COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

2020-21 Dance Season

Updated September 3, 2020

Dear Dance Families,

As we prepare to welcome our 200 students and our staff back to dance, we have been working on strategies to keep our dancers, instructors and families safe. We realize this dance year will be unlike any before. However, we remain committed to high-quality dance training in a welcoming community. To keep everyone as safe as possible, we have made a number of changes. As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, so will our approach and strategies. We look forward to connecting with students in September to welcome them back and help them adjust to the new changes.

Safety First Approach

The changes we are making are based on provincial requirements and direction to reduce the spread
of COVID-19. These changes include:

  • requiring staff and students to conduct daily health checks prior to coming to dance
  • stay-at-home protocols for those who are feeling unwell
  • enhanced cleaning and disinfecting in the studios and atrium
  • encouraging physical distancing where possible
  • creating cohorts of students
  • mandatory masks for students and for all staff in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained, as outlined in provincial guidelines and the City of Edmonton’s face covering by-law
  • hand hygiene requirements for students and staff

Hybrid Classes

We recognize that returning to in-person classes may not be the best option for all dancers and families. To meet the needs of all dancers, we are offering hybrid classes using Zoom and Google classroom for this year. Our goal is to ensure all dancers receive well-rounded dance training with options for exams, performances, festivals (where applicable) and of course social interaction with friends. More information about hybrid classes will be outlined in upcoming emails before the season begins. We know that students may move between in-person and online classes as the need presents itself, so this will
help to keep students on track if they need to miss class due to illness or to self-isolate.

Shared Responsibility

As our Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, has said: safety is our collective responsibility. Together, we must all take measures to protect one another—we must maintain high levels of hygiene and we must all follow the provincial health guidance to the best of our ability. The safety of our dance family is very important to us.

Dawn L. Moss
Director, Celtic Ceilidh Academy Inc.

Celtic Ceilidh Dance Academy Safety Strategies

Fit for Dance (Screening for Illness)

Before coming to dance each day, all staff and students must complete the Information Screening Questionnaire to determine whether they can attend or must stay home. Students who have any symptoms noted on the questionnaire that are not previously existing conditions, cannot attend dance. Visitors permitted in our studio will also need to complete the Fit for Dance Questionnaire before entering the building.

You can access the Fit for Dance form here, and a QR code is also posted outside the studio. People with symptoms of COVID-19 or experiencing illness will not be allowed in. We have posters on the doors reminding people not to enter the building if they feel sick, or if they have had close contact with someone who is ill or suspected of having COVID-19.

Showing signs of illness while at dance

If a dancer or staff member shows symptoms during the class, they will need to go home.
When a dancer is sick, he/she will continue to wear a mask and a studio staff member will:

  • bring the student to a private area away from others, if possible, or keep them at least two metres away
    from others,
  • contact parents or guardians to pick up their child immediately, and;
  • follow health protocols around personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning and disinfecting the
    area.

Students with pre-existing conditions

Any student with a pre-existing health condition that causes symptoms of illness should be tested for COVID-19 at least once before they return to dance. A negative test would help show that their symptoms are related to their pre-existing condition, and not to an illness. This would establish what their baseline for being healthy looks like.

Families should notify us about any pre-existing condition and the symptoms it causes. As long as these symptoms remain the same, the student can attend dance. Asymptomatic testing is now available at specified pharmacies by appointment only and this is a very quick and easy process. You can find the list of participating pharmacies here.

Safety and Well-being

If there is a case of COVID-19 at Celtic Ceilidh, we will work with Alberta Health Services accordingly:

  • identify cases – identify close contacts – create isolation measures when needed – provide follow-up
    recommendation
  • a COVID-19 case will not automatically lead to closure—it could be that only the group of students and
    staff who came in close contact will be required to stay home for 14 days
  • parents will be notified if a case of COVID-19 is confirmed here and public health officials will contact
    those who were in close contact with the person
  • dancers will shift to online classes if they are required to self-isolate

Handwashing and Sanitizing

Everyone who enters will be required to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands. Students and staff will be
required to wash and/or sanitize their hands:

  • before they enter the studio classroom
  • after they use shared equipment and the barre.
  • before eating

Students using the washrooms prior to entering the studio will be asked to use hand sanitizer again before they enter their classroom.

We will provide hand sanitizer in each studio to support these requirements. It is also encouraged that families send their dancer with personal hand sanitizer.

We will promote proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette with verbal reminders and posters throughout the building.

