Ignite Choir Inc. COVID SAFE PLAN
With the risk of COVID-19, it is important that the Ignite Choir Inc. community have a plan to keep our members safe when attending an Ignite event. This plan outlines the planning, precautions and actions that the Ignite Choir Inc. Committee will oversee.
Ignite = Ignite Choir Inc.
Committee = Currently active members of the Ignite Choir Inc. governing committee
Live/In-Person attendance = Attending an Ignite event (rehearsal/concert/other) in person where there is an elevated risk of viral transmission due to proximity or contact
Virtual attendance (Remote) = Attending an Ignite event (rehearsal/concert/other) over the Internet using technologies such as Zoom/Skype (as opposed to Live or In-Person attendance)
Members of Chorister = Choir members involved with singing
Vulnerable members = Choir members who fall under the following categories:
- people aged 70 years and over
- people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions
- people with compromised (weakened) immune systems or who
- support a person with a compromised immune system
Release Date: 3/7/20
Comments: Initial release of document
Release Date: 4/8/20
Comments: Use of masks, hand sanitiser and appointment of Covid Safe Monitor during period of high risk of community transmission
Release Date: 11/8/20
Comments: Addition for Open Mic
Release Date: 29/10/20
Comments: New version adding Part 2 for Events (including end of year concert).
Release Date: 30/11/20
Comments: Update to Events in line with Roadmap to Recovery, Minor amendments in other sections
Ignite Choir Inc. (Ignite) will follow government requirements for physical distancing, hygienic behaviours, contact tracing and other protocols that may arise. The Committee will implement additional measures beyond the minimum requirements to demonstrate our genuine desire to maximise the safety of our members. At the time of writing there are no guidelines in Australia specific to choral singing and COVID-19, therefore we will take a conservative approach to in-person (live) attendance for the safety of members. As many choir activities as possible will be available via a virtual (remote) option such as zoom rehearsals for people to choose to attend or during times where they are unable to attend in person.
Section 1. Rehearsals
Acceptance of Policy by Choir Members
By enrolling in an Ignite term after 1 July 2020, choir members are giving notice they have read and understood this COVID Safe Plan and are aware of their role in adhering to safety measures.
Attendance restriction measures
Ignite explicitly advise vulnerable people of the greater risk they face with group gatherings. This risk will be clearly communicated wherever possible including email reminders, Facebook, Instagram, website, and posters on-site during rehearsals.
In accordance with Australian government guidelines, members are not to attend Ignite Choir events:
- If they have returned from travelling overseas or a government mandated hotspot in Australia in the last 14 days (being individually responsible to be aware of restricted areas).
- If they have any symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath - see link to full list of symptoms (Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) compared with common cold and flu
- If they have taken a COVID-19 test and tested positive
- If they have taken a COVID-19 test and are still awaiting results
- If they have taken a COVID-19 test, tested negative but still have cold and/or flu symptoms
- If they live with or have had sustained contact (over 15 minutes) with a person who they know is awaiting a COVID-19 test result or has tested positive.
Coordination and preparatory measures will be put in place to ensure physical distancing is achieved in accordance with Australian government guidelines. These measures will include:
- Ascertaining the maximum total numbers allowed in any rehearsal or performance venue
- The configuration of the physical layout in any rehearsal venue will be designed for the safety of choristers, conductor and accompanist whilst maintaining visibility
- Using a rostered registration system to attend in-person (live) rehearsals where enrolled choir attendance numbers exceed the maximum safe number in a venue. (Guidance Sheet to be provided).
Research indicates that the duration of group gatherings for activities such as singing, should be limited. To ensure the best possible health outcomes, especially during the winter months and if greater COVID-19 risks develop, the duration and location of rehearsal sessions will be re-evaluated as needed in accordance with Government guidelines for gatherings and physical distancing requirements.
With limitations to attendance numbers the following conditions will apply to Live rehearsals:
- Members must not attend rehearsal under certain conditions including when sick (as per the list under ‘attendance restrictions numbers’)
- Members are advised that despite cold weather, ventilation will be a priority and as such members must dress appropriately (as though rehearsing outside).
- Total time at Ignite Choir Rehearsals will be reduced (for example to 1.5 hours maximum). This will impact social time before and after rehearsal.
- On site procedures
- The Committee will ensure the maximum numbers in a venue are maintained, adhering to Government requirements such as the 1.5m physical distancing rule and relevant per square metre or volume rulings. These measures will be applied conservatively, that is, wherever possible Ignite will go above and beyond minimum rulings.
- Choristers will be required to adhere to the physical distancing rule having a minimum distance of 1.5m between each person.
- Chairs or chorister placements will be arranged appropriately to enforce venue rulings.
- On arrival to a venue, members will be encouraged to move from their cars to their seat/SATB section, and not mingle socially at the entrance or sign-in desk.
- No use of the kitchen for food prep or meal sharing. It is to be only for filling of water bottles).
- Members are advised to bring their own FILLED drink bottles, coffee/tea thermoses or snacks. No food is to be shared.
- Members are advised they need to bring their own music and pens to rehearsal to prevent sharing of pens and music.
- Members advised to maintain physical distancing in toilets or hallways. It is recommended that only 2 persons in the toilet block at one time.
- COVID-19 posters published by the Australian government about physical distancing and hygiene will be displayed on entrance to rehearsal. Eg cough or sneeze into elbows / avoid touching the face
- Potential new members will only be able to attend Live rehearsals where they have provided contact tracing details and have had a place reserved for them.
Sanitising facilities and equipment
In accordance with Australian government COVID19 hygiene recommendations, chairs, door handles/push pads, bathroom taps, administration tables, lectern, piano and piano stool will be cleaned before AND after each rehearsal.
A rehearsal setup checklist (printed and online copies), will be used and initialled by a committee member for each rehearsal. This completed checklist will be provided to the school reception on each occasion the venue is used (scanned and emailed).
Health and hygiene measures
Ignite will supply hand sanitiser and tissues at the sign-in desk, for use by members as needed.
Cleaning supplies will be available for sanitising that will be carried out by committee members and choir members who have specifically volunteered and approved for this task. A lined bin will be available at rehearsals.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Members will comply with any compulsory Government requirement for the wearing of personal protective equipment such as masks or gloves at choir events.
During periods of high risk of community transmission in the South East Queensland region, members will be required to wear masks at rehearsals and to use hand sanitiser on entry. (High Risk is where Qld Health has issued a Public Health Alert for the region). A COVID Safe monitor will be appointed from the committee to enforce physical distancing at these times.
Outside periods of high risk of community transmission, members are welcome to wear masks to rehearsals, but it is not compulsory.
To minimise contact, all payments for choir membership, library fees, donations and other purchases will be arranged so they are cashless, using credit cards or direct debit. These arrangements will be communicated with all members via email, Facebook etc. Registration systems to promote this such as TryBooking for membership and library fees will be promoted.
A contact tracing statement is included in this policy as a risk management strategy for the choir, to clearly set out expectations and to assist in managing actions should a chorister or person in their immediate circle be diagnosed with COVID-19.
Register and Rehearsal Roll
The Ignite Choir Committee will maintain a full list of names, addresses and contact numbers on a master register for all enrolled members per term. Entry to rehearsals will be checked off on the roll weekly. The electronic version of the roll will be updated promptly after each rehearsal or event and saved in a location known to all committee members for ease of access.
New members must complete an electronic membership form, e.g. via trybooking link, sms link or website link, which documents their name, contact phone and contact email. Records will be kept in line with Government requirements.
Steps regarding a COVID-19 diagnosis
Members must advise the Ignite Choir Committee as soon as possible by sending an email to [email protected] if they or someone within their immediate circle receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis within 3 weeks following their attendance at an in-person/live rehearsal or rehearsals.
On receiving a notification that a choir member, or a person in their immediate circle has a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, the committee will take the following actions:
- Advise the member they will be contacting all choir members who attended the same rehearsal of the positive diagnosis and advising that the individual will not return to a choir event until a medical all-clear has been provided.
- Email all members who attended the same rehearsal or rehearsals, indicating there has been a diagnosis for a choir member or for someone within their immediate circle, confirming the person will not be attending again until a medical all-clear has been provided. It will also be suggested to members who attended the same event to have a COVID-19 test.
- If public health requirements advise the choir cease rehearsals, members will be notified.
- The committee will share any rehearsal register/roll with public health authorities and make choir members aware of this sharing of information.
COVID safe app
Members are to be encouraged to download the Covid Safe App (https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covidsafe-app).
Communication of COVID Safe Policy to Members
The COVID Safe Plan will be distributed to members as below.
- The plan will be available from the Ignite Choir website.
- Current active members will be emailed the plan and advised to read the plan prior to enrolling for a term. It is noted that attendance will be taken as acceptance of the plan.
- New member enquiries. Any person making an enquiry to join the choir will be emailed the plan.
- New member registration. Any person joining the choir will be emailed the plan.
- Members can direct any queries or comments about this COVID Safe Plan to the Ignite Choir Committee by email to [email protected]
Section 2. Planned Events with Audience
Open Mic Events
Open Mic Night is a valued event in the Ignite Choir inc. community. It provides members with an opportunity to develop their performance skills, as well as strengthening the relationships between members. To ensure that the risk of Covid-19 transmission is minimized at Open Mic Night events, the following plan will be enacted by the Ignite Choir Inc. Committee.
- Attendance at Open Mic Nights will require registration, via cashless booking.
- Maximum attendees will be guided by current square metre rulings or volume ruling whichever is lower.
- Members details for contact tracing purposes are already recorded via our membership process. Guests will be required to sign in and provide their full name, phone number and address or email. The committee will make a digital record of all attendees to the event.
- Registration to the event will indicate agreement by the person to the COVID Safe Plan.
- Registration and admittance to the event will be subject to the same conditions as rehearsals as outlined in the Ignite Choir Inc. Covid Safe Plan. Anyone considered to be a transmission risk due to experience of symptoms, awaiting a Covid-19 test, or having been in contact with a known case or in a hot spot will not be permitted entry. Entry will also require mandatory use of hand sanitizer on entry.
- Hygiene and sanitization practices as outlined in the Covid Safe Plan will also occur, with committee ensuring that chairs, door handles/push pads, bathroom taps, administration tables, lectern, piano (including keyboard), piano stool and other used items will be cleaned before AND after the event..
- The staging area will be at one end of the hall (near storage), with entry at the opposite end (near bathrooms). Access to the staging area will be limited to only necessary members, and performers will be invited to approach.
- There will be two options for the delivery of Open Mic, depending on the level of risk within the local community as indicated by Qld Health Contact Tracing COVID-19 alerts for the Brisbane City Council region.
- Where there has not been a confirmed case of community transmission within 14 days prior to event date:
- Cabaret style seating for audience members will be considered, for family or associate groups.
- Tables will be spaced a minimum of 1.5m apart.
- The front tables will be no closer than 4m from the staging area.
- Participants will be required to stay at their assigned table when not performing or accessing the bathroom.
- Masks will not be compulsory for audience members.
- Masks will not be compulsory for performers during their performance.
- Performers to use hand sanitizer before approaching the staging area.
- Microphones will be disinfected between each performance.
- Food and drink will be permitted. Participants will be encouraged to limit sharing of food or to bring items individually packaged.
- The venue will be ventilated with open windows.
- Where there has been a confirmed case of community transmission within 14 days prior to event date:
- Concert style seating for audience members, spaced 1.5m apart (chequerboard style).
- The front row will be no closer than 4m from the staging area
- Masks will be compulsory for audience members.
- Masks will not be compulsory for performers during their performance. Performers will be required to wear a mask at all other times.
- Performers are required to use hand sanitizer before approaching the staging area.
- Microphones will be disinfected between each performance.
- Food and drink will not be permitted, other than personal water bottles.
- The venue will be ventilated with open windows.
- Timeslot of Open Mic will be moved away from mealtimes.
- Please note this may be amended further if government regulations require stricter conditions on events and gatherings.
December 2020, End of Year Concert
An integral part of Ignite Choir’s yearly calendar are the concerts usually held at the end of each term. In 2020, due to the pandemic, concerts planned from March to September have been cancelled. The Choir is planning to stage a ‘Best-Of Ignite’ Concert in December 2020. Changes will be made to the usual concert format. The concert will be shorter and will use concert seating not cabaret.
To operate the concert as a COVID safe event at the usual venue, the New Hall, Sherwood State School, arrangements as outlined below will be in place to comply with physical distancing requirements and minimise the chance of disease transmission.
The Ignite Choir Committee will take measures to ensure planning, promotion and concert day arrangements are in place in line with government guidelines.
Event planning (before the event)
- The total number of people at the venue, will comply with current physical distancing requirements per square metre or volume, which ever is the smallest.
