COVID-19 RISK MANAGEMENT and GUIDELINES for practitioners at Ewa Bigio Yoga practice at St Benedict’s Studio.
Though case numbers continue to remain low in New Zealand (5 at the point of this publication), to ensure this remains the case, it is essential that we all play our role and here at my practice, I will be integrating a few new guidelines in consideration of ongoing developments. Please read on:
Firstly, personal spacing is important given the transmission of the virus through water droplets. As such the low ratio of students to studio square footage at St Benedict’s ensures that there is ample distance between practitioners compared to average Auckland studios and gymnasiums. Class numbers will now be restricted per session to 30% of studio capacity to maintain ample distancing between mats. This is to ensure that students can continue to practice comfortably and confidently.
Secondly, we would like all practitioners to wash hands prior to start of practice. Washing hands is still considered the best way to reducing exposure to the virus including the seasonal flu virus. Alternatively if you have a personal hand sanitiser please use this prior to start of class. Again, this will ensure that everyone feels confident that a uniform level of care has been taken prior to beginning practice by all in the shared environment and that we are being considerate of each other during these uncertain times.
Thirdly, please wipe down mats and blocks after use utilising the spray bottle and paper towels in the bathroom. As I run only 3 classes weekly and only one per day, and classes are spaced at least 2 days apart, risk of viral spread from surface props remain extremely low compared to studios which are running classes daily. The virus can only survive on surfaces for a finite number of hours so the distant timetabling of the 3 classes is helpful in this regard.. It is however still preferable and recommended that practitioners bring their own mats.
Fourthly, if you feel any cold or flu-like symptoms, it is best to stay away. Although I have a 24 hour cancellation policy, this policy doesn’t ever come into play if you’re not able to come because you’re unwell. Also if you travel overseas please let me know so we can assess whether or not this will have any impact on attending classes for the 14 day stand down period. I struggle with the fact that I’m writing this but again, it’s a case of risk management of the highest order as in reality travel to the hotspots have reduced significantly by now given current developments. As my class roll is small, I know each student who attends my classes personally. The majority of students have been practising with me for over a year at the very least.
Finally, I apologise for further loading on this topic which we have already heard about ad nauseam but to ensure that everyone can come into practice with confidence, it was necessary to put this out there at some point. Feel free to speak to me if you have any concerns around this. I fully empathise with your concerns and so wish to assure everyone that I am closely monitoring developments and putting in place appropriate guidelines to ensure student exposure is kept to a minimum and practice confidence remains high each time you step into the studio.
I firmly believe that we each can play our part in helping reduce the risk of the spread of what now appears to be a global pandemic. As the organiser of a central urban yoga studio, I take the situation seriously whether others do or not and prefer to err on the side of caution. Whether you happen to be in a low or high risk group is not the point. New Zealand cases still remain low. At any rate, our awareness and empathy levels need to be lifted, if not from a personal physical health standpoint, then for the mental health of those around us who feel higher levels of anxiety around the subject.
Thank you all for your understanding and cooperation on this matter and let’s work together to create a safer, more considerate environment for all to practice in.
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