Covid-19 Procedures and Policies – Youth Theatre Northwest

Covid-19 Policies and Procedures

Last Updated 5/18/22

YTN is confident that we are going above and beyond what is required to ensure that students and staff can safely access the programs they so desperately need right now providing social/emotional learning, creative development, and care support outside the home.

On This Page:

Should quarantine be necessary, or to comply with government policy or mandate changes, all classes and productions will move to a fully online format, if possible.

General Program Policies

Masks are required at all times while inside on campus in accordance with WA state guidelines for youth programming. YTN requests a well-fitted surgical mask or an N95/KN95 mask. 

Students are invited, but not required, to be maskless when outside (i.e. during snack time or while on the playground) during class time. 

Classes and rehearsals will observe current recommended social distancing.
Daily health screenings will be