Summary of Current Protocols: As of Thursday, March 23, 2023, the CDC Community Level for Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties is at the low/green level. Dancers must wear a well-fitting cloth, surgical, or N95-level mask in the dance space, and musicians and callers may opt to wear a mask (or not) while on stage. Food and drink may be consumed inside the building, though we encourage folks to eat and drink outside when possible. Starting March 11, we have discontinued the vaccination requirement to attend our local dance events, though we do strongly encourage vaccination and current boosters. Thanks for your support in keeping the transmission of COVID-19 and other infections to a minimum.
NBCDS COVID-19 Safety Policy
The NBCDS Board adopted this policy on 6/2/22. The most recent review/revision occurred on 2/16/23, and the next review will be on 5/7/23. As of March 11, 2023, we discontinued the vaccination requirement to participate in NBCDS local series dances. Read our rationale and plan for future updates in our February 2023 Covid Safety Policy Update.
To mitigate the risk of transmitting COVID-19 and other illnesses at our events, NBCDS uses the CDC color-coded COVID-19 Community Level in the county where the dance is held to determine dance-specific safety protocols. The risk level is determined by the number of hospital beds being used and hospital admissions as well as the total number of new community cases: Red = High, Yellow = Medium and Green = Low. Current levels are readily available by county on the CDC website.
Dances may be held at all CDC risk levels; however, the dance manager and/or programmer, in consultation with a Board member, may choose to cancel a dance based on their assessment of risk. Additional local sources of COVID-19 metrics, such as the County of Sonoma Emergency Readiness website and the CDC Wastewater Surveillance Tool, can be used to inform these decisions.
- As of March 11, we are discontinuing the vaccination requirement. While we strongly encourage members of our dance community to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 and to stay current with boosters, we will no longer check vaccination status at our local dance events. Special events such as Epicenter and Mad Robin Ball may have vaccination requirements.
- Participants will read the COVID-19 Safety Protocol, then agree to follow the guidelines by signing in at each dance and providing a legible, current contact email address or phone number.
- Participants agree to notify the NBCDS dance manager or Board president if they become infected with COVID-19 (test positive or show symptoms) within five days after attending that dance. NBCDS will inform participants if a positive case is reported but not disclose the identify of the infected person(s).
- Dancers: At the green level, dancers may wear a surgical or cloth mask so long as it is well-fitting. Dancers may briefly remove their mask to eat or drink so long as they are 6 feet or more away from other dancers and put their mask back on immediately afterwards. In yellow or red levels, dancers must wear a KF94, KN95 or N95-comparable mask at all times in the dance space. Food must be eaten outside of the dance hall/building.
- Callers & Musicians: At the green and yellow levels, masks are optional for callers and musicians as long as they are 6 feet away from dancers at all times. In some venues, tighter spacing may require stricter protocols. Masks are required for wind instrument players unless they have tested negative within 6 hours of the dance. At the red level, everyone must wear a mask, and wind instruments (flute, harmonica, singing, etc) are allowed only if special masking and instrument-specific precautions are applied.*
- At green and yellow levels, testing is not required. NBCDS requests that all participants assess their health prior to participating in an event and stay home if they feel ill or have a concern about a recent exposure. Wind instrument players must test within 6 hours prior to the dance.
- At red levels: Dancers, callers, and musicians are required to test less than 6 hours before attending a dance event. An individually-administered rapid test is sufficient. Dancers must bring evidence (photo) of the negative test to the dance. We encourage our community to request free test kits through Covid.gov or their health insurance plan. To ensure everyone has access to a test, we have ordered a supply of tests to provide, if needed, at events and will request an at-cost $6/test donation. We want to keep our community healthy and not have test availability or expense be a barrier.
Communicating with the NBCDS Community
The most current NBCDS COVID-19 Safety Policy will be posted on our website and printed for display at the sign-in tables. The Safety Policy will be reviewed by the Safety subcommittee (Jen Bamesberger, Craig Meltzner, Bonnie Richardson, and Tom Spittler) and revised or reconfirmed at each Quarterly Board Meeting. We also have reached out to the dance community for input and feedback; summaries of responses are linked below:
NBCDS Spring 2022 Community Survey Responses