Myriad COVID-19 Handbook Addendum

This addendum outlines how Myriad is endeavouring to protect choristers and how choristers will be asked to protect themselves and each other as we come together again for Fall 2020. 

Myriad is excited to be able to begin coming together safely again and want to make sure that we do everything we can to keep all choristers safe, comfortable, and informed on how we are endeavouring to protect you. We understand each person has different comfort levels and vulnerabilities; if these preclude you from participating in person, you are still welcome to be a member of our Myriad family and we look forward to welcoming you back in person when it is safe and comfortable for you.

Overarching Principles
The following principles inform Myriad’s approach to rehearsing and operating through COVID-19, and are principles we ask you to consider as we come together again.

Protection of choristers – Proactive protection of choristers and their family/household members is the primary goal of this document and the safety measures Myriad is taking.

Prioritization of safety – In the context of COVID-19, safety is prioritized over Myriad’s typical procedures (e.g., attendance, performance) given the particular risks singing can pose. 

Shared responsibility – By coming together, we are choosing to have a shared responsibility for each other’s health and well-being in this space. We want to help choristers protect themselves, and know that they have a responsibility to protect each other, as does Myriad as an organization have a responsibility to protect its choristers. Therefore, Myriad will require certain protective measures of you to ensure that we are minimizing as many risks as possible to do our best to keep each other safe.

Nimble and agile approach – Myriad is open and willing to change what isn’t working and willing to respond to a changing situation and changing public health guidance.

Respect and understanding – Different choristers have different experiences, risk factors, levels of vulnerability of themselves and those around them, and different personal reactions to the pandemic; choristers and Myriad itself should approach these differences with respect and understanding. Further, members should not feel any judgement or stigmatization related to a positive diagnosis.
Well-being – We’re here to make music! Singing and coming together positively contribute to our mental and social well-being, and we want to balance these benefits with the risks presented by the pandemic.

Myriad’s Approach to Operating Through COVID-19
The following sections outline Myriad’s approach to operating through COVID-19, including positive case procedure, attendance, personal and chorister protective measures, contacts and confidentiality commitment, monitoring and responsiveness to a changing situation, and self-assessment and waiver.

If a chorister tests positive, or is a case contact of someone with a positive diagnosis, it is the chorister’s responsibility as a member of Myriad to notify the Board Co-Chairs and the Artistic Director confidentially and as soon as possible. Your name will not be shared with anyone outside of the Co-Chairs and the Artistic Director.

If you test positive for COVID-19, do not come to rehearsal until after your period of self-isolation is over, and you are feeling well enough to return, or as advised by Public Health. 

If you are a case contact of someone with a positive diagnosis that is not related to Myriad rehearsals (i.e., Myriad has not cancelled its rehearsals), do not come to rehearsal until your period of self-monitoring or self-isolation is over. 

The affected chorister should provide their or their case contact's Public Health Unit with Myriad choristers' information, then inform Myriad's Co-Chairs and Artistic Director of the Public Health Unit's recommendations (i.e. whether self-isolation or testing for all choristers is necessary).
Myriad will make readily available a list of all choristers’ names and contact information so that the affected chorister can provide this information to Public Health contact tracers without having to disclose their diagnosis or situation to other Myriad choristers.

We respect choristers’ privacy particularly about their personal health experiences; however, by coming together to sing together, we have a responsibility to protect each other. It is crucial to commit to sharing a positive diagnosis or relation to a positive case with the Board Co-Chairs and the Artistic Director as soon as possible. This is because contact tracing can take time; even if you provide choristers’ contact information to Public Health, it is possible they may not be able to get in touch with all choristers before another rehearsal takes place.

1 Case contact – defined as a person who had exposure to a person with probable/confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis within the period of communicability, which is from 48hrs prior to symptom onset/diagnosis to 14 days after symptom onset/diagnosis. Exposure may be within the household, in community, healthcare, or travel-related. See “Tracing and Categorization of Close Contacts” for specifics.

Myriad will cancel subsequent in-person rehearsal(s) and make subsequent rehearsals virtual-only in the following conditions:
A chorister who attended rehearsal in the last 14 days has tested positive;

A chorister was asymptomatic at the time of rehearsal and subsequently tested positive; and
A chorister became symptomatic within 48 hours of attending a rehearsal.

Myriad may consider switching to virtual rehearsals if a chorister is identified as a case contact but is asymptomatic; this will be determined on a case-by-case basis by Public Health based on the level of exposure risk.

The switch to virtual rehearsals allows all choristers the required time to self-monitor for the required 14 days, or as Public Health advises; resuming in-person rehearsals is dependent on whether additional cases arise amongst choristers. 

The attendance policy from the Handbook stands for general procedures, but notable exceptions are made for the context of COVID-19. 
Do not come to rehearsal in the following conditions:

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, and are within the period of mandatory self-isolation;

If you are a case contact of someone that has tested positive, and are told by Public Health to self-isolate or self-monitor;
If you are awaiting results for a COVID-19 test*; and

If you have been told to self-isolate for any other reason.

