementing several strategies to maintain healthy environments.
- We will have hand washing facilities available; we encourage healthy hygiene by providing supplies including soap, paper towels, tissues, and no-touch/foot pedal trash cans.
- When hand washing facilities are not available, we will provide hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (for dancers and staff who can safely use hand sanitizer).
Cleaning and disinfection
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the studio (e.g. barres) at least daily, or between uses as much as possible.
- Use of shared objects and equipment (e.g. barres) should be limited, or cleaned between use by each individual if possible.
- Increase routine cleaning and disinfection throughout rehearsal and work facilities.
- Dancers and staff should ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using cleaning products to prevent themselves from inhaling toxic fumes.
- Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash and wash hands after removing gloves.
- We will allow extra time for cleaning and/or disinfecting.
- We are discouraging sharing of any items that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect.
- Do not share towels, water bottles, clothing, or other items used to wipe your faces or hands.
- Clean and disinfect set pieces and props between each use.
- Keep each dancer and staff member’s belongings separated from others and in individual areas.
- We will increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors when possible.
Modified layouts and physical distancing
- Dancers and staff should maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet while in the studio or outside when possible.
- We discourage unnecessary physical contact, such as handshakes or hugs.
- We will prioritize outdoor rehearsals as much as possible.
- Limit the use of carpools or van pools. When riding in an automobile we encourage dancers and staff to ride with persons living in their same household.
Physical barriers and guides
- We will provide physical guides, such as signs and tape on floors, to make sure that dancers and staff remain at least 6 feet apart.
- Please stagger use of shared spaces such as locker rooms and bathrooms.
Whim W’Him is implementing several strategies to maintain healthy operations.
Protections for dancers and staff at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
- We offer the option for individuals at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 to limit exposure risk by participating in rehearsals virtually while at home.
Coping and resilience
- We encourage everyone to participate in the weekly mental health forum provided by Josh Spell, as well as sign up for individual sessions he offers covered by Whim W’Him.
- We encourage everyone to take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media if they are feeling overwhelmed or distressed.
- Maintain healthy eating and sleep patterns, and find time to unwind.
- We encourage everyone to talk with people they trust about their concerns and how they are feeling.
- National distress hotline: 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746
Ensuring appropriate precautions are being taken by dancers and staff to minimize risk, and monitoring and responding to COVID-19 cases.
- In order to take care of each other and deliver on our commitment to create a safe work environment, we are adopting an honest self-reporting system.
- If you notice a co-worker not following protocols, please address your concerns directly with them. If the matter doesn’t get resolved, reach out to a manager.
- Weekly check-ins will be included in the dancers weekly schedule that will consist of revisiting clear goals and objectives, monitoring progress and adherence, and providing feedback and resources.
- We are only as safe as each individual dancer and staff member; please adhere to these guidelines and communicate potential contact or exposure promptly. Please communicate often and regularly.