Studio COVID Policies
We are guided by the following principles, in priority order:
We believe in science
We follow the current scientific consensus. When the data we need are missing or ambiguous, we make reasonable extrapolations based on the available data.
We are a community
As a community, we take care of one another and sacrifice for the common good. We make decisions about risk based on what is best for our community and our world as well as our personal risk tolerance.
Inclusion is one of our core values, so we work hard and sacrifice to make our events safe and accessible to our most vulnerable members.
We are transparent
Informed consent is one of our core values, so we are open and honest with each other about our risk profiles and our exposure levels.
As an organization, we publish detailed COVID policies and procedures as well as risk estimates for each of our events, so that attendees can make informed decisions about whether or not to attend.
We are autonomous
Within the bounds of being responsible members of our community, we are autonomous individuals who have the right to choose our own risk profiles and make our own decisions about risk.
We set our policies based on these principles, and we update them regularly based on the evolving state of the pandemic and facts and circumstances at any given time. We make our decisions based on calculated risk and adjust our policies as the risk levels fluctuate. For full transparency, our risk calculator is here. This was based on the Microcovid Project as adapted by Tornus of Full Circle Kink, and reviewed by a professional epidemiologist who works full time on COVID.
Our Policies (as of 4/1/22)
Everyone who attends the studio must provide proof of vaccination as well as proof of receipt of the most current booster they are eligible for.
Everyone who attends the studio must screen for symptoms and follow the exposure policies.
Masks are currently optional. We provide both surgical and N95 masks for those who continue masking.
HEPA filters will be running in the studio sufficient to achieve an air turnover of 5 times per hour, which our experts estimate achieves a 75% reduction of baseline COVID risk transmission.
Our Risk Model
Our risk calculator allows us to calculate the risk of catching COVID from each visit to the studio based on a number of factors, including number of attendees, masking status, air filtration rate, vaccination status, conversation volume, etc. We maintain an updated set of scenarios to compare requiring N95s, surgical masks, mask optional if YOU don't mask, and mask optional if YOU do mask. We assume a typical student visits the studio twice a week.
How we use the risk model to set policies
When our risk model tells us that on average, an unmasked student will catch COVID less frequently than once per year, our policies allow masks to be optional. At this local risk level, our model predicts that even if no one else is masked, individuals who are more comfortable using masks and wear N95s will still enjoy extremely low risk.
When local case rates or other circumstances change such that our risk model tells us to expect a typical student to catch COVID in our studio at least once a year, then we return to mandatory masking policies.
We will revisit and adjust the risk model and all policies based on it according to changing circumstances of the pandemic, including local case rates, new variants, vaccination efficacy data, and availability of antiviral medications.
In depth analysis:
To be conservative, we plan to assume that the risk levels estimated by the calculator are up to five times too low. We will continue to use this assumption until antiviral medications, such as Paxlovid, are widely available, since at that time the risks associated with COVID can be expected to decrease dramatically, and we will update our policy accordingly.
Our studio policy is set based on these risk levels. Our goal is to manage risk such that on average, a typical student coming to the studio twice a week, following the general policy, will catch COVID less frequently than once per year. If local risk levels increase, we will implement more strict masking policies and other mitigations.
As of 4/7/22 Cook county transmission rates, these are our current metrics:
Everyone wears N95 masks: you would catch COVID on average once every 38 years
Everyone wears surgical masks: you would catch COVID on average once every 17 years
Mask optional studio, no one else wears a mask, but you wear an N95: you would catch COVID on average once every 6.4 years
Mask optional studio, no one else wears a mask, you go unmasked: you would catch COVID on average once every 2.13 years.
COVID Exposure Response Policies
This policy is based on the following principles:
All HK students, and any substitute class bottoms, are vaccinated against COVID-19 and have received the most current booster they are eligible for.
Exposure to the coronavirus may nonetheless result in infection with COVID-19 with or without symptoms.
The Omicron variant is several times as contagious as Delta.
Vaccination, mask wearing, testing, ventilation, and symptom screening are all ways to reduce the chances of spread of the virus.
GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS (AND SUBSTITUTE BOTTOMS):
If you feel sick: get a COVID test (ideally, a PCR test or a rapid test done at a clinic so you can provide proof of negativity).
If your test is negative, if it was a PCR test, you may come to class. If it was a rapid test, you should assume you are positive until you get a negative PCR. Please avoid coming to the studio until symptoms are resolved or you get a negative PCR.
If you test positive, you should isolate for 5 days, according to CDC guidelines. If your symptoms are gone or resolving after 5 days, you can take a rapid test. If you test negative, you may come to class. Since this will likely mean missing class, we will work with you to ensure that you do not miss content.
If you have a KNOWN exposure (extended indoor unmasked time around someone who has tested POSITIVE for COVID):
If you have no symptoms, you should mask around others and may come to class. Take a COVID test on day 5. If you test positive, follow above protocol.
If you have a POTENTIAL exposure (you were around someone who is sick/symptomatic and no test results are available, or you were around someone who tested positive but it was outside, or you were masked):
Have your contact get tested if at all possible. Treat this as an exposure. As long as you have no symptoms, you are welcome to come to the studio, but please wear an N95 mask and take a test on day 5 post exposure.
Instructors who feel sick will get a COVID PCR test as soon as possible. If negative, they will mask in class if they have any upper respiratory symptoms.
Instructors who have a known exposure will take a COVID test as soon as possible, and will wear a mask in class until they have a negative COVID test taken 5 days after the exposure.
Instructors who have a potential exposure will await test results from their contact; rapid test immediately before class as usual; and mask in class.
Instructors who test positive will not attend class for 5 days. If Zach tests positive, they will isolate for 5 days, and any scheduled classes will be canceled. Makeup sessions will be added at the end of the module or on non-class days as needed. Class will resume after 5 days if symptoms are resolved or resolving.
If a student or instructor tests positive within 2 days of attending class, we will notify all class members who were present. We will not identify the individual who tested positive. Students and instructors who were present in class should take a COVID test 3-5 days after the class, and should wear masks around all others until test results are returned.