Orlando Sings, Inc.
UPDATE AUGUST 30, 2021
The purpose of this policy is to maximize safety and provide transparency for all associated with Orlando Sings. This policy seeks to align with the best research-based practices for singing safely during the pandemic.
International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study (UPDATED 8/12/21)
A study about aerosols, specifically as they relate to participating in music ensembles, is ongoing at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Maryland. Their most up-to-date recommendations include:
- Masks. Masking with appropriate material remains the best way of reducing potential infected aerosol from circulating in an indoor space. Masks are recommended be worn while singing and speaking.
- Rehearsal Times. In spaces with good ventilation rates and HEPA filtration, increased indoor rehearsal times of 50 minutes may be considered. A minimum of 3 air exchanges per hour should be used, if there are spaces with higher air change rates, you may consider longer rehearsal times.
- Physical Distancing. Distancing may be decreased to 3 feet.
- Hygiene. Continue good hygiene practice moving forward, including hand washing.
- Face Shields and Partitions. Plastic face shields only stop large droplets, not aerosol; room dividers inhibit the function of the HVAC system and are not recommended.
The CDC issued updated masking guidance as of July 27, 2021, in response to new evidence on the Delta variant currently circulating in the United States. They recommend that all people, including the fully vaccinated, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission (96% of counties in the U.S. as of August 23). Fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease, or not fully vaccinated. The CDC continues to recommend that people without vaccines mask, distance, and take other precautions, as well as avoiding specific situations. The CDC further recommends the following:
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- If you came into close contact with someone with COVID-19 get tested 3-5 days after the date of your exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
- Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
VACCINES ARE REQUIRED
To maximize safety for all participants, Orlando Sings requires all participants of in-person gatherings or meetings to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 including singers, staff, board members, and contracted personnel. An individual is fully vaccinated when they have completed a vaccination protocol including the two-week waiting period. All Orlando Sings participants must be fully vaccinated before attending an audition, activity, meeting, rehearsal, or performance.
Under Florida law, businesses can require all employees (and volunteers) to be vaccinated, and can ask about vaccination status, but they can not require proof of vaccination status. Therefore we must depend on an “honor system” where individuals must personally guarantee they are fully vaccinated. However, if a paid or volunteer participant will not get vaccinated because of a medical condition, disability or a sincerely held religious belief, he or she may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation upon request.
MASKS ARE REQUIRED
Orlando Sings requires all singers to wear a mask in auditions, rehearsals, and performances. This universal mask wearing policy will avoid an inconsistent patchwork of some wearing masks while others are not, and the likely result of some persons being treated differently than others; or inadvertently revealing who is and is not vaccinated, which may be disruptive and may unintentionally single out those who do not get the vaccine, including for medical, disability, or religious reasons.
Mask Guidance from the World Health Organization:
- Wearing a mask should now be a normal and accepted part of being around other people.
- The appropriate use, storage and cleaning or disposal of masks are essential to make them as effective as possible.
- Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time.
- Make sure it covers both your nose, mouth and chin.
- When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic bag, and every day either wash it if it’s a fabric mask, or dispose of a medical mask in a trash bin.
- Don’t use masks with valves.
ADDITIONAL SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Our rehearsal space at FUMC is equipped with a state-of-the-art HVAC system, which includes a 2-inch MERV-8 pre-filter and a 12-inch hospital-grade MERV 15 filter. In addition, the system senses any increase in CO2 in the room and automatically increases the amount of outside air into the mix upon recirculation.
All singing and non-singing participants in any Orlando Sings program will also abide by the following precautions:
- You must wash your hands vigorously and/ or use hand sanitizer upon arrival.
- Your temperature will be taken with a touchless thermometer. If above 100.3°F, you will not be permitted to enter.
- Staff will be at a check-in table to mark your attendance with a tablet using cloud-based software to avoid use of shared pens and pencils.
- You will also be asked the following screening questions (if your answer is yes to any of the screening questions, you will not be permitted to enter):
- Have you experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 48 hours: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea?
- Have you been in close physical contact in the last 14 days with anyone who is known to have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 OR anyone who has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
- Are you isolating or quarantining because you may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 or are worried that you may be sick with COVID-19?
- Are you currently waiting on the results of a COVID-19 test?
- Have you traveled internationally in the past 10 days?
- If you start to feel ill during rehearsal, please leave immediately.
- Close greetings like hugs or handshakes are sadly discouraged for now.
- Singers will be placed with at least 3-feet distance between singers when feasible. If there are not pre-set chairs (e.g. during a sectional rehearsal), singers are asked to attempt to keep 3-feet distance as much as possible.
- Staff will not use vocal or physical exercises that involve face touching or excessive physical movement.
- Singers must always have their own copy of the music, as sharing music will not be permitted.
- Singers are asked to bring their own bottle of hand sanitizer, so that they are able to sanitize their hands during rehearsal if they accidentally touch their face, sneeze, or otherwise might have germs on their hands.
- Records of attendance and seating arrangements will be kept for 30 days in case needed for contact tracing.
- Whenever possible, doors will be propped open in order to reduce contact with door handles.
- Singers, Staff, and Volunteers must wash/sanitize their hands:
- When they arrive and before they go home.
- Before and after breaks.
- Before and after eating or handling food.
- After using the toilet.
- After sneezing or coughing into their hands or a tissue.
- After putting their hands on their face or nose.
- After cleaning tasks or handling garbage.
- Whenever hands are visibly dirty.
- If a singer tests positive for COVID-19 he/she is required to notify our office. We will then notify those with direct contact, and those persons in closest proximity will be required to either wait 10 days from date of contact before returning to rehearsal/ concert/ event; or provide a negative covid test to return sooner. We will also notify everyone in the ensemble.
- All singers may be asked to provide results of a negative COVID test taken within 3 days before a dress rehearsal and concert.
- Additional safety procedures may be added.
ACCEPTANCE OF VACCINE POLICY FOR ALL NEW STAFF/ VOLUNTEERS/ PARTICIPANTS
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that employers could require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Paid singers and staff therefore apply for employment under the condition that they accept and will abide by this policy. Further, any person, paid or volunteer, who chooses to work on staff, audition, sing, or in any way take part in a choir, administrative work, or any program of Orlando Sings also chooses to accept this policy, including vaccination, masking, distancing, and other safety protocols. If any person does not wish to be fully vaccinated for any reason other than a disability or sincerely held religious belief, we respectfully ask that they delay auditioning or applying until this policy changes.
All participants must acknowledge that there are risks associated with entering rehearsal facilities and/or participating in Orlando Sings programs, rehearsals, and activities, and that the measures taken by the organization, it’s staff, contractors, volunteers, members and other participants, including those set out above and under any additional COVID-19 safety protocols, will not entirely eliminate those risks. By participating with Orlando Sings, whether as staff or program participant (choir member), you agree to be bound by the terms of the following Liability Waiver.
Note that application for employment and/ or participation in any chorus or program of Orlando Sings is completely voluntary. Nobody is forced to participate against their will.
This policy is subject to change according to current conditions or government mandates.
COVID-19 Liability Waiver
In exchange for use of the property, facilities, programs, and services of Orlando Sings, Inc., of Orlando, Florida, or in exchange for employment or contracted work from Orlando Sings, Inc., of Orlando, Florida, I, ______________________________, agree for myself and (if applicable) for the members of my family, to the following:
- AGREEMENT TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. I agree to observe and obey all posted rules and warnings regarding COVID-19, and further agree to follow any oral instructions or directions given by Orlando Sings, Inc., or the employees, representatives, or agents of Orlando Sings, Inc..
- ASSUMPTION OF THE RISKS AND RELEASE. I recognize that there are certain inherent risks associated with the above described activity regarding COVID-19, acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and understand that CDC and public health authorities recommend the practice of physical distancing, and I assume full responsibility for personal injury, death, disease or property losses, or any other loss to myself and (if applicable) my family members, and further release and discharge Orlando Sings, Inc. and its officers, directors, managers, officials, trustees, agents, employees, or other representatives for injury, loss or damage arising out of my or my family’s use of or presence upon the facilities, programs, and services of Orlando Sings, Inc., whether caused by the fault of myself, my family, Orlando Sings, Inc., or other third parties. I acknowledge that Orlando Sings, Inc. has followed all local and state requirements regarding the coronavirus pandemic to reduce the spread of COVID-19. I acknowledge that Orlando Sings, Inc. cannot guarantee that I will not become infected with COVID-19.
- INDEMNIFICATION. I agree to indemnify and defend Orlando Sings, Inc. against all claims, causes of action, damages, judgments, costs or expenses, including attorney fees and other litigation costs, which may in any way arise from my or my family’s use of or presence upon the facilities, programs, and services of Orlando Sings, Inc.
- CIVIL LIABILITY. Florida law protects organizations and businesses, including nonprofit organizations, from civil liability in the event they should be sued because of someone using their facility or their services catching COVID-19 or suffering from the virus.
- APPLICABLE LAW. Any legal or equitable claim that may arise from participation in the above shall be resolved under Florida law.
- NO DURESS. I agree and acknowledge that I am under no pressure or duress to sign this Agreement and the I have been given a reasonable opportunity to review it before signing. I further agree and acknowledge that I am free to have my own legal counsel review this Agreement if I so desire. I further agree and acknowledge that Orlando Sings, Inc., has offered to refund any fees I have paid to use its facilities, programs, and services if I choose not to sign this Agreement.
- ARM’S LENGTH AGREEMENT. This Agreement and each of its terms are the product of an arm’s length negotiation between the Parties. In the vent any ambiguity is found to exist in the interpretation of this Agreement, or any of its provisions, the Parties, and each of them, explicitly reject the application of any legal or equitable rule of interpretation which would lead to a construction wither “for” or “against” a particular party based upon their status as the drafter of a specific term, language, or provision giving riser to such ambiguity.
- ENFORCEABILITY. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this Agreement, whether standing alone or as applied to a particular occurrence or circumstance shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision of this Agreement or of any other applications of such provision, as the case may be, and such invalid or unenforceable provision shall be deems not to be part of this Agreement.
- DISPUTE RESOLUTION. The parties will attempt to resolve any dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement through friendly negotiations amongst the parties. If the matter is not resolved by negotiation, the parties will resolve the dispute using the below Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure: Any controversies or disputes arising out of or relating to this Agreement will be submitted to mediation in accordance with any statutory rules of mediation. If mediation is not successful in resolving the entire dispute or is unavailable, any outstanding issues will be submitted to final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrator’s award will be final, and judgment may be entered upon it by any court having proper jurisdiction.
I HAVE READ THIS DOCUMENT AND UNDERSTAND IT. I FURTHER UNDERSTAND THAT BY SIGNING THIS RELEASE, I VOLUNTARILY SURRENDER CERTAIN LEGAL RIGHTS.