YWCP COVID-19 Health Safety Plan

(as of March 24, 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 rehearsals, we have formed a Re-Opening Task Force composed of staff, medical professionals, parents and board members. We are committed to following the guidelines of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) in regards to a safe reopening of indoor rehearsals and performances. Since singing is a higher risk activity than attending school classes, some of our protocols will be more conservative to create the safest choral environment we can.

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

1. Vaccinations

Vaccinations are required for participation in YWCP for every age-eligible chorister unless there is a documented medical or religious exemption. At present this mandate includes all choristers 5 years old and above.

Since singing is a high-risk optional activity, the COVID Protocol Committee believes we should take all precautions to keep everyone who chooses to participate as safe as possible.

All YWCP faculty, pianists, staff and volunteers will be fully vaccinated.

2. Masking

We require that all singers are 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.

YWCP will be purchasing special VocalEase singers’ masks for all choristers. 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 her VocalEase mask, she will be required to sit out and observe rehearsal wearing her own cloth mask, and sadly, will not be allowed to sing during this rehearsal.

3. Physical Distancing

Choruses will stagger leaving the building to avoid crowding near the exit. In order to facilitate this process, we ask that all choristers be picked up on time and not plan to remain in the building.

Adhering to the current SFDPH guidelines, parents are asked to pick-up and drop off their choristers outdoors.  When entry into the premises is necessary (either due to an appointment, or a prior arrangement with our YWCP staff), we will continue to follow protocols for the safety of everyone and allow only fully-vaccinated individuals to enter the venue.

4. Ventilation and Cleaning

We have moved our rehearsals to Calvary Presbyterian Church where we will have larger spaces, better ventilation and frequent cleaning.

We will have designated breaks during rehearsals where we will leave the rooms to let the air exchange in the room. YWCP is working on getting a measurement on each room’s air exchange rate to determine the length of rehearsals before a break is needed.

While in the facility, we ask choristers to frequently wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer (some will be located at the check-in table).

5. Symptom Screening and Attendance

As suggested by the SF Department of Public Health, YWCP will no longer require health screening before coming to rehearsals. It is important to know the symptoms of COVID-19 and not send your daughters to rehearsal if they are sick. Please read the linked Health Check Handout to be sure you know the symptoms associated with this virus.

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 San Francisco Department of Public Health follow these instructions.

Who must stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

  • People with COVID-19
  • People with symptoms of COVID-19 who haven’t been tested or are waiting for their test results
  • People who had Close Contact to someone with COVID-19 and are not Up-to-Date on their COVID-19 vaccination (see definition below).

Up-to-Date on Vaccination means either (a) two weeks have passed since completing primary series, AND you are not yet eligible for a booster does (less than 2 months after a J&J vaccine; less than 5 months after an mRNA vaccine) OR (b) you have received a booster dose.

Contact your physician about when you should test to return to school and chorus.

 

6. Testing

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

Exceptions:

1. We will require a negative rapid-antigen test before all concerts and performances.

2. Special restrictions and local guidelines for international travel will be given to YWC families at the appropriate time prior to the 2022 summer tour.

3. Every singer or employee who has travelled outside of California – regardless of vaccination status – is now asked to provide YWCP with a negative COVID test taken within 24 hours before returning to rehearsal, after travel. This can be either a PCR or a rapid antigen test. A home test is acceptable, we are not requiring a lab test.

4. When returning to Chorus after a COVID-19 quarantine period, choristers may need to be lab tested and show proof of a negative COVID test.

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.