General Summary of Standard Recommendations

Last Updated: 05.04.2022 at 12:30 p.m.

This summary page is intended to serve as a brief reference for general guidance on reopening activities within the dance field. Please be sure to reference the Standard Recommendations and Scenario Addendums for more in depth information and additional considerations for specific activities. 

Table of Contents:

  1. Cultural Sector Response to lifting of Vaccine and Mask Mandates
  2. Government Mandates and Updates
  3. Classifications
  4. Physical Distancing
  5. Visitor Management
  6. Communication and Signage
  7. Protective Equipment – Masking
  8. Hygiene, Cleaning & Disinfection
  9. Return-to-Office Guidance
  10. Commerce
  11. Vaccines
  12. Screening
  13. Testing
  14. Tracking
  15. Dance-specific Enhanced Safety Guidance
  16. Learn More: Dance Field Scenarios 
  17. Consolidated Resources

1. Cultural Sector Response to Lifting of Vaccine and Mask Mandates

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2. Government Mandates and Updates

KEY TO NYC:

Mandated:

Workplace Vaccination Requirement: All private-sector employers in NYC must see proof of employees’ first dose by December 27th, 2021 and proof of a second dose by Thursday, February 10th, 2022 (unless the employee got the single-shot Johnson & Johnson). Those employers are required to sign and publicly post an affirmation that they’re complying with the mandate

Best Practices:

Though no longer mandated, Responsible Parties may require that all people over the age of 5 show proof of two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by or authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO (except for those 18 years and older who received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine) for indoor dining, indoor fitness (includes dance and other fitness studios), and indoor entertainment (includes theaters and performance venues). 

NY HERO ACT:

Mandated:

Private sector employers are still required to have an Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan (the “Plan”), but are no longer required to implement the Plan at this time. Employers can adopt a model safety plan as crafted by the New York State Department of Labor, or develop their own safety plan in compliance with the previous HERO Act standards. 

Best Practices:

Continue to implement workplace safety plans to prevent workplace infections.

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3. Classifications

Mandated:

No mandates at this time.

Best Practices:

Lower risk dance activities are characterized by: 

  • Greatest ability to maintain physical distance of at least six feet and/or be performed individually; and greatest ability to: 
    • (1) avoid touching of shared equipment (including, but not limited to, barres, sound systems, dance floor, mats, media/live-stream equipment, poles, chairs, tables, props, musical instruments, microphones, etc.), 
    • (2) clean and disinfect any equipment between uses by different individuals, or 
    • (3) not use shared equipment at all.
  • Examples: Solo work, solo teaching, and other similar activities

Moderate risk dance activities are characterized by: 

  • Limited ability to maintain physical distance and/or be done individually; and limited ability to: 
    • (1) avoid touching of shared equipment (including, but not limited to, barres, sound systems, dance floor, mats, media/live-stream equipment, poles, chairs, tables, props, musical instruments, microphones, etc.), 
    • (2) clean and disinfect equipment between uses by different individuals, or 
    • (3) not use shared equipment at all.
  • Examples: Contactless dance training; duet, trio, and small group rehearsals (under 10 people); other similar activities

Higher risk dance activities are characterized by: 

  • Least ability to maintain physical distance and/or be done individually; and least ability to: 
    • (1) avoid touching of shared equipment (including, but not limited to, barres, sound systems, dance floor, mats, media/live-stream equipment, poles, chairs, tables, props, musical instruments, microphones, etc.), 
    • (2) clean and disinfect equipment between uses by different individuals, or 
    • (3) not use shared equipment at all.
  • Examples: Contact improvisation, dance partnering, close-formation spacing, large (over 10 people) group dance training and rehearsals, and other similar activities

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4. Physical Distancing

Mandates:

No mandates at this time.

Best Practices:

Reduce capacity within the studio, theater, or performing arts center in which dance activity is being implemented. Consider reduced capacity for office-based work or non-dance activity as well.

Make remote options available and accessible (for rehearsals, office-based dance work, performances, etc). Consider a hybrid remote and in-person model of any and all dance activity.

A distance of at least six feet is recommended among individuals at all times, unless safety requires a shorter distance. A further distance (8 or more feet) is preferable between dancers with other dancers or teachers.

Provide distance markers, signage, or taped-off areas in studios and theaters denoting physical distancing.

Conduct activities outdoors, to the extent possible. 

