YWCP COVID-19 Health Safety Plan

(as of August 22, 2022)

The Young Women’s Choral Projects prioritizes the health and safety of its choristers, staff, families, patrons and guest artists. To help minimize the impact of COVID-19 at our activities, we formed a COVID-19 committee in 2021 composed of staff, parent and board members, whose backgrounds include medicine, public health law, psychology, and education. We are committed to following the guidelines of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Since singing is a higher risk activity, some of our protocols are more conservative to create the safest choral experience we can. 

It is mandatory that all persons attending our rehearsal venues understand and agree to adhere to the measures listed below.

Vaccinations 

Full vaccination against COVID-19 is required for participation in YWCP for every age-eligible chorister unless there is a documented medical or religious exemption. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after receiving the second dose of any of the approved vaccines. YWCP strongly recommends that all choristers are up to date on COVID boosters as well, when eligible. Individuals are considered boosted right after receiving their booster dose.

Immunization status, like all other medical information, will be kept confidential by the YWCP office. Proof of vaccination will be required from all new program participants. 

All YWCP faculty, pianists, staff and volunteers will be fully vaccinated (as above) and boosted as eligible.

Masking

We require that everybody is masked in the rehearsal venue, regardless of vaccination status. The CDC and SFDPH recommends masking indoors to reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus even by vaccinated people. During breaks, you may remove your mask outside the building to eat a snack or have a drink that you have brought from home. Choristers may not share food and drinks, so please plan accordingly.

In the summer of 2021, YWCP purchased special VocalEase singers’ masks for all choristers. YWCP will provide these masks for new 2022-23 singers, and will have a limited stock of replacement ones for returning families, who will cover their cost. 

These masks offer a lightweight, comfortable fit designed for expressive speech and singing as well as superior filtration (preliminary testing shows 62-67% aerosol filtration – above the highest performance (Level 2) standard of the ASTM Standard Specification for Face Barrier Coverings (ASTM F3502-2)), while completely eliminating the muffled sound. Medical professionals have checked the materials in the mask and none is shown to cause skin irritation. You must wear this mask during rehearsal, put it in a plastic bag in your folder to take home and wash after each rehearsal. Don’t forget it for the next rehearsal!! GIven our safety protocols, if a chorister forgets their VocalEase mask, they will be required to sit out and observe rehearsal wearing their own mask.

All participants or those attending any YWCP activity will be required to use well-fitted face coverings indoors (surgical or KN95 masks; gaiters and bandanas are not appropriate). 

Physical Distancing

When possible, singers will be spaced 3 feet apart* when rehearsing in their choruses. *Recommended distance by the International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study (Updated Guidelines 3/15/22)

Ventilation and Cleaning

Our rehearsal venue, Calvary Presbyterian Church, allows us to have large rooms with HEPA filters, and many open doors for ventilation. We will utilize both of these during all rehearsals, as well as use outdoor spaces for breaks.

Hand sanitizer will be available at the check-in table.

Attendance

Before arriving at any YWCP rehearsal or performance, we ask that singers do a self-screening for symptoms of illness.

Anyone experiencing any symptoms of illness (frequent coughing, runny nose, sneezing, fever) should not come to rehearsal. If your daughter has allergies and not other COVID symptoms, she can attend rehearsal. Please tell the rehearsal coordinator if you are sending your daughter with any non-contagious symptoms that could be misinterpreted as COVID-19. 

At the present time, YWCP does not have an online option for rehearsals.

Absences

We understand that choristers may need to take more absences due to illness or quarantining this year. YWCP will be flexible with total absence hour requirements if a chorister must stay home or be quarantined because of COVID-19.

Important: If any YWCP chorister has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please report it to YWCP. According to the latest CDC guidelines, they can return to rehearsal when they are:

                  1) 5 or more days out from the start of the symptoms and have a negative antigen test

OR 

                 2) 10 days out from the start of the symptoms, AND
                           a. fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications, AND
                           b. symptoms have improved 

Testing

As of this date, we will not require COVID testing before each rehearsal. This may change if deemed necessary.

Exceptions

  1. For their respective fall retreats, YWC and Vivo choristers are required to show proof of a negative rapid antigen test taken the day of the retreat (or for YWC, taken before they board the bus.) Throughout the retreat, we will require masks indoors (VocalEase masks for singing and well-fitted surgical or KN95 masks for other indoor activities and on the bus). 
  2. For all public concerts, choristers must take a rapid-antigen test the day of the event (we will not require this for in-house parent recitals).
  3. Special restrictions and local guidelines for international travel will be given to YWC families at the appropriate time prior to the 2023 summer tour.
  4. When returning to Chorus after a COVID-19 quarantine period, choristers may need to show proof of a negative COVID test.

Audience Protocols

For parent meetings and in-house recitals, we will require attendees to wear well-fitted face coverings (surgical or KN95 masks; gaiters and bandanas are not appropriate) and to refrain from attending if feeling ill.

YWCP will continue to monitor the state of COVID-19 in the San Francisco community, and will follow the recommendations of local, state and national government health departments regarding singing rehearsals and performances.

We all should remain flexible in case health conditions require us to have some online rehearsals.