Tuesday, November 22, 2022
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Vaccines and Variants – The Dancing Grapevine

You probably love to bop. I do too. Such as you, I’m desirous to get again to social dancing – however first we have to speak about deciding when to begin dancing once more that elements in vaccination and variants. Let’s speak about solutions for organizers that may assist reduce an infection dangers for attendees. A few of the methods we’ll study embrace requiring vaccination, holding occasions outside, enhancing air flow, and symptom screening or rapid-testing.


At the start, I wish to acknowledge the privilege of gaining access to vaccines. Many communities all over the world, notably within the international south, might not have this entry for a lot of months to years. The pandemic has exacerbated present inequalities in each scale throughout society, and vaccine entry isn’t any totally different.

I additionally wish to acknowledge all those that have died from COVID within the final yr, and their households and associates who’re nonetheless dwelling with their grief and loss. I wish to acknowledge those that are nonetheless dwelling with long-COVID; I want for you restoration. I wish to acknowledge all of the healthcare staff globally whose work has been deeply impacted, the individuals dwelling sicknesses whose care have been deferred or worsened because of pandemic useful resource rationing, and everybody who has suffered economically, mentally, and emotionally. This has been a tough yr.

Concerns for dance organizers

When an individual or group brings individuals collectively for a bodily, social exercise, throughout a world pandemic, they’re agreeing to take some accountability for what occurs throughout their occasion. Organizers have to make acutely aware choices on how a lot accountability they’re keen to bear, and make it clear to attendees what they’re agreeing to. Clear decision-making and clear communication are cornerstones for group belief. If organizers are contemplating amassing data on vaccination standing, they should share with attendees how authenticity of information might be verified (or disclose that no verification doable), and the way information might be saved for privateness and safety.

Observe from Laura Riva: It’s not unreasonable, particularly in our present time, to have occasions for absolutely vaccinated individuals solely. I might encourage organizers to know their accountability for group security. It’s totally cheap in a pandemic to require full vaccination for entrance to an occasion or social given the character of our dance. There are already organizers who require vaccination, and those that don’t. My private emotions apart, this implies there are alternatives for each those that are and usually are not vaccinated. 

For organizers who need to handle COVID-19 screening and vaccine verification, Danceplace has new instruments (some free!) that can be utilized that will help you. 

The Danger and Security Gradient

Danger and security are relative, and exist on a gradient. Danger discount is additive, not absolute. One of many representations of this concept is the “Swiss Cheese Mannequin”, seen right here:

Graphic indicating how multiple levels of protection help stop the spread of COVID, similar as to how multiple slices of Swiss Cheese prevent a single hole from allowing something through.

Everybody has a distinct threat tolerance as people or as an organizer. As well as, threshold of what they’ll tolerate as threat, each as particular person dancers, and as organizers. Organizers have to think about that they’ve the bigger accountability of bringing a number of people collectively. Let’s speak about some features of the chance and security gradient.

Consideration 1: Native Incidence of An infection

Native incidence of an infection is essential to think about no matter how many individuals in your space have been vaccinated. < 5 new instances per 100,000 individuals during the last 14 days may be thought-about low threat. For instance, in a metropolis of 1 million, lower than 50 new instances totaled over the earlier 14 days, and never growing exponentially, probably signifies that the town’s public well being infrastructure can conduct correct testing and get in touch with tracing to stop additional unfold. This makes the group as an entire low threat at the moment. In unvaccinated or partially vaccinated communities, there may be nonetheless a excessive threat for superspreading occasions that can result in exponential development. So long as there may be mobility between communities, there may be all the time potential of variant introductions as properly.

Observe from Laura: if in case you have a excessive incidence of native an infection, or draw strongly from areas that do, I strongly counsel suspending your courses, socials and occasions till issues are safer. That is in step with finest practices by well being specialists.

Consideration 2: Setting and inhabitants

There are a number of key setting and inhabitants issues when you find yourself deciding whether or not to host or attend an occasion: Holding an occasion outside is safer than indoors. Vaccinated people are a lot much less more likely to purchase or transmit COVID. The bigger a gaggle is, the upper potential for transmission.

Symptom screening and fast exams act as further layers of safety, however usually are not adequate on their very own. Masks additionally add safety; the better-fitting a masks, the higher safety. Needless to say a “combined inhabitants” with vaccinated and unvaccinated/partially vaccinated attendees will increase the chance of illness transmission amongst everybody in attendance, together with amongst these which can be absolutely vaccinated. Here’s a graphic that signifies what I really feel could be a fairly secure occasion in several settings:

Observe from Laura: From what I’ve heard from well being professionals, it is very important stress {that a} coverage of masks for unvaccinated individuals and no masks for vaccinated individuals is tough to implement and never a finest apply. Additionally, I strongly advise in opposition to an “honour system” for vaccination standing. As an organizer, there are all the time individuals who will make the most of this – particularly after they ideologically disagree with the aim of a rule or assume it’s silly. Not having a verification system signifies that you successfully don’t have any system. Please don’t do that.

In case you are on the lookout for a vaccine verification instrument, Danceplace has one which means that you can confirm vaccine standing as soon as for every participant.

What about symptom screening?

