COVID Health and Safety Plan

Updated October 15, 2020

New Safety and Health Procedures for reopening The Duluth Playhouse

Over the past several months, employees of The Duluth Playhouse have been assembling a reopening plan to navigate the current COVID-19 health crisis. Our proposal includes a wide range of new health and safety measures based on guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease and Control and the Minnesota Department of Health. In order to create the safest environment possible for all employees, volunteers, and patrons, the following policy changes will in effect until further notice.

As we begin to return to in person performances, the first few shows will be small, intimate productions that allow for social distancing both on stage and off. Even though the size and scope of these productions will be reduced, The Playhouse will not sacrifice the quality of the acting, design elements, and artistic integrity.

With our priority being safety for our actors, patrons, and staff, we have decided to re-envision how we produce live theatre for an audience of today. Everything has been examined, from cleaning and how actors inhabit our stage to the size of our audiences and how we strategically move patrons around our lobby. The first few productions we present will be an intimate experience with small casts, no intermission, and seating limited to 25% occupancy.

We fully understand that you might not will be ready to come back to the theatre. To accommodate those who are high risk or still feeling uncertain, we are working on a high-quality streaming option to bring Playhouse productions straight to your living room. More details will be available soon on how to enjoy the magic of the Playhouse from home.

 

SAFETY PLANS FOR PLAYHOUSE PATRONS:

Audience Experience/Front of House Procedures

Pre-arrival:

  • When a patron purchases tickets to a Playhouse production online, an alert message will appear on the computer screen detailing the new safety procedures. Before they complete the transaction, Patrons must check a box acknowledging that they will always wear a face mask (covering both their nose and mouth) while inside any Playhouse facility. They must also accept that social distancing is required, and they will always remain at least six feet away from other patrons.
  • If this transaction is occurring over the phone, guests will be required to verbally agree to the mask and social distance ordinance before the sale is finalized.
  • After the patron accepts these new restrictions and completes their ticket purchase, they will receive a confirmation email, a detailed explanation of arrival procedure, and a short video demonstration of the new audience protocol.
  • If patrons are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, we ask them to please stay home and call the Box Office to plan to exchange their ticket to another performance or receive an account credit.

 

Patron Arrival:

  • All patrons, volunteers, and staff are required to wear face masks. Masks must be worn over the nose and mouth. It is necessary for all nonperformers to keep their mask on the entire time they are inside any Playhouse space.
  • To accommodate social distancing, entrances and exits will be assigned based on seat
  • Patrons will be asked to arrive during their specific time window. Staggering audience arrival will allow for proper social distancing in the entryway of the theater.
  • Patrons will be asked to enter the theatre together with their entire seating group. If they are sitting with other people, we ask them to not enter the building until every member of their group is together.
  • Immediately upon entering the theatre, guests will be asked if they have experienced any of the symptoms related to COVID-19 and have their temperature checked with a no-touch thermometer. If anyone has experienced these symptoms or has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they will not be permitted to stay in the building. These patrons will politely be led to a side exit and then contacted by Box Office staff to arrange exchanging their ticket to a later performance or offered a full refund.
  • Once a patron successfully completes the health evaluation, they will be greeted by an usher who will ask for the name on the reservation. There will be no paper tickets exchanging hands to reduce physical contact. After their reservation is verified with an usher, guests will be asked to go directly to their seats. If there is a problem locating the reservation, patrons will be asked to step aside and receive assistance from a house manager.

 

Inside the Lobby:

  • The bars and concession stations will not be open and operating for the foreseeable future.
  • Signs will be placed throughout the restrooms to remind patrons how to thoroughly wash their hands.
  • All seats and lobby surfaces will be disinfected before each performance.
  • Programs will be available on a digital format instead of printed, to minimize contact.
  • Hand sanitizer will be easily accessible throughout the building.
  • There will be no physical tickets exchanging hands. Instead, an usher at each door will check patrons in by the name on the reservation.
  • Throughout the lobby, taped directional walkways will indicate the flow for traffic and encourage social distancing.

