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COVID-19 Re-Opening Plan

 

COVID-19: Health, Safety and Operational Information

Re-Opening Plan: 2021-22 Season

October 4, 2021

We are looking forward to welcoming our young musicians back to in-person group classes and small recitals and concerts for the 2021-22 season!

To ensure the safety of our students, teachers, and volunteers, we would like to present our re-opening plan. 

Our plan has been formulated in adherence to the following guiding principles: 

  • Providing a safe and healthy environment for students, teachers, Ops-team, and volunteers 
  • Returning to in-person group class instruction and performances 
  • Maintaining close communication with QE Park and other venues (eg. Church of the Incarnation) and adhering to Provincial and Town of Oakville Public Health guidelines.
  • Active consultation with in-house medical professional on health and wellness  policies 

Tremendous efforts have gone into planning a safe in-person experience for our students and teachers and families. The Government of Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine  for individuals born in 2009 and earlier. We require that all our musicians in this age category  be vaccinated with the second dose latest by October 04, 2021. Younger musicians that are currently ineligible for vaccinations will start in-person classes. This will be updated based on Public Health guidelines as we progress through the season. 

We will be requiring our teachers and Ops-team to provide documentation that they have received their second dose vaccination at least two weeks prior to the start of group classes or a recital. 

As a condition of attendance to in-person events, it is implied that all students (and relevant members) agree to comply with this re-opening plan. We anticipate that additional  guidance from the Ministry of Health will require further revisions to this document. It is important that families carefully review any and all communications from the OSA in this regard, to ensure their understanding and compliance with any new measures and/or directions put in place. 

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time at info@oakvillesuzuki.org 

PROTECTIVE STRATEGIES

The OSA will employ multiple protective strategies and controls to support healthier and safer environments for students and instructors as detailed below. Though a specific measure to prevent transmission does not exist, multiple structural and individual elements contribute to making healthier spaces for our group class, rehearsal, and performance environment to reduce the risk of infection to OSA members and their families. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Staff and Volunteers  

Widespread vaccination is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, building immunity in Ontario, and protecting our communities.  

  • OSA requires all instructors, Ops-team members and volunteers to be vaccinated in order to participate and assist in OSA in-person events.   

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Students

Parents of students who are eligible for vaccination are required to provide proof of their child’s COVID-19 vaccination for entry to the OSA venue (ie. QE Park, Church of the Incarnation) 

It is recommended that a paper printout of the student’s COVID-19 proof of vaccination be with the student at every OSA venue.

OSA Medical Expert

OSA is fortunate to have a Covid-task force member that is a healthcare professional actively engaged and fluent in COVID-19 response. We welcome you to direct any questions or  concerns to adamchen@live.ca.  Dr. Chen will not provide medical notes of exemption as these should be obtained from your family physician or specialist. 

Self-screening

QE Park self screening link

All teachers, students and volunteers that do not pass the screening cannot attend in-person events. Details of screening are as follows: 

  • All students, teachers and volunteers will be required to check-in online the day of the group class or event prior to arrival, or upon arrival at QE Park.
  • Students are asked to always arrive 15 minutes prior to group class start time to allow for screening check-in with completed form.
  • Masks are required at all times by everyone while inside any OSA venue.
  • Parents of children 7 years and older are not permitted inside the classrooms before, during or after group class. 

Parents are required to ensure that all screening is done for each group class or OSA event in order to allow their continued participation in OSA events. 

Masks

Students participating in group classes and OSA events will be required to wear a non-medical, cloth or disposable mask while in an OSA venue, including in hallways. 

Please ensure that your child’s mask is: 

  • Sized appropriately to avoid gaps and fits over the nose, mouth, and chin 
  • Fastens securely with ear loops or ties 
  • 3-ply construction 
  • Washed daily if reusable 
  • Does not have a Velcro “straw” or valve opening 
  • Tasteful and appropriate for a community setting 

The government of Canada has published guidance on appropriate types of masks and usage. This information is posted online at this link:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/about-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html

The government of Ontario has also published guidance on face masks at this link:  https://www.ontario.ca/page/face-coverings-and-face-masks

Reasonable exceptions or accommodations may be made with regards to the requirement to wear a mask.

Mask Exemption

Students may be granted an exemption from wearing a non-medical mask for reasons related to a medical condition, mental health, sensory processing, breathing difficulties, for individuals unable to put on or remove a mask without assistance, or for a person who requires accommodation in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. 

Accommodations require consideration of the needs of the person requesting an exemption, balanced with the health and safety needs of our OSA community. Protecting all OSA students, members, teachers, and volunteers, is our priority and this will be taken into consideration when assessing the appropriateness and nature of a mask exemption. All reasonable steps and considerations will be taken before a musician is not permitted to attend in-person OSA events.

In the case of a mask exemption, appropriate measures such as face-shields, greater physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, and other infection prevention and control measures  will need to be considered.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All teachers and volunteers will be required to wear masks while inside the OSA venue. Extra masks and hand sanitizer will be available in class.

Regarding air flow in QEPCCC

  • All of the Roof Top Units are maintained through TSSA, and ASHRAE standards, which is the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.
  • Due to COVID - Last July of 2020 QEPCCC performed air balancing audits through a specialized company to propose recommendations to our overall systems and BAS in order to introduce more outside air into our spaces, while still complying to the standards. Those recommendations were implemented across the facilities as part of the reopening plan.

Class size

  • Number of musicians set to 6-7 per class
  • Group classes will be held in rooms based on 50% capacity or less at any venue  

Hand Hygiene

Appropriate hand hygiene is one of the most important protective strategies. All teachers and students will be expected to practice regular hand sanitization during group class and events.  