Prohibit higher-risk activities where physical contact cannot be continuously avoided, and discourage hands-on adjustments in classes.

Consider cohort or ‘bubble’ style activities.

Implement and encourage the use of appointments, reservations, and/or remote check-ins. 

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5. Visitor Management

Mandated:

Responsible Parties must maintain at minimum ADA compliance within any space modifications and must publicly communicate any changes or adjustments to accessibility measures within the space

Best Practices:

Monitor and control the flow of traffic into the studio, theater, or performing arts center.

Close amenities, where applicable, including locker rooms and dressing rooms, communal showers, common seating areas within the studios, theater, or performing arts center, and/or water fountains.

Prohibit or limit guests/spectators on site.

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6. Communication and Signage

Mandated:

Develop a written Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan as per the NY HERO Act guidelines. Businesses are no longer actively required to implement the Plan at this time, but must have one in place. Employers can adopt a model safety plan as crafted by the New York State Department of Labor, or develop their own safety plan in compliance with the previous HERO Act standards. 

Best Practices:

Conspicuously post completed safety plans on site for employees. 

Post signage inside and outside of the studio, theater, or performing arts center, consistent with New York DOH COVID-19 signage, to remind employees and patrons/dancers/teachers/audience members to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning and disinfection protocols.

For any online/virtual offerings, accessibility services such as ASL Interpretation and Live captioning for live streaming as well as ALT text and image descriptions for social media posts provide access to disabled people.

Consider developing web pages, text and email groups, and/or social media to to communicate with the public/audience members/patrons/renters/dancers/etc.

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7. Protective Equipment – Masking

Mandated:

Masks are no longer required to be worn in indoor public places in New York State, except: public transportation, hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons.

Best Practices:

Encourage or require use of masks, even if dancers/office-based workers/audience members/renters/etc are fully vaccinated. New York State and the State’s Department of Health continue to strongly recommend mask-wearing in all public indoor settings as an added layer of protection, even when not required and regardless of vaccination status. 

Children 2 – 5 years old who remain ineligible for vaccination should wear a proper-fitting mask.

Learn more about the CDC’s Guide to Masks, including which masks provide more protection.

Mask use should be maintained and promoted through signage throughout building. 

Responsible Parties should have masks available to the public if mask use is required on the premises.

When it interferes with a core activity such as hair, makeup, or wardrobe, dancers may temporarily remove their face coverings and should don them as soon as possible. Have dancers arrive “camera ready,” to the extent possible.

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8. Hygiene, Cleaning & Disinfection

Mandated:

No mandates at this time.

Best Practices:

Conduct regular cleaning and disinfection of the studio, theater, or performing arts center and more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high risk areas and frequently touched surfaces. Ensure that individuals are not sharing equipment without cleaning and disinfection between use. 

Studios with wheelchair users should have dance floors cleaned after use, prior to use by another party.

Encourage patrons and dancers to bring their own personal equipment.

Adjust hours of operation as necessary to enable enhanced cleaning procedures. Maintain logs that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

Open windows and doors to maximize air circulation.

Stagger occupancy times with enough time between each user for air to recirculate. Consider an interim cleaning/air circulation period of at least 30 minutes.

Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations on site.

For facilities with central air handling systems:

Ensure central HVAC system filtration meets the highest rated filtration compatible with the currently installed filter rack and air handling systems.

Facilities that do not have HVAC systems installed, do not control the HVAC system within their facility, or have a central air handling system that are unable to meet a filtration rating of MERV-13 or greater:

Adopt additional ventilation and air filtration mitigation protocols per CDC and ASHRAE recommendations. 

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9. Return-to-Office Guidance

Mandated:

Develop a written Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan as per the NY HERO Act guidelines. Businesses are no longer actively required to implement the Plan at this time, but must have one in place. Employers can adopt a model safety plan as crafted by the New York State Department of Labor, or develop their own safety plan in compliance with the previous HERO Act standards. 

Best Practices:

Consider limiting the number of employees, hours, and patrons/dancers/teachers/audience members served when first reopening so as to provide operations with the ability to adjust to the changes.

Limit in-person employee gatherings to the greatest extent possible and consider use of other methods such as video or teleconferencing whenever possible.

Take measures to reduce interpersonal contact and congregation, through methods such as adjusting workplace hours; encouraging use of outdoor spaces, where possible; batching activities/staggering scheduled tasks; etc.

Create policies which encourage employees to work from home when feasible, and provide the appropriate infrastructure needed (security, digital network, storage, video conference software, etc.)

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10. Commerce

Mandated:

No mandates at this time.

Best Practices:

Implement touchless payment options, pay ahead, or reserve options.

Discourage walk-in reservations or ticket purchases.

Reduce the need for Will Call or Box Office by providing and accepting digital tickets and/or making self check-in stations available within the facility.

Limit distribution of  paper playbills or programs; instead make this information available digitally.

Establish designated areas for pickups and deliveries, limiting contact to the extent possible. 

Responsible Parties should follow the NYS DOH food service guidelines applicable to their region for any food services activities.

Responsible Parties should follow the NYS DOH retail guidelines applicable to their region for any retail services activities.

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11. Vaccines

Mandated:

Workplace vaccination requirement:

All private-sector employers in NYC must see proof of employees’ first dose by December 27th, 2021 and proof of a second dose by Thursday, February 10th, 2022 (unless the employee got the single-shot Johnson & Johnson). Those employers are required to sign and publicly post an affirmation that they’re complying with the mandate.

Best Practices:

Implement a vaccine policy, as outlined in the Key to NYC Pass program (in effect August 19, 2021 through March 6, 2022): As of January 29, 2022, people over the age of 5 were required to show proof of two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by or authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO (except for those 18 years and older who received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine) for indoor dining, indoor fitness (includes dance and other fitness studios), and indoor entertainment (includes theaters and performance venues). 

Proof of vaccination may include:

  • Excelsior Pass
  • NYC COVID Safe App
  • CDC Vaccination Card
  • NYC Vaccination Record

If 12 years of age or older, and at least five months out from original vaccine series, receive a booster dose.

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12. Screening

Mandated:

No mandates at this time.

Best Practices:

Implement mandatory daily health screening practices completed using a questionnaire for employees, patrons, performers/talent, and, where practicable, contractors and vendors. 

These screenings may be conducted remotely, or at/near the entrance to the building, to minimize the impact in case of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

All employees, patrons, contracts, and vendors who complete a questionnaire must provide contact information for the purpose of contact tracing and notification.

Screeners should be provided with and use PPE.

Designate a site safety monitor whose responsibilities include continuous compliance with all aspects of the site safety plan.

Accessibility should be taken into account when screening persons with disabilities.

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13. Testing

Mandated:

Following a positive COVID-19 test, individual should isolate for 5 days. According to the CDC, if you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house. Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

Following exposure to someone with COVID-19, wear a mask around others for 10 days and get tested on Day 5 following exposure. If individual is not boosted or unvaccinated, isolate for 5 days and get tested on Day 5, then continue to wear a mask for 5 additional days.

Best Practices:

Require dance and non-dance employees whose job functions or roles involve close or proximate contact with others, have been tested for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test prior to their participation in on-site activity, and continue to be tested on a regular schedule thereafter (e.g. once per week, every two (2) weeks, etc.) when on site or location.

Responsible Parties may offer to perform FDA-authorized antigen (rapid) testing for individuals on the premises prior to a performance/event.

Following a positive COVID-19 test, isolate for 10 full days, and make sure all symptoms have resolved and subsequent COVID-19 tests are negative before ending isolation.

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14. Tracking

Mandates:

No mandates at this time.

Best Practices:

Notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test result by an individual at their studio, theater, or performing arts center.

In the case of an individual testing positive on site, the Responsible Parties should trace and notify all individuals who entered the studio, theater, or performing arts center dating back 48 hours before the individual first experienced COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive, whichever is earlier. Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state law and regulations.

Employees who are alerted that they have come into close contact with a person with COVID-19, and have been alerted via tracing, tracking or other mechanism, should  self-report to their employer 

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15. Dance-specific Enhanced Safety Guidance

Please refer to our Dance-Specific Enhanced Safety Guidance section on our Standard Recommendations page.

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16. Learn More: Dance Field Scenarios

Please refer to our Dance Field Scenarios pages, which offer additional considerations and recommendations above and beyond the Standard Recommendations. 

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17. Consolidated Resources

For a comprehensive list of Resources, please visit the Resources Page of this website. 

General Information
Workplace Guidance
Personal Protective Equipment Guidance
Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidance 
Screening and Testing Guidance

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