*EXCEPTION: If you are awaiting results for a COVID-19 test and fulfill the following conditions: 
1. Required by work to get tested solely as a return-to-work precaution;
2. Display no symptoms or concerns; AND
3. Are not a case contact, and have not had possible exposure to COVID-19;
If all 3 conditions are met, you are permitted to continue attending rehearsals while awaiting results.

The chorister will not be penalized for missing rehearsals due to illness, required self-isolation, feeling unwell, or personal vulnerability (including vulnerable household members).

If the chorister needs to miss rehearsal(s), please contact the Artistic Director to determine the best approach moving forward.
The level of personal vulnerability may change as the pandemic situation changes (e.g., case counts begin to rise), so if the chorister becomes uncomfortable with their or their household’s level of vulnerability, the chorister will not be penalized for determining that it is no longer safe to attend rehearsals.

If the chorister has to miss in-person rehearsals, we request that the chorister please Zoom into rehearsals if they feel well enough to do so (where Zoom capabilities are available). Myriad will also be making rehearsal recordings available for those who are unable to attend in person, to ensure choristers do not miss out due to illness, potential illness, or vulnerability, and to encourage those who should to stay home.

Masks are mandatory from the point of arrival at rehearsal, including singing, in line with public by-laws for Hamilton (By-Law 20-155) and Halton (By-Law 47-20). Even if we do not gather in a public place, we are gathering as an organization engaging in a group activity, and therefore choose to abide by the principle of mandatory masking to protect each other.

Unfortunately due to their low effectiveness at protecting those around you, bandanas, handkerchiefs, neck gaiters, masks with valves, and face shield (without the use of a mask) will not satisfy Myriad’s requirement for wearing a mask.

After each rehearsal, please sanitize your reusable mask, or dispose of your single-use mask appropriately.

If you have a health condition that prohibits you from wearing any kind of mask or face covering, please bring this to the attention of the Artistic Director. 

Myriad takes responsibility for ensuring that those who can wear masks do wear them.

While we understand that some individuals prefer not to wear masks, we require masks given the evidence that they protect those around you, the by-laws and public health recommendations in place, and the risks and uncertainty posed by singing together.

Physical distancing of 6ft must be adhered to at all times, even when masks are used. At all rehearsals and any in-person events, choristers will be spaced 6ft apart using floor indicators (e.g., hula hoops).

Any chorister that would like to be placed at 9ft apart for further safety must inform the Artistic Director. This will be arranged appropriately to ensure the chorister feels safe. 

Comfort levels with distancing may change with changes in the pandemic (e.g., rise in cases, emerging evidence); as such, the chorister may inform the Artistic Director at any time during the season about desired changes in physical distancing.

At the start of each rehearsal you will be asked to perform a self-assessment to consider your safety for being present at rehearsal. If you determine from the self-assessment that you should not stay, you will not be penalized for leaving rehearsal. More information is available in the section on Self-Assessment and Waiver below.

During rehearsals, please practice proper and safe hygiene.

Cough or sneeze into the elbow.

Practice proper hand hygiene: sanitize your hands before and after touching high contact surfaces (e.g. door handles, chairs) to protect yourself and others.

Myriad will make hand sanitizer available at every rehearsal, and will provide hand sanitizer to you at the start of the rehearsal year.
Due to the greater safety afforded by the outdoors, Myriad commits to rehearsing outdoors as long as it is comfortable and safe to do so.
We encourage choristers to download the COVID Alert app.

Myriad will make readily available a list of all choristers’ names and contact information so that the affected chorister can provide this information to Public Health contact tracers without having to disclose their diagnosis or situation to other Myriad choristers. This information will be available in the private Members’ section of the website.

If you notify the Board Co-Chairs and the Artistic Director of your positive diagnosis or that you are a case contact, your name will not be shared with anyone outside of the Co-Chairs and the Artistic Director. The Co-Chairs and the Artistic Director will inform the group that an anonymous chorister has tested positive or is a case contact, but will not share with any choir member or any executive member your identity.

Myriad commits to continual monitoring and proactive responses to the ever-changing situation.
Myriad will abide by all public health guidance and recommendations, and change procedures accordingly if relevant guidance, recommendations, or requirements change.

Should a lockdown or other similar public health measure be implemented, Myriad will enact a contingency plan to make sure we are able to continue in a safe way as possible.

At the start of each rehearsal, you will be asked to perform a self-assessment by reading through a list of questions to consider your safety for being present at rehearsal. If you determine from the self-assessment that you should not stay, you will not be penalized for leaving rehearsal. 
At each rehearsal, you will be asked to complete and sign the self-assessment confirming that you have read through the self-assessment questions and that your answers to the questions do not indicate you should not be present at rehearsal.

You will be asked to sign a waiver indicating both your commitment to safety practices and your understanding that there are nonetheless risks present.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Myriad executive members through the following options: