2020 is turning out to be a doozy, isn't it? First bushfires and now COVID-19 is confirmed in the ACT... Its been a test of our resilience community's resilience, and I know we will get through this together.
At 6P HQ (aka our family home), Brendan - 6P co-owner and hubby to yours truly - have been keeping an eye on COVID-19 since January. These actions of preparedness come with our former lives; Brendan's history as an enrolled nurse in various roles, including Respiratory, Emergency and Palliative wards, and my former APS career working in National Security Resilience, including exercising a national pandemic plan with Federal and State governments.
We have spent this weekend discussing which of our plans to put into place. Like many other movement communities and small businesses around the world, we are attempting to balance solutions that keep our community safe and healthy, and our team in our livelihoods. Our current plan of action is based on three key points:
- we are a community of adults (as a health official once said to me, children are germ carriers - no offense to anyone's child/ren)
- our studio has no external hirers
- we have one single studio.
Below, you will find our current course of action; however, please bear in mind COVID-19 is dynamic, and our action plan will change in accordance with virus movements.
What We are Already Doing
As mentioned in our recent Facebook post, our entire premise, including all common surfaces, is regularly cleaned using an infection control approach (informed by the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare). And yes, this includes the door handles.
We already ask those who borrow our yoga mats to spray and wipe them with the disinfect spray provided after use. Please continue to do so.
Our bathrooms are also well-stocked with hand soap for you to wash your hands thoroughly before and after class.
What Else We Will be Doing
As of Monday, 16 March, the following changes will take place to help us combat the spread of COVID-19, while balancing your movements needs and keeping our team in our livelihoods:
Reduce Class Sizes
All class sizes will be reduced to 15 people per class, until June 2020.
If you have booked in for a class that is usually well attended (e.g. Wednesday Beginner Ballet), you may have been moved to the waitlist - please log in and check your MindBody schedules. Thank you for your flexibility and understanding.
Disinfecting Ballet Barres
In addition to their regular clean, our ballet barres will be sprayed with disinfectant spray before each ballet class. Our teachers already have their hands full during class changeovers, so if you have a spare minute before class, please grab the Glen 20 bottle and help them out! We recommend using a paper hand towel to create a barrier between yourself and the bottle.
Paper Hand Towels in Bathrooms
Cloth hand towels are great for the environment, but not so much for infection control. A roll of paper hand towel has been added in each bathroom to dry your hands and create a barrier for turning off the tap. Please dispose of your used paper hand towels in the bins we provide across premises.
Tap and COVID-19
We unfortunately have very little control over the O'Donnell Youth Centre, but we will do the best we can and are equipping our tap teachers with 'Corona kits', i.e. Glen 20. Tap teachers will spray down an area for you to place your belongings, prior to the start of class.
What You Can Do
Here is what you can do to make sure our action plan is effective, and to help keep 6P as healthy as possible:
- practice good sneezing and coughing hygiene at the studio; cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow (not our hands!)
- wash your hands well before and after class, as well as after you cough or sneeze
- avoid touching your face; eyes, nose and mouth are epicenters for germs
- if you have travelled recently, please allow 14 days to pass before returning to the studio; this applies to ALL TRAVEL (regardless of whether it is interstate or international)
- above all, if you are unwell, please refrain from attending any 6P class for 14 days.
As the old saying goes: it takes a village! And we have a darn good one, if I do say so myself. Please remember, we have community members and teachers who fall into the high risk catgeory - we have always looked after one another, and it is even more important we do so now.
What You Can do for Your Overall Health
Amongst all the sanitation talk, it can be easy to forget other aspects of your health. Good overall health is your best prevention against any disease. We should all be doing the following every day, but it is even more important to remember to do so during this particularly stressful time:
- eat a wholesome and well-balanced diet to fuel your immune system
- exercise regularly to build and maintain a healthy respiratory system
- expose yourself to sunlight daily (and safely) to boost your mood and mental health
- get the recommended hours of night sleep to recharge your body and mind.
We also understand that despite our carefully planned precautions, there are some in our community who are in the high risk category for COVID-19, and would prefer to stay away from 6P entirely. We will support your decision by extending any current studio pass on your account. If this is you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include a letter from your GP to obtain your pass extension.
Thank you for sticking with me through this long post; this is a lot of information to take in. We know this is a lot of change in a very short amount of time, but it is important we all do our part in combating COVID-19, to the best of our ability - something we as a community of dancers all have a tendency to do, anyway!
As always, please reach out to me with any questions or feedback you may have. I am always happy to chat with our community. You can find my contact details at the bottom of this page.
Stay healthy, stay safe, dancers.
- Gen xx