Vaccines and Variants – The Dancing Grapevine

You probably love to bop. I do too. Such as you, I’m desperate to get again to social dancing – however first we have to speak about deciding when to start out dancing once more that elements in vaccination and variants. Let’s speak about ideas for organizers that may assist decrease an infection dangers for attendees. A number of the methods we are going to study embrace requiring vaccination, holding occasions open air, bettering air flow, and symptom screening or rapid-testing.


In the beginning, I need to acknowledge the privilege of gaining access to vaccines. Many communities around the globe, notably within the world 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 need to acknowledge all those that have died from COVID within the final 12 months, and their households and mates who’re nonetheless dwelling with their grief and loss. I need to acknowledge those that are nonetheless dwelling with long-COVID; I want for you restoration. I need to acknowledge all of the healthcare employees globally whose work has been deeply impacted, the folks dwelling diseases whose care have been deferred or worsened attributable to pandemic useful resource rationing, and everybody who has suffered economically, mentally, and emotionally. This has been a troublesome 12 months.

Issues for dance organizers

When an individual or group brings folks collectively for a bodily, social exercise, throughout a world pandemic, they’re agreeing to take some accountability for what occurs throughout their occasion. Organizers must make acutely aware choices on how a lot accountability they’re prepared 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 accumulating info on vaccination standing, they should share with attendees how authenticity of data will likely be verified (or disclose that no verification potential), and the way information will likely be saved for privateness and safety.

Notice from Laura Riva: It isn’t unreasonable, particularly in our present time, to have occasions for totally vaccinated folks solely. I might encourage organizers to grasp their accountability for group security. It’s solely 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 can assist 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 special danger tolerance as people or as an organizer. As well as, threshold of what they’ll tolerate as danger, each as particular person dancers, and as organizers. Organizers have to contemplate that they’ve the bigger accountability of bringing a number of people collectively. Let’s speak about some elements of the chance and security gradient.

Consideration 1: Native Incidence of An infection

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

Notice from Laura: you probably 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 greatest practices by well being consultants.

Consideration 2: Setting and inhabitants

There are a number of key setting and inhabitants concerns when you’re deciding whether or not to host or attend an occasion: Holding an occasion open air is safer than indoors. Vaccinated people are a lot much less prone to purchase or transmit COVID. The bigger a bunch is, the upper potential for transmission.

Symptom screening and speedy checks act as extra 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 “blended 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 totally vaccinated. Here’s a graphic that signifies what I really feel can be a fairly protected occasion in several settings:

Notice from Laura: From what I’ve heard from well being professionals, it is very important stress {that a} coverage of masks for unvaccinated folks and no masks for vaccinated folks is troublesome to implement and never a greatest observe. Additionally, I strongly advise towards an “honour system” for vaccination standing. As an organizer, there are at all times individuals who will make the most of this – particularly once they ideologically disagree with the aim of a rule or assume it’s silly. Not having a verification system implies that you successfully haven’t any system. Please don’t do that.

If you’re in search of a vaccine verification device, Danceplace has one which permits you to confirm vaccine standing as soon as for every participant.

What about symptom screening?

Notice from Laura: Danceplace has created a free device for symptom screening, useable by any organizer previous to any class, occasion, or social. As well as, here are primary and fillable variations of this survey you need to use at your occasion, class or social. 

A “symptom declaration” display at first of a dance social, occasion or class is one other device organizers can use.  Screening can nonetheless be helpful with totally vaccinated folks due to breakthrough infections and subsequent danger of transmission. The device inquires about any signs that could be COVID, or potential publicity to COVID. Given the uncertainty posed by evolving variants, the device serves as a further layer of safety to cut back the probability of unfold, and potential introduction of a variant into the communityLike all instruments, it has some limitations. For instance, it might nonetheless not establish all those that are in poor health, and it’s depending on the honesty of these answering. Please reply truthfully, for the great of the group.

A behavioural incentive for folks to be trustworthy and never decrease their signs or publicity is for organizers to offer refunds or defer the ticket for a repeat of the occasion. This could concretely cut back the probability 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 respiratory/shortness of breath

2. Are you experiencing any of those unexplained signs?

  • Fever
  • New or worsening cough
  • Issue respiratory/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 muscle groups
  • 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 tools which incorporates surgical masks/N95 masks/respirator, with eye safety, always.

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

Contact tracing 

Many places around the globe now have public well being mandates to maintain a document of everybody visiting their enterprise institution. This facilitates contact tracing if somebody checks 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 data. The knowledge doesn’t must be saved endlessly; many jurisdictions suggest destroying these data after 30 days.

Notice from Laura: Digital gross sales are a very good option to make this simple, because it normally gives a reputation and electronic mail for all attendees. Contemplate solely promoting tickets upfront and utilizing a digital device

What about speedy testing?

Fast testing is a potential device, particularly for giant future occasions. Nonetheless, they’re liable to each false positives and false negatives. There are various sorts of speedy COVID checks. Europe has began to make use of them extra broadly and are engaged on extra correct checks. Sooner or later, these jurisdictions utilizing them will provide clearer steerage and examples on how they’ll act as a further protecting measure.

Are there different issues I can do?

Notice from Laura: Helen and I put collectively this infographic to stipulate a few of the steps you’ll be able to 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: occupied with danger

With infectious ailments, there may be danger to self and danger to others. You most likely already know your personal danger tolerance and your danger 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) nearly solely eliminates the chance of extreme illness requiring hospitalization or loss of life. Nonetheless, there are exceptions that embrace people who find themselves on immunosuppressive remedy, or very aged. These folks might not have the identical strong immune response to the vaccine.

For most individuals, in case you are totally vaccinated, the chance of buying extreme COVID sickness your self may be very low. The dangers to others rely in your work, household and social contacts. Are they vaccinated? Are they immunocompromised? Knowledge means that the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna) are very efficient at decreasing group transmission, together with asymptomatic transmission. Nonetheless, vaccinated folks can nonetheless probably transmit infections to others, with or with out signs. Totally different vaccines might fare in a different way, so search for info in your vaccine. The chance seems to be small, however it is very important replace your data as new information turns into out there.

No matter your vaccinated standing, you’ll be able to resolve what occasions have precautions that match your danger evaluation degree.


The scenario is consistently altering, so it is very important make your choices based mostly on integrating new details about the virus and its dangers. Up to now, the vaccines shield moderately properly towards hospitalization and loss of life from present variants. The information is much less clear about safety from transmission for some sorts of vaccines. It’s potential {that a} new variant will evade the immunity conferred by vaccines, so be prepared to regulate your decision-making.

Notice from Laura: Dorry’s Ideas on Dance and the Pandemic is a wonderful Fb group run by a doctor within the USA that may be a nice useful resource for additional studying and data. I extremely suggest looking at it in case you are an organizer in the hunt for additional steerage. 


By Dr. Helen Hsu; edited by Laura Riva

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