COVID-19 Response Plan

Last updated: June 30, 2021

As state-mandated COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, vaccination rates increase, and COVID case numbers drop, we have updated our COVID-19 related policies at Esh. All new policies went into effect beginning with the Summer Session on June 21. 

As we move into this new phase, our goals are to keep the health and safety of our community at the forefront of our decision-making; to continue making and implementing policies that are in line with current scientific understanding, research, and guidance; and to respond to and be guided by the feedback and consensus of our community. We received nearly 150 responses to our recent student survey, and we took this feedback seriously as we considered these changes. Thank you to everyone who responded! 

We also want to let our community know that of the folks who responded to our survey, 100% of those respondents who can be vaccinated were either fully vaccinated at the time of response (97%) or had received one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and would receive a second dose soon (3%). This information also influenced our decision-making. We are grateful for the care, dedication to safety and inclusivity, and high rates of vaccine uptake in our community. 

COVID Response Policies

General studio procedures:

  • Mats will be cleaned and disinfected at the end of each day; mats that are visibly sweaty or dirty will be cleaned immediately after use.
  • High touch surfaces will be cleaned daily.
  • Hand sanitizer will remain available in several locations throughout the studio. All students will still be required to wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before each class and lesson.
  • In order to prevent crowding in the lobby between classes, there will be 20 minutes between youth classes and 15 minutes between adult classes.
  • Our air filtration system will continue to run at all times, and the garage door will be open when possible in order to increase ventilation and air flow in the studio space.
  • More of our aerial rigging points will be used in the studio simultaneously. All of our points are at least 7 feet apart.

For all youth programming:

  • In alignment with state guidance, we will continue to require masks for all youth students ages 15 and under regardless of vaccination status. Coaches teaching youth students will also be masked, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Youth students may share classroom materials, including aerial apparatuses, during class time, in accordance with guidance issued by the state department of education.
  • We will continue to avoid activities that require children to be in direct physical contact with one another, such as partner balancing or duo aerials.

For all adult programming:

  • All instructors and Esh staff are fully vaccinated. Instructors will have the option to go unmasked while teaching adult students. This decision is made with scientific guidance in mind, as well as with an eye towards accessibility for our hard-of-hearing students, for whom understanding an instructor wearing a mask is significantly more difficult. 
  • Adult students who show proof of vaccination (full dose plus two weeks) will have the option to go unmasked in aerial and most ground-based classes (partner acrobatics classes might require masks depending on class consensus). 
  • Unvaccinated adults and those who do not wish to provide Esh with proof of vaccination will be required to continue wearing masks while training in the studio. 
  • Anyone – staff or student – who wishes to continue wearing a mask for any reason will be welcome to do so.
  • Because partner acrobatics classes necessarily require close contact, proof of vaccination will be required to participate in these classes. Each class will decide as a group whether to wear masks or if masking will be optional, based on participants’ comfort levels. Students signing up for partner acro classes should be prepared not only to provide proof of vaccination, but to keep masks on throughout the class if that is the class consensus.
  • Total capacity in the studio during adult classes will be increased slightly, to a maximum of about 20 students during certain class times. Much of the time, total numbers will be lower than this.
  • Equipment may be used multiple times during the day, and students may share equipment during classes. Most adult aerial classes at Esh will continue to have enough apparatuses available that all students can be in the air at the same time.

We know that in particular, the choice to go unmasked in public spaces is an individual one. Folks will always be welcome to wear a mask at Esh for as long as this remains the right decision on a personal level. Esh remains a consent-based space and one in which individual choices and decisions will always be respected.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to monitor the latest developments and research regarding this virus, and will update our protocols based on new information. We will continue to communicate with our community about policy changes. If you have questions, thoughts, or feedback, please feel free to get in touch any time at info@eshcircusarts.com. 

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