- Concert staging will be set up so that choir and band members will be physically distanced during rehearsals and performance to the extent that is practically possible (1.5M). For example, large group entrance/exists that require queuing will be minimised; and suitably sized rooms and toilet access will be reserved for performers Green Room, with no access by audience members.
- Plans for the venues will be established so that all entry will be monitored, and contact tracing details recorded.
- Contract tracing will be in place to record the name, phone number, email or home address, for Ignite Choir members, band, contractors, crew, and volunteers to the event.
- Contract tracing will be in place to record the name, phone number, email or home address of audience.
- Audience will be seated and ticketed using e.g. TryBooking and will be pre-booked.
- Records will be securely stored for 56 days after the event for contact tracing purposes.
- The concert length will be shortened to reduce time in large groups, and a concert interval will be removed to minimise traffic and congregation points at toilets, entrances and exits.
- Practices will be implemented to manage the number of people inside discrete areas of the event, e.g., toilet facilities (e.g. COVID safe monitors).
- No food or drinks will be sold or provided free at the concert. Audience members will only be permitted to bring personal water bottles or snacks - no sharing of food is permitted.
- Tickets will be by pre-booking/payment. No cash payment will be accepted.
- An area will be established for audience or choir members who become unwell during the event and require isolation from other attendees.
- Cleaning protocols for high traffic areas will be established and the committee will ensure adequate supplies of cleaning products.
- Hand sanitising stations will be planned for entry points, outside toilets and throughout the event site for choir members and audience.
- The venue will utilise maximum ventilation.
- The seating plan will ensure that the front row of audience seats will be at least 4 metres from the performance area.
- Volunteers to the event will receive adequate orientation to COVID safe event plans.
- Checklists for concert day will be prepared and used to ensure all planned actions can be carried out
- Ignite Choir Committee will ensure to communicate the below expectations to concert attendees:
- A refund policy is clearly defined in social media and on the event website.
- Messaging that people must not attend the concert if they have COVID-19 symptoms will be prominently displayed on the event website
- Concert promotion will include health messages such as staying at home if unwell. Refunds will be available at late notice caused by ill health.
- Concert promotion will include instructions and pavement spacing indicators for entry points and registration to prevent crowding.
At the venue on concert day
- Health screening signs will be prominent at all entry points to the New Hall and Old Hall (Green Room) and event volunteers will manage screening questions of attendees.
- Hygiene signs for hand washing and sanitising practices, and physical distancing will be prominently displayed at the venue.
- Disposable masks for audience members, will be available at the registration desks. (Wearing will not be compulsory).
- The Concert MC will inform the audience of public health measures implemented at the venue.
- During the event, monitoring of physical distancing in discrete areas (toilet hallway, front of house) and queuing areas will occur.
- Cleaning protocols for high contact areas will be implemented including front of house and toilet areas.
- Front of house / entry queue will be set out to avoid crowding. Systems for contract tracing will include QR code as well as paper forms to meet the needs of the audience.
Choir Members, Band, Technical Staff and Volunteers
- Choir and band members, technical staff (crew) and volunteers must maintain physical distancing to the extent that is reasonably practical when performing, moving to and from performance spaces, in the Green Room before and after the concert and during break times.
- Choir and band members, technical staff and volunteers will be asked to:
- Use alcohol-based sanitiser regularly
- Maintain physical distance and resist all urge for physical greetings or congratulatory gestures.
- If necessary, suitable staging equipment (e.g. choir risers, temporary stage platforms) will be used to safely and comfortably accommodate performances by the choir, whilst maintaining physical distancing. Either capping of choir member numbers, or rezoning of audience seating will be carried out to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
- Entrances and exits by the whole choir group will be minimised during the concert.
- Microphones will be cleaned prior to use by another person.
- Choir members may choose to wear a mask.
- Contract tracing details will be recorded.
- Audience seating will comply with current physical distancing requirements relating to ticketed and seated events/gatherings.
- Audience members may choose to wear face masks.
Community transmission considerations
If community transmission is current in South East Queensland at the time of the concert, Ignite Choir Committee will adhere to all changes in Government regulations applied at the time, according to regional advice and other considerations. This may cause late notice decision as the timing of such circumstances is completely unpredictable. This may result in changes to the above plan in the areas of hygiene practices, mask use and other PPE, further limited numbers or even cancellation.