Covid-19 Safety

Hello Pittsburgh contra dancers!

The survey results are in (copy here, if you’d like to see the details) and it looks like you’re all as anxious as we, your Contra Council, are to begin dancing again as safely as possible!

While many of you wanted to start dancing indoors again this summer, an equal number wanted to be more cautious and wait until sometime later in the fall. We’ve decided to split the difference and plan to resume indoor dancing in September.

Based on the survey results (84 responses were received) and the Contra Council’s commitment to dancing as safely as possible and in light of the latest CDC guidance that has been issued in response to the Delta variant, the following COVID-19 safety measures will be in place when we resume dancing. 

  1. Proof of being fully vaccinated will be required the first time you attend a dance.  We will maintain records so proof of vaccination should only be required once.  You may show your vaccination certificate or a photograph of it.  (We do not recommend posting the photo on any social media platforms nor emailing it to anyone.)
  2. Wearing of masks will be required.
  3. Hand sanitizer will be available (feel free to bring your own) and its use is recommended between dances.  We would strongly recommend that it be used (or that you wash your hands) before eating.  Please remember to keep the number of people in the bathrooms to a minimum.
  4. We will ask dancers to sign in and share contact information when attending a dance (email address preferred).  This information will only be used (if needed) for contact tracing in case of a potential COVID exposure.  It will not be used in any other way, nor shared with any other group or individual.
  5. Per your requests, we will monitor the CDC covid data tracker and hold indoor dances only when the risk level is moderate¹ or low². 

¹ moderate level indicates a total of 10-49.99 cases per 100,000 persons in the last 7 days, or 5-7.99% positive tests, whichever level is higher
² low indicates a total of 0-9.99 cases per 100,000 persons in the last 7 days, or 0-4.99% positive tests, whichever is level is higher

  1. Our request to open the Wightman gym windows was denied due to stress on the A/C or heating systems and to avoid complaints about “noise” in the neighborhood (we call it music, but they don’t care).  We plan to open the gym doors and use industrial strength fans to improve air circulation.
  2. We will do temperature checks using a touchless thermometer and ask 2 screening questions upon entry to a dance: 
    1. Do you have or have you had any COVID symptoms in the past 10 days?  (e.g., fever, cough, fatigue, etc.)
    2. Have you been exposed to anyone who has COVID in the past 10 days?
  3. We will continue to hold dances from 8-11 PM, with a 15-20-ish minute break.³
  4. Eating and drinking may take place inside the building or outside, as desired.⁴

³ The number of people who voted that a shorter dance with a shorter break would be “irrelevant” was 57.1%.  The percentage who voted that it would be a “deterrent” nearly equaled the number who voted a shorter dance would be “preferred,” and the number who voted that a shorter dance would be a “strong deterrent” exactly equaled the number who voted “essential,” so we will maintain our current schedule.
 ⁴ Survey results on this question were similarly divided, and so inconclusive.

We hope these safety measures will encourage most of you to attend our dances in the fall. (Let’s dance again, like we did last [a couple of] summer[s ago]!)

Your Contra Council