This monthly newsletter is being published later than usual because I was hoping there would be something more to report. There really isn’t anything new beyond last months newsletter, but if you read on, I’ll give you the latest information I have on in-person classes resuming.
No Start Date for In-Person Classes (yet)
When I wrote the January newsletter, I was hoping the rollout of vaccines would be much faster than it has been and that we could reasonably expect that people who want to be vaccinated would be able to receive their vaccine sometime this spring or summer. As of this morning, Arizona has fully vaccinated 2% of the population. At the current rate, it will take more than a year to vaccinate everyone. It sounds like the vaccine producers are starting to ramp up production, so things may start moving along a little bit faster in the next few weeks. My plan is still to begin classes approximately 2 weeks after I have received my 2nd dose. Once the date to resume classes is set, an email with the class schedule and registration information will be sent out. At this point, I honestly don’t know when that will be, but I’m hoping for sometime in March or April.
Restrictions and Rules for In-Person Classes
We are all looking forward to dancing in the studio again, but we will still need to implement some guidelines and restrictions until the infect rate drops substantially. When fitness centers were forced to shut down last summer, the state developed a set of rules and benchmarks to help guide our businesses as to when and how we should reopen and when we can start lifting certain restrictions. As a business owner, I was required to sign a document indicating that I understood these guidelines and I would follow them. There are 7 main requirements that I need to put in place:
- Require that everyone wear a mask at all times.
- All attendees are to wash hands/use hand sanitizer upon entering and before exiting the premises.
- Screen all attendees for symptoms at the door.
- Close any communal spaces (like the lobby) to keep people from congregating.
- Keep all attendees at least 6 feet apart.
- Make sure the space is properly ventilated. Open outside doors, if possible.
- Thoroughly clean and disinfect between classes.
In addition to these 7 requirements, I also need to limit the capacity of classes based on the current percent of positives tests and the current number of cases per 100,000 people in Maricopa County. These guidelines are:
|% of Positivity||Cases per 100,000||Spread|
|< 10%||< 100 per 100,000||Substantial||STUDIO CLOSED|
|5 – 10%||10-100 per 100,000||Moderate||6 students max|
|3 – 5%||> 10 per 100,000||Minimal||12 students max|
|> 3%||Restrictions Removed|
Currently, we are in the SUBSTANTIAL spread classification. Maricopa County has a current percent of positivity rate of approximately 14% and there are over 11,000 cases per 100,000 people. The good news is that we are seeing a steady decrease. But if these numbers don’t come down, it could delay our reopening.
We are also looking to offer a Zoom option for any class we are holding in the studio. There are some logistics that need to be worked out in order to make this happen, but at this point, it seems doable.
In the meantime, you might consider taking some of our virtual classes. We are in the last 2 weeks of our Jan-Feb session and we have all of the classes that have been offered in previous sessions still available.