Social Distancing

As much distancing as possible will be maintained between students and teachers and any volunteers.  Periods of musician movement will be staggered as much as  possible to limit congregation in hallways.  

Congregation of teachers will also be limited to minimize potential for adult-to-adult transmission.  

Sanitizing

QEP sanitizes all surfaces, washrooms, and rooms throughout the day. 

QEP will sanitize rooms between rentals, however they will not sanitize between class/student change over. 

There will be 30 minute buffers between OSA and town rentals.

Parent Responsibilities

As a condition of enrollment, parents are required to acknowledge their understanding of and compliance with our Re-opening Plan. Over the coming season, we anticipate that additional guidance from the Ministry will require further revisions to our Re-opening Plan document. It will be important that families carefully review any and all communication from the OSA to ensure their understanding and compliance with any new measures and/or direction put in place. 

The following is a list of required health strategies: 

  • Health screening checklist will be performed prior to each group class or event for their musician. 
  • Students will stay at home if feeling unwell. 
  • A plan is in place to pick up your musician immediately if they become ill while at group class or event.
  • Seeking a test for COVID-19 if symptoms present. A student must stay home from  group class or recitals and should seek testing and appropriate medical attention. In the absence of a test, a student must self-isolate for 14 days and be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to in-person classes or events. 
  • Complying with orders issued by Halton Public Health. 
  • In the event that a student becomes unwell during rehearsal, the individual will be  isolated from the others and the parent/guardian will be informed immediately for  pick-up. All parents/guardians are required to be within close proximity (15-20 minutes)  of the OSA location so that they may pick-up their child without delay in this event. We will require two phone numbers for each student on our attendance sheets.

Arrival and Dismissal

Parents are permitted to escort their children to the classrooms, BUT will need to show proof of vaccination and ID at the check-in stations, and will need to have completed a Covid screening form the day of the event, prior to arrival or upon arrival at QE Park.  Due to safety protocols, parents of children aged 7+ years will not be able to wait in the classroom, or hallways.  There is no waiting area in QEPCCC.   

Breaks

No scheduled breaks will be provided during group classes/rehearsals/events. A student may excuse himself/herself for use of the facilities, with appropriate masking and social distancing as applicable.

Appendix:

Town of Oakville Covid-19 Information

In accordance with provincial requirements, the Town of Oakville has implemented a proof of vaccination program at town facilities. Starting today, September 22, the town’s program will require that anyone 12 years of age or older provide proof of identification and proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (or medical exemption) prior to entering or accessing any of the following:

  • Indoor use of recreation and culture facilities, including arenas, community centres, pools, senior centres, the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts, and Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate
  • ServiceOakville counter at Town Hall

The provincial regulation requires that access to recreation and culture facilities is limited to individuals who are fully vaccinated, with some exemptions. These regulations are a baseline requirement and organizations have the authority to go beyond these requirements to strengthen regulations in the interest of public and worker safety.

The town has taken steps to provide additional protection to the community and its employees by requiring anyone 12 years of age or older, including those aged 12-17, to be fully vaccinated to enter town recreation and culture facilities and Town Hall, regardless of their purpose for attending. 

Individuals who do not show proof of full vaccination will not be permitted to enter or participate in indoor programming at impacted facilities unless they are under 12 years of age or have a medical exemption (the individual must show a doctor’s note and ID to gain entry).

Please click on the following link for detailed information regarding Town of Oakville procedures:  Proof of Vaccination (oakville.ca) 

Members of the public can print or download their vaccination receipt from the provincial booking portal or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 or clicking on the following link

Download your proof of vaccination: Ontario COVID-19 vaccination service (ontariohealth.ca)

Prior to entering a recreation and culture facility or other impacted town facilities, all visitors must complete a COVID-19 self-assessment and show proof of vaccination along with ID. Once indoors, please continue to follow all directional signage and maintain physical distancing of two metres/six feet at all times. A mask or face covering is required in all indoor public spaces. Face masks can only be temporarily removed when actively engaging in athletic or fitness activities. Respectful behaviour is also expected towards all visitors, staff and volunteers in accordance with the town’s Rzone Procedure. 

At this point, we have contracted a security company to check proof of vaccination at our entrance, however we are asking that you communicate the regulations in place with your groups to ensure our check-ins are as smooth as possible.  

Everyone is encouraged to visit oakville.ca to access a variety of town services online. For inquiries, contact ServiceOakville at 905-845-6601 or service@oakville.ca.

Visit the town’s COVID-19 page for further details and read the frequently asked questions.

https://www.oakville.ca/townhall/proof-of-vaccination.html  FAQ’s halfway down the page

https://www.oakville.ca/townhall/covid-19.html 

Travel Guidelines

If you travel, there may be rules you have to follow before you leave, when you get to your  destination, and when you return. If you are leaving Ontario, make sure that you learn about the rules at your final destination from local authorities, including local public health measures, before your trip. 

Travel within Canada

There are currently no restrictions on travel within Canada.

Travel outside of Canada

The Federal Government has published updated requirements for individuals who return after travel outside of Canada at this link: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid.

Please refer to the Government of Canada travel guidelines that address requirements for children who are under the age of 12 or who are unvaccinated. 

Please note that while students who are not fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine after international travel, they must not attend in-person group classes or events for a period of 14 days after their return to Canada.

We ask that families carefully review the information above, so that we can ensure your understanding and compliance with these important protective strategies.

Resources:

Rules for areas at Step 3 and at the roadmap exit step: O. Reg. 645/21: RULES FOR AREAS AT STEP 3 AND AT THE ROADMAP EXIT STEP (ontario.ca)

If anyone in your group would like to request an exemption or provide feedback to the Town, email exemption@oakville.ca 

 

With thanks to the Oakville Symphony Youth Orchestra (OSYO).