Observe from Laura: Danceplace has created a free instrument for symptom screening, useable by any organizer previous to any class, occasion, or social. As well as, here are fundamental and fillable variations of this survey you should utilize at your occasion, class or social. 

A “symptom declaration” display screen at the start of a dance social, occasion or class is one other instrument organizers can use.  Screening can nonetheless be helpful with absolutely vaccinated individuals due to breakthrough infections and subsequent threat of transmission. The instrument inquires about any signs that could be COVID, or potential publicity to COVID. Given the uncertainty posed by evolving variants, the instrument serves as an extra layer of safety to scale back the chance of unfold, and potential introduction of a variant into the communityLike all instruments, it has some limitations. For instance, it could nonetheless not establish all those that are unwell, and it’s depending on the honesty of these answering. Please reply actually, for the nice of the group.

A behavioural incentive for individuals to be sincere and never reduce their signs or publicity is for organizers to supply refunds or defer the ticket for a repeat of the occasion. This could concretely cut back the chance of COVID spreading at their occasion, and achieve group belief in return.

Here’s a pattern entrance symptom screening questionnaire:

1. Are you experiencing any of those signs?

  • Fever
  • New or worsening cough
  • Issue respiration/shortness of breath

2. Are you experiencing any of those unexplained signs?

  • Fever
  • New or worsening cough
  • Issue respiration/shortness of breath
  • Are you experiencing any of those unexplained signs? Please learn the record
  • Fatigue/malaise
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nostril
  • Nasal congestion
  • Digestive signs (together with nausea/vomiting/diarrhea)
  • Lack of style/odor
  • Sore muscular tissues
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Headache

2. Have you ever been in shut contact at dwelling, at work**, or in the neighborhood, with somebody who’s symptomatic and/or is being examined/awaiting check outcomes of COVID-19?

3. Have you ever been in shut contact at dwelling, at work**, or in the neighborhood, with somebody who has been confirmed to have COVID-19 within the final 14 days?

4. Have you ever travelled internationally inside the final 14 days?

** not together with those that work with COVID sufferers in healthcare settings in full private protecting gear which incorporates surgical masks/N95 masks/respirator, with eye safety, always.

If an individual solutions “Sure” to any of the above, the individual shouldn’t attend the social, class or occasion.

Contact tracing 

Many places all over the world now have public well being mandates to maintain a file of everybody visiting their enterprise institution. This facilitates contact tracing if somebody exams optimistic after their go to. A dance social, class, or occasion isn’t any totally different. It’s the accountability of the organizer to maintain up to date attendance information. The data doesn’t should be saved ceaselessly; many jurisdictions advocate destroying these information after 30 days.

Observe from Laura: Digital gross sales are a very good solution to make this straightforward, because it normally offers a reputation and e mail for all attendees. Take into account solely promoting tickets upfront and utilizing a digital instrument

What about fast testing?

Speedy testing is a doable instrument, particularly for big future occasions. Nevertheless, they’re vulnerable to each false positives and false negatives. There are numerous sorts of fast COVID exams. Europe has began to make use of them extra broadly and are engaged on extra correct exams. Sooner or later, these jurisdictions utilizing them will supply clearer steerage and examples on how they’ll act as an extra protecting measure.

Are there different issues I can do?

Observe from Laura: Helen and I put collectively this infographic to stipulate a number of the steps you possibly can take to make your occasions safer. Keep in mind that extra layers of safety are higher; it isn’t adequate to simply present sanitizer and name it a day. 

Particular person dancers: fascinated by threat

With infectious illnesses, there may be threat to self and threat to others. You most likely already know your personal threat tolerance and your threat of an infection out of your social community.

Full vaccination (two weeks after the ultimate dose of your 2-dose vaccine, or 1-dose J&J vaccine) virtually totally eliminates the chance of extreme illness requiring hospitalization or demise. Nevertheless, there are exceptions that embrace people who find themselves on immunosuppressive treatment, or very aged. These individuals might not have the identical sturdy immune response to the vaccine.

For most individuals, if you’re absolutely vaccinated, the chance of buying extreme COVID sickness your self could be very low. The dangers to others rely in your work, household and social contacts. Are they vaccinated? Are they immunocompromised? Information means that the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna) are very efficient at lowering group transmission, together with asymptomatic transmission. Nevertheless, vaccinated individuals can nonetheless probably transmit infections to others, with or with out signs. Completely different vaccines might fare otherwise, so search for data in your vaccine. The danger seems to be small, however it is very important replace your information as new information turns into obtainable.

No matter your vaccinated standing, you possibly can determine what occasions have precautions that match your threat evaluation stage.


The state of affairs is continually altering, so it is very important make your choices based mostly on integrating new details about the virus and its dangers. Thus far, the vaccines defend fairly properly in opposition to hospitalization and demise from present variants. The information is much less clear about safety from transmission for some sorts of vaccines. It’s doable {that a} new variant will evade the immunity conferred by vaccines, so be prepared to regulate your decision-making.

Observe from Laura: Dorry’s Ideas on Dance and the Pandemic is a superb Fb group run by a doctor within the USA that could be a nice useful resource for additional studying and knowledge. I extremely advocate having a look at it if you’re an organizer looking for additional steerage. 


By Dr. Helen Hsu; edited by Laura Riva



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