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Frequently Asked Questions

What are SPARC’s pandemic safety precautions?

Limited Building Access

Parents/guardians, special guests, etc. are not permitted inside the building during SPARC programming or in our administrative offices. This is to limit the number of people gathered indoors in one place. Details about pick-up and drop-off procedures will be communicated prior to the first day of programming. Specific traffic patterns at drop-off and pick-up help to reduce contacts made with other classes. If you believe your child has a medical or behavioral concern that requires your nearby support during program time, kindly contact our office.

Masks

Masks are still required for 100% of program time indoors and outdoors on SPARC’s campus or at remote sites. We encourage everyone to wear a N95 or KN95 mask for maximum protection. Please continue to be remind your child about proper mask wearing over their nose and mouth.

Distancing

Program sizes have been reduced to allow for greater social distancing and to minimize new contacts made during programming. Young people are required to maintain at least 3-6 feet of physical distancing from each other at all times. Faculty and staff are required to maintain 6 feet of physical distancing from young people and each other. Specific traffic patterns at drop-off and pick-up help to reduce contact made with other program participants.

Sanitizing

High-touch surfaces will be disinfected regularly throughout the day at SPARC. Minimal items will be shared between participants and will be disinfected between uses.

Air Filtration and Air Purification

Our HVAC systems have been upgraded with MERV 11 or MERV 13 filters throughout our building, and Aerus Air purifiers are actively running in each studio space and the main theater.

Contact Tracing

Faculty are required to keep accurate attendance records, and make note of seating, small group participation, movement, or dance charts for each class so that they can provide contact tracing, if necessary.

Quarantine

SPARC requires a 10-day isolation/quarantine period after exposure to or infection with COVID-19. See Sections 4 and 5 below for more information on quarantine.

Vaccinations

All SPARC employees — including adjunct faculty and independent contractors — must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the CDC, to be eligible to work at SPARC.  All young people that are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine must be vaccinated (by May 31, 2022 for SPARCLERS, SPARCLERS Mini, Bravo Jr., Bravo, and Bravo Summer Company OR by June 21, 2022 for Broadway Blast, Focus In, and August Adventure/Jr) in order to participate in SPARC summer programming.  For more information on summer programming please click here.  For information on how to get your COVID-19 vaccination click here.

Boosters

All SPARC employees are encouraged to get boosters, but are not required to do so at this time.

Is SPARC conducting health screenings before programming?

SPARC will not require health screenings for participants to attend programming. Current CDC guidelines indicate that with continued use of masks and social distancing, health screenings are not necessary. However, SPARC may reintroduce health screenings at any time. Participants and their families should work together before coming to SPARC to assess if any members of their household are feeling ill. If any member of the household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, runny nose, fatigue, headache, loss of sense of taste or smell, body aches, etc.) then the SPARC participant should stay home. Please be sure to communicate the absence to the SPARC staff. Click here for a tool to assist with self-assessment.

What should we do before we leave for programming at SPARC?

To ensure we have as safe an environment as possible, some amenities SPARC typically provides will not be available. With that in mind, before you leave for SPARC you should: · Check how you’re feeling. If you or anyone in your household feels sick or has a fever of 100°F or higher, please stay home. · Fill your water bottle and triple-check that you have it! Hydration is important, and our water fountains are disconnected due to the pandemic. · Grab your face covering(s) and PPE! · Make sure you have your class materials. Some classes will have a materials list or materials provided at the beginning of term by SPARC.

What is SPARC's policy on Isolation and Quarantine after an exposure to COVID or Positive COVID Test?

SPARC has reviewed guidance from VDH, CDC, and Richmond Area Schools to create our quarantine policy. A 14-day quarantine duration can cause substantial personal burden and might lead to low compliance. Therefore, SPARC allows for shorter quarantine durations as acceptable alternatives, including for teachers, staff, and youth participants. (See Table 3, below.) If you are not able to stay home for 14 days after your last exposure and you do not have symptoms, you have 2 options: · Counting your date of last exposure as Day 0, you may leave home after Day 10; or · If PCR or antigen testing is available, you can get tested on or after Day 5. You may leave home after Day 7 if the PCR or antigen test performed on or after Day 5 is negative. Persons who use one of the alternatives of shorter quarantine duration are advised to continue daily symptom monitoring and to strictly adhere to all recommended mitigation strategies (e.g. masking). If any symptoms develop, they should immediately isolate (stay home) and contact their local public health authority or healthcare provider.

How does SPARC calculate the length of quarantine?

With guidance from the VDH and CDC, SPARC uses the following to calculate quarantine/isolation timeframes:

Table 1:

Table 2:

Note: A full 14-day quarantine period might be required by the participants’ school, daycare, or workplace.

What is the VDH’s definition of “close contact exposure” between an infected student and other students?

Table 3:

* The exception to the close contact definition only applies to student-to-student exposures in K-12 settings. The exception does not apply to student-to-teacher exposures, teacher-to-student exposures, or teacher-to-teacher exposures. For these exposures, being within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period is considered close contact.

What is the SPARC’S definition of “close contact exposure” between an infected teacher and students?

  • Being within 6 feet of a person who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24- hour period, or
  • Having direct exposure to respiratory secretions (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on, sharing a drinking glass or utensils), or
  • Caring for a person who has COVID-19, or
  • Living with a person who has COVID-19

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Questions?

Email us at sparc@sparcrichmond.org or call 804.353.3393.