Covid-19

EXPOSURE PREVENTION POLICY & GUIDELINES FOR ONSITE ACTIVITY

Updated July 26, 2022 and subject to change: 

Note: As a professional acting studio, we are following the guidelines recommended for work and participation in a professional theater or film/media setting, which are of necessity very conservative and also subject to the expectations of the actors’ unions. Therefore, in alignment with CDC Guidelines and Actors’ Equity Association, HB Studio is continuing to require that masks be worn onsite at all times, except during the presentation/performance of work in class.

Requirements for Onsite Activity at HB Studio

Those participating in onsite activity at HB Studio are required to abide by the following:

  1. Vaccinations (with Booster) are required*
    1. For your protection and for ours, we are mandating Covid-19 vaccinations for all staff, faculty, students, audience and performers participating in on-site classes or activities at HB Studio.
    2. Please note that starting Fall Term 2022, the booster shot is required for onsite learning. Upon enrolling in on-site classes, you must immediately email proof of vaccination with booster shot to registration@hbstudio.org
    3. While we are only requiring the first booster at this time, we encourage anyone eligible to also get the second booster.
    4. *Special requests for a vaccine accommodation will be considered for religious or medical reasons on a case-by-case basis. Students seeking an accommodation should email studentaffairs@hbstudio.org to make the request.
  2. Pre-register for in-person classes and submit proof of vaccination with booster
    1. Pre-registration and proof of vaccination (with booster shot) are required for students enrolling in in-person classes no later than 24-hours before the first session of class begins. To submit vaccine + booster verification, immediately upon enrolling email a picture of your vaccination card or a screenshot of your NYS Excelsior pass to registration@hbstudio.org.
    2. On the day of your first in-person class, you are required to bring your physical vaccination card with proof of booster shot to be allowed entry. Without proof of vaccination + booster, you will not be allowed to enter the premises or participate in class. There will be no exceptions. Subsequent visits will not need proof of vaccination once we’ve initially verified your status.
  3. Wear a face covering
    1. All those on the premises are required to be masked at all times, except when presenting or performing work in class.
      1. Masks must be worn during group exercises. Masks can only be removed when performing or presenting solo or paired work.
      2. Bandannas and neck gaiters are prohibited unless a mask is worn underneath.
      3. The face covering must cover the nose and mouth, and fit snugly, but comfortably, against the face.
      4. Sharing of masks is not permitted.
      5. N95 or KN95 masks are strongly recommended.
  4. Practice physical distancing
    1. You must keep a distance of:
      1. 3 feet when masked
      2. 6 feet while presenting work unmasked
      3. 12 feet while singing unmasked
    2. Physical touching during scene and partner work is discouraged.
  5. Complete a Health Screening
    1. Before coming to HB each day of class, perform a self-screening by asking yourself:
      1. Have you been in close contact – within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes – with anyone while they had COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 during the last 14 days?
      2. Have you tested positive on a COVID-19 diagnostic test in the past 14 days?
      3. Have you experienced any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 – including fever of 100.4 degrees F or greater, new cough, or shortness of breath – in the past 14 days?
      4. Have you visited a state or country with a NYS or U.S. State Department travel or health advisory in the past 14 days?
    2. If you answer YES to any of the questions, please stay at home. If you answer NO to all four questions, proceed to the studio.
    3. All students and faculty will be asked to verify that they have completed this self-screening upon entry to the Studio.
  6. In the Event of Illness…
    1. If you do not feel well or are experiencing any symptoms, please stay at home and do not come into the buildings. Students and Faculty experiencing Covid symptoms must not attend class. 
      1. Students will be given credits or refunds for missed classes if you contract the virus or fall ill (doctor’s note or positive test required). 
      2. Faculty and Staff will be provided with paid sick time when applicable, in accordance with the NYS Paid Leave for Covid-19 and the NYC Paid Sick Leave Law, and HB Studio’s Paid Sick Leave policy.
    2. Get a PCR Covid-19 test. (Contact venues@hbstudio.org for a list of testing sites if needed.)
      1. If you test negative for Covid-19, you may return to the studio after being symptom-free and fever-free for 24 hours
      2. If you test positive for Covid-19:
        1. Students must email studenthealth@hbstudio.org and Faculty/Staff must email humanresources@hbstudio.org to notify the Studio of potential exposure. Your confidentiality will be strictly maintained.
        2. Self-Isolate and do not return to the studio until 10 days have passed since your positive test result and you have been symptom-free and fever-free for 24 hours. You will not be required to re-test to return onsite as a positive test may continue to show up for up to 90 days.
        3. Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 should not PCR test for 90 days as a positive result may occur even after the individual has been declared not contagious; if you test positive twice for COVID-19 during that period the result is considered part of the same infection. After 90 days a positive result would officially be considered a “re-infection.”
          • If you are exposed to COVID-19 within this 90 day period you will be asked to take an antigen or rapid test instead of a PCR. You may take a home test or a test administered by a medical professional. Results should be sent to studenthealth@hbstudio.org for students and humanresources@hbstudio.org for faculty and staff. You may send a screenshot of a result or a photo of a home test. If you submit a photo you must write your name down on a piece of paper and include that in the photo.
          • While you are not required to, anyone who tests positive is encouraged to retest again once the 90-day “pause period” is over.
          • Please note that while 90 days is the official time stated for “immunity” to COVID via antibodies, individuals may have protective antibodies for much longer than this period, varying from several months to several years. Students and staff who have previously had COVID should still continue to practice good safety measures including masking, socially distancing when necessary, and hand washing. At this time, COVID antibodies are not considered a substitute for the vaccine or the booster and vaccination requirements at HB Studio remain the same regardless of recent infection.
    3. All those onsite are required to self-monitor and report any new or emerging signs or symptoms of the infectious disease. Exercise caution to protect others through self-isolation and social distance, and leave the premises. Students who develop any symptoms are asked to please notify staff or your teacher and email studenthealth@hbstudio.org. If staff or faculty develop symptoms, please notify humanresources@hbstudio.org
    4. In the event that someone you’ve come into contact with during class falls ill, you will be promptly notified.
  7. Attendance – Visitor Log
    1. Faculty and Key Students must take attendance promptly each day. This will serve as a Visitor Log and is crucial for the purposes of contact tracing.
  8. Props & Equipment
    1. Students may not use any of HB’s props or set pieces that come into contact with your face, eyes, nose, or mouth (such as glasses, mugs, cutlery, pillows, and sheets). These props must be brought from home as needed. 
    2. Yoga mats and other warm-up and movement items will not be provided. Students must bring their own.
    3. Students must disinfect their props and equipment at the end of class. Surface cleaner and disinfecting wipes will be provided.
    4. Sharing props is discouraged.
    5. Props or equipment brought from home may not be stored or left at HB Studio.
  9. Food & Drink
    1. Eating is not permitted during class sessions except within the presentation of a scene or exercise. You are encouraged to utilize our garden for lunch or snack breaks.
    2. Bring your own refillable water bottle to class. Water coolers will be provided for you to refill your bottle. Use of the water fountain is prohibited.
  10. Enter & Exit Efficiently
    1. Congregating in halls, entryways or stairwells is not permitted. Everyone must go directly to their classroom upon entering the building.
    2. Everyone must exit the building immediately after class.
  11. Compliance is mandatory
    1. If anyone onsite is found in violation of these requirements, they will be asked to leave. Continued violation of these policies may result in further action.
    2. Refunds will not be given in the event of a policy violation.
    3. If you would like to report a policy violation or have safety concerns, please reach out to us at studentaffairs@hbstudio.org and we will assist you in addressing the concerns.