Physical distancing

It is not always possible to ensure physical distancing, particularly in a dance school. Other controls will include:

  • Controlled atrium access: students who have a dinner break between classes will clean their atrium table before and after eating. Dancers will physically distance to allow for 1 per table. Staff will disinfect all tables at the end of each night.
  • Staggered class times: to prevent crowded hallways, students are asked to quickly exit the building after class to allow for the next class to enter on time.
  • Floor markers: will be placed in the atrium to allow for one student at a time to enter, sanitize and proceed to class.
  • Studio spacing: each dance classroom has been taped to allow each dancer a minimum of 6 feet distance. Classes and choreography will be conducted to ensure they are not directly facing each other. This way, if a student coughs or sneezes, they are less likely to cough or sneeze directly into the face of another student.

Arriving at Celtic Ceilidh

As we navigate the first week of classes to determine the busiest times, dancers may be assigned an entry and exit door to use.

When students arrive at the school, they will enter with the passcode and follow physical distancing guidelines to line up when it is time to enter the studio and wait for staff to bring them into the studio classroom.

We have scheduled staggered entry times to limit congestion.

Adults bringing students to dance will be asked to stay in their vehicle for drop off, and to maintain a safe physical distance between themselves and others.

Those who need to enter the school must book an appointment with the office or store.

Parents and guardians of children who are under the age of 7 are permitted to bring their child into the building to meet the teacher, as long as they are wearing a mask.

Parents/guardians of preschool children may wait in the atrium ensuring physical distancing.

PPE: Wearing masks

Masks are becoming an important way to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, particularly when people are indoors and physical distancing is a challenge. All staff and students will be required to wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.

Please follow the provincial health guidelines for how to choose and wear a mask

Physical exertion

It is not recommended for dancers/ athletes to wear a mask while exercising. We will allow dancers to remove
masks while exerting themselves with attention to distancing and directional facing of all students.

Alberta Health Services recommendations for Masks

  • Participants can wear masks when they are not engaging in intense physical activity.
  • Masks should not be worn during intense physical activity.
  • Masks and face shields cannot be assured to stay in place.
  • There is some evidence to suggest that wearing a mask during high intensity activity could have negative health effects.

Traffic Flow

We will use floor dots to help students maintain physical distancing within the building. Dressing rooms at this time are off limits and students are expected to arrive ready to dance. Due to the nature of our winters, we realize dancers will need to place their outerwear somewhere, so we have placed lockers and cubbies in the front hallway for dancers to leave winter coats when necessary.

Lockers will be assigned for dancers who show a need. Applications for lockers may be submitted and will be assigned accordingly. A few examples of criteria to consider might be:

  • Dancers having to take the bus directly to dance from school.
  • Dancers moving between alternate homes regularly.
  • Dancers enrolled in multiple classes requiring multiple shoes and accessories.

Inside the studio classroom

Recognizing physical distancing, studios have been taped off in 6 feet – or larger – dance areas.  Students will wash or sanitize their hands both before and after using shared items and the dance barre.

Barres will be cleaned and disinfected after each class if they are used.

Dancers are encouraged to bring their water bottles filled from home.

Floors will be steamed once a week and cleaned and disinfected in between classes unless the same students
remain for the next class.

Dance rooms are fully disinfected each night with UV lamps.

Using the atrium

We realize some dancers must remain at the studio for a break between classes.
Safety measures for the atrium include:

  • Cushions have been removed from the sofas and chairs will be spread out, limiting the number of
    students allowed in certain areas.
  • Supervisors will monitor high-traffic areas and remind students to adhere to physical distancing
    protocols.
  • All students must wash their hands before eating and eat only their own food. Students are not
    permitted to share food under provincial health guidelines.
  • At this time, the microwaves will be available to students under supervision.
  • The tables and chairs on the atrium deck will be cleaned and disinfected between each cohort.

Dismissal times

We are taking measures to prevent crowding in hallways and to support appropriate physical distancing, including:

  • assigning a specific exit door to each student depending on class exchange needs.
  • staggering dismissal times slightly, if needed.

Considering all AHS recommendations, classes may be dismissed 5 minutes early and there will be an additional
10-minute break between classes so each studio can be cleaned and prepared for your dancer.

High-quality resources:

To make sure we are ready to deliver excellent online instruction throughout 2020–2021, we have invested in new televisions, cameras and computers to ensure a seamless transition to online classes if required. Dancers unable to attend in person will simply sign on to their Google classroom to access the Zoom link for class. This will help ensure that dance training is consistent for families, no matter which type of instruction.

Our hope is to establish our own dance school cohorts.
Should you have any questions about these strategies, please contact us.