Vaccines and Variants – The Dancing Grapevine






You doubtless love to bop. I do too. Such as you, I’m desirous to get again to social dancing – however first we have to discuss deciding when to start out dancing once more that components in vaccination and variants. Let’s discuss recommendations for organizers that may assist decrease an infection dangers for attendees. A few of the methods we’ll look at embrace requiring vaccination, holding occasions outside, enhancing air flow, and symptom screening or rapid-testing.


At the beginning, I need to acknowledge the privilege of accessing vaccines. Many communities world wide, notably within the international south, might not have this entry for a lot of months to years. The pandemic has exacerbated current inequalities in each scale throughout society, and vaccine entry is not any completely different.

I additionally need to acknowledge all those that have died from COVID within the final 12 months, and their households and pals 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 staff globally whose work has been deeply impacted, the folks dwelling sicknesses whose care have been deferred or worsened as a result of 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 neighborhood belief. If organizers are contemplating amassing info on vaccination standing, they should share with attendees how authenticity of data will likely be verified (or disclose that no verification doable), and the way knowledge will likely be saved for privateness and safety.

Notice from Laura Riva: It’s not unreasonable, particularly in our present time, to have occasions for absolutely vaccinated folks solely. I’d encourage organizers to know their accountability for neighborhood security. It’s solely affordable 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 should not vaccinated. 

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

The Threat and Security Gradient

Threat and security are relative, and exist on a gradient. Threat 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 will tolerate as threat, 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 discuss some points of the danger and security gradient.

Consideration 1: Native Incidence of An infection

Native incidence of an infection is vital 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 could be thought of low threat. For instance, in a metropolis of 1 million, lower than 50 new circumstances totaled over the earlier 14 days, and never rising exponentially, doubtless implies that the town’s public well being infrastructure can conduct correct testing and speak to tracing to forestall additional unfold. This makes the neighborhood as an entire low threat at the moment. In unvaccinated or partially vaccinated communities, there’s nonetheless a excessive threat for superspreading occasions that may result in exponential progress. So long as there’s mobility between communities, there’s 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 recommend suspending your lessons, socials and occasions till issues are safer. That is in step with finest practices by well being consultants.

Consideration 2: Setting and inhabitants

There are a number of key setting and inhabitants issues if you end up 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 speedy assessments act as extra layers of safety, however should not enough on their very own. Masks additionally add safety; the better-fitting a masks, the higher safety. Take into account that a “combined inhabitants” with vaccinated and unvaccinated/partially vaccinated attendees will increase the danger of illness transmission amongst everybody in attendance, together with amongst these which might be absolutely 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, you will need to stress {that a} coverage of masks for unvaccinated folks and no masks for vaccinated folks is troublesome to implement and never a finest follow. Additionally, I strongly advise towards an “honour system” for vaccination standing. As an organizer, there are at all times individuals who will reap the benefits of this – particularly once they ideologically disagree with the aim of a rule or suppose it’s silly. Not having a verification system implies that you successfully haven’t any system. Please don’t do that.

In case you are in search of a vaccine verification device, Danceplace has one which means that you can 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 should use at your occasion, class or social. 

A “symptom declaration” display firstly of a dance social, occasion or class is one other device organizers can use.  Screening can nonetheless be helpful with absolutely vaccinated folks due to breakthrough infections and subsequent threat 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 scale back the chance 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 ailing, and it’s depending on the honesty of these answering. Please reply truthfully, for the nice of the neighborhood.

A behavioural incentive for folks to be sincere and never decrease their signs or publicity is for organizers to supply refunds or defer the ticket for a repeat of the occasion. This may concretely cut back the chance of COVID spreading at their occasion, and acquire neighborhood 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 checklist
  • Fatigue/malaise
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nostril
  • Nasal congestion
  • Digestive signs (together with nausea/vomiting/diarrhea)
  • Lack of style/odor
  • Sore muscle tissues
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Headache

2. Have you ever been in shut contact at residence, at work**, or locally, 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 residence, at work**, or locally, 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 areas world wide now have public well being mandates to maintain a file of everybody visiting their enterprise institution. This facilitates contact tracing if somebody assessments constructive after their go to. A dance social, class, or occasion is not any completely different. It’s the accountability of the organizer to maintain up to date attendance data. The knowledge doesn’t have to be saved ceaselessly; many jurisdictions advocate destroying these data after 30 days.

Notice from Laura: Digital gross sales are a extremely good approach to make this simple, because it often gives a reputation and e-mail for all attendees. Contemplate solely promoting tickets upfront and utilizing a digital device

What about speedy testing?

Fast testing is a doable device, particularly for giant future occasions. Nevertheless, they’re vulnerable to each false positives and false negatives. There are a lot of varieties of speedy COVID assessments. Europe has began to make use of them extra broadly and are engaged on extra correct assessments. Sooner or later, these jurisdictions utilizing them will provide clearer steerage and examples on how they will 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 number of the steps you may take to make your occasions safer. Do not forget that extra layers of safety are higher; it’s not enough to simply present sanitizer and name it a day. 

Particular person dancers: serious about threat

With infectious illnesses, there’s threat to self and threat to others. You in all probability already know your individual 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) nearly solely eliminates the danger of extreme illness requiring hospitalization or dying. Nevertheless, there are exceptions that embrace people who find themselves on immunosuppressive medicine, or very aged. These folks might not have the identical sturdy immune response to the vaccine.

For most individuals, in case you are absolutely vaccinated, the danger 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? Knowledge means that the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna) are very efficient at decreasing neighborhood transmission, together with asymptomatic transmission. Nevertheless, vaccinated folks can nonetheless probably transmit infections to others, with or with out signs. Completely different vaccines might fare in another way, so search for info in your vaccine. The danger seems to be small, however you will need to replace your data as new knowledge turns into out there.

No matter your vaccinated standing, you may determine what occasions have precautions that match your threat evaluation degree.


The state of affairs is consistently altering, so you will need to make your choices primarily based on integrating new details about the virus and its dangers. Thus far, the vaccines shield moderately properly towards hospitalization and dying from present variants. The info is much less clear about safety from transmission for some varieties of vaccines. It’s doable {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 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 looking at it in case you are an organizer searching for additional steerage. 


By Dr. Helen Hsu; edited by Laura Riva

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