Onsite Protocols for Your Safety

Your safety remains our priority. HB Studio will adopt the following measures to increase the safety of everyone onsite.

  1. Limited Capacity and Occupancy
    1. Class Capacity & Scheduling
      1. Capacity for onsite classes will be offered at a reduced occupancy for added safety.
      2. In-person classes are scheduled with 30-60 min breaks in between for the sanitizing and airing out of rooms.
      3. In-person class start and end times are staggered as much as possible so comings and goings do not overlap and crowded areas will be minimized.
    2. Offices & Workspaces
      1. Staff who are not essential to on-site operations will continue to work remotely.
      2. The registration office will be closed to foot traffic. Registration, meetings, and all other communication with HB Studio staff and faculty will take place online or by appointment.
      3. With the exception of maintenance and cleaning crews, only select staff, faculty and current students taking part in scheduled classes will be allowed onsite. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
      4. Studio rentals will not be permitted at this time.
  2. Buildings maintenance
    1. The HVAC system supporting our reopened studio spaces is fully compliant with New York State guidelines for congregate spaces. Under guidance from our consulting engineers, the system has been upgraded with MERV-13 filtration to pull and circulate fresh air from outside. HB will be making further upgrades to its heating and ventilating system over the course of the year.
      1. During the warmer months, HB Studio will also encourage natural air flow through the use of open windows.
    2. Studio classroom spaces will be sanitized before and after each class.
      1. Trafficked areas and commonly touched surfaces will be cleaned daily and the buildings will be professionally sanitized three times a week.

Additional Ways You Can Keep Everyone Safe

Please do your part to keep yourself and others safe.

  1. Hygiene
    1. Wash your hands properly and often. Hand sanitizer stations will be available in high trafficked areas for frequent use.
    2. When possible, please avoid touching your eyes, ear, nose and mouth.
  2. Social Etiquette
    1. There will be one designated check-in station located in the lobby outside the First Floor Studio. Please observe the posted capacity limits and maintain social distance within that space. All other gatherings before and after class should happen outside the buildings.
    2. Please avoid hugging and hand shaking.
    3. Please exercise coughing/sneezing etiquette by covering your face with a tissue and using hand sanitizer or washing your hands afterwards.
    4. Please observe posted capacity limits for our second floor restrooms.