 

Performance/Seating Updates:

  • All productions will be performed without an intermission. This will remove the burden of keeping the audience socially distanced during a short 10-15-minute performance break.
  • Audience seating will be socially distanced, with patrons spaced 6 feet apart from people who are not in their attendance group.
  • Each venue will seat at 25% capacity.
  • The front row of seats will be at least 15 feet from any performer on the stage, allowing a safe distance from an unmasked speaker in an indoor setting.

 

Similar protocols will be in place for the arrival of our staff and artists, including a temperature check and survey upon arrival, mask requirements (as well as face shields and gloves when necessary), and social distancing throughout the facilities.

 

Artist Experience/Performance Procedures:

Pre-rehearsal:

  • Before rehearsals begin, all staff, artists, and team members will attend a Zoom meeting focusing on Playhouse and rehearsal parameters. This meeting will occur before the first rehearsal and provide an opportunity to answer questions and clearly state the new protocol regiment with the entire company. At this meeting, the daily health questionnaire will be distributed and reviewed along with reminders about physical distancing, proper mask usage, and CDC advised protocols that everyone should follow throughout the production period.
  • The Playhouse Safety and Protocol Guide will be distributed before this meeting. All participants will sign a copy, acknowledging they will comply with these new rules.

 

Preventative Practices:

  • Everyone will be asked to monitor their own health and stay home if they experience flu-like symptoms or are feeling unwell.
  • Immediately upon entering the theatre, everyone will have their temperature checked with a no-touch thermometer. If anyone has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they will not be permitted to stay in the building.
  • All artists, staff, and volunteers will be asked if they have experienced any of the symptoms related to COVID-19. If anyone has experienced symptoms, they will not be permitted to stay in the building.
  • Everyone will be required to use hand sanitizer upon entry that Playhouse will provide.

 

Rehearsal Procedures:

  • All artists and staff are required to wear masks. Masks must remain on the entire time anyone is inside Playhouse facilities. Performers will be permitted to remove their masks when they are in the act of rehearsing and performing on stage. Masks must be worn leading up to and immediately after these moments.
  • All artists and crew members will always maintain 6 feet from each other.
  • If contact between individuals must be made (for example in a costume fitting), face shields, masks, and gloves will be worn. Hand sanitizer will be used immediately before and after the encounter.
  • All rehearsal room, backstage, and dressing room surfaces will be disinfected at the end of each day.
  • Hand sanitizer will be easily accessible throughout the building.

 

Performance Procedures:

  • Dressing room areas will be designated and assigned based on the production and the venue to reflect safe social distancing.
  • When traveling from their dressing room to the stage, actors will wear a mask.
  • Each actor will have their own backstage station in the wings.
  • The backstage area will be limited to personnel vital to running a performance: Actors, Stage Manager, Asst. Stage Manager, Wardrobe personnel, and Stagehands.
  • Parent Volunteers may be used in the Family Theatre based on needs.
  • No members of the public will be allowed to any backstage or dressing room area.

 

Protocol for COVID-19 Cases:

  • If a person inside a Playhouse facility begins to experience symptoms of COVID-19, they must leave immediately and seek a medical diagnosis from a health professional.
  • If someone is asymptomatic, but they test positive, this person must self-isolate immediately for at least 10 days. If the individual exhibits no symptoms after 10 days, or has a follow-up negative test, then they may return to the Playhouse.
  • If an individual tests positive and is exhibiting symptoms, they must have had 3 days with no fever or no symptoms and a follow-up negative test before they may return to the Playhouse.
  • If it becomes known that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 was inside a Playhouse facility, the building will shut down for 24 hours to receive a thorough cleaning and allow for the exchange of outside and inside air. Anyone who was in close contact with the individual must inquire with a health professional on whether they need to be tested and/or self-isolate.

