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Additional Considerations for Specific Sectors

Arts Educators

The Vermont Agency of Education has released Safety and Health Guidance for Vermont Schools in preparation for the 2020-2021 school year. Among the many points of guidance are to:

  • avoid group activities with potential to generate increased respiratory droplets, including activities such as singing and music that involves woodwind or brass instruments.

  • limit outside visitors and volunteers except for employees or contracted service providers for the purpose of special education or required support services, as authorized by the school district.

  • limit field trips to those that maintain all health guidance as well as guidance from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

We are closely watching the anticipated release of a new study commissioned by the field about how aerosol disbursement works in a performing arts setting. Preliminary results indicate that the Covid-19 virus can travel in microscopic droplets expelled from a person with the virus, even when asymptomatic. 

In addition, the American Choral Directors Association has published a committee report with advocacy information as well as various instruction models for providing music education.

Other resources for arts and music educators include the Remote Learning Toolkit from the National Art Education Association and the COVID-19 Resources from the National Association for Music Educators.

Arts and cultural organizations offering summer camps may do so if they follow the guidance from the Vermont Department of Health, Agency of Education and Department for Children and Families surrounding the reopening of childcare programs, summer programs and afterschool programs.

General safety guidelines for arts and cultural organizations include:

  • Hand sanitizing stations placed at entrances, exits and other high traffic areas inside the venue.

  • Frequent cleaning/sterilization of high touch areas, with emphasis on ‘front of house’ areas.

  • Seated waiting areas should be arranged to meet social distancing guidelines. Parents should be asked to wait outside or in their vehicles, where possible. Centers should consider a drop off/pick up check in/out system that discourages group gathering near the door or in the waiting area.

  • To create equity for those who will not access in-person programming, online/virtual programming should be continued.

  • Class enrollment must be consistent. The classroom/rehearsal space should only be occupied by the enrolled participants and associated staff. Social distancing should be maintained and where not practical, cloth face coverings shall be worn. For intense physical activity like dance, facial coverings can be removed during said activity due to safety concerns. Acrylic shields can be installed where appropriate for musicians who, due to the nature of their instruments, cannot wear face coverings when playing. Staggered scheduling is encouraged, as well as use of videoconferencing.

  • Encourage staggered arrival, timed with class/rehearsal starting times, where practical.

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