 

GETTING TESTED FOR COVID-19

If you are experiencing any symptoms or think you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should get tested.

 

COVID-19 Community Saliva Testing

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is offering Minnesotans more and different options for COVID-19 testing by offering saliva testing in a growing number of locations across the state. The test is more comfortable than a nasal swab, and available at no cost to anyone who believes they need a COVID-19 test.

Saliva testing is free and available to all Minnesotans who believe they need to be tested, with or without symptoms. Identification is not required. You do need to have an email address and phone number to receive your results. Insurance is not required. If you do have insurance, you will need to show your card. The test is completely free whether you have insurance, and you will not receive a bill.

Where to get a test:

Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC), 350 Harbor Dr (Paulucci Hall 2, 3, 4, 5), Duluth, MN 55802

  • Wednesday – Friday: 12 – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 

How the saliva test works:

  • You must not eat, drink, chew, or smoke anything for at least 30 minutes before taking a saliva test.
  • A health care professional will tell you how to take the test, but you will do it yourself.
  • You will spit into a funnel attached to a tube. Producing the required amount of saliva usually takes 10-12 minutes.
  • You will get your results in about 48-72 hours.

Results are typically available 48 hours after your sample arrives at the lab, but there can sometimes be delays. If you have questions regarding saliva testing, please email mn@vaulthealth.com or call 800-800-5698. Please do not contact MDH for results.

Your test is private and not shared with anyone outside of your public health department. We will not share your information with any government agency, employer, or health care provider. You will receive your test result via email.

 

If your test is positive:

If your test result is positive for COVID-19 the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 response team will call you with important health information for you and the people who live with you. It is important to answer the call.

 

On the call, you will talk about:

Your test results and what they mean. A household plan to help keep others from getting sick, and to make sure you have what you need. This includes information on how to separate yourself from others (isolate) and what other people in your household should do, including staying home (quarantine). We will provide additional support for your household, resources permitting, for food, masks, hand sanitizer, and other items that might be of help for this estimated two-week period you will need to stay home. Any people you spent time close to (sometimes called “close contacts”) starting two days before you were tested or when you started feeling sick. These people could have been exposed to the virus. The health department will call these people with instructions. Your name will not be mentioned. Learn more about Tracing COVID-19.

 

St. Luke’s Respiratory Clinic at Miller Creek Medical Clinic

4190 Loberg Avenue, Hermantown, MN 55811

218.249.4609

Clinic Hours:

  • Monday – Friday 7:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M.
  • Saturday 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
  • Closed Sundays and Holidays

This clinic is for people of all ages in Duluth, Superior and throughout the region who need an in-person evaluation for COVID-19 and other non-emergent respiratory-related symptoms.

These symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever or chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

 

Please Note: Testing is limited to those experiencing symptoms and/or who meet certain criteria. Please refer to the form here to see if you should be tested for COVID-19.

  • No appointment necessary.
  • Just drive up to the clinic and staff will register you at the curb.
  • You will be brought into the clinic for an evaluation.
  • Extreme safety and cleaning measures are in place to keep everyone protected.
  • Following Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, testing for COVID-19 is available to every person with symptoms.
  • If you are tested for COVID-19, you will be contacted promptly once results are available, typically within several days.

St. Luke’s Respiratory Clinic is a specialized urgent care and COVID-19 testing site. People will be seen on a first come, first served basis. If you have questions about COVID-19 testing, call the clinic at 218.249.4609.

 

COVID Testing Drive-thru Tent:

The Respiratory Clinic also has a COVID testing drive-thru tent for patients who have a COVID test that has already been ordered for them or do not have any symptoms but meet testing criteria for asymptomatic patients. This tent is open Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4:30 pm. Testing can occur outside of these hours, but this is the most convenient time for those without symptoms who meet testing criteria. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.

 

RESOURCES AND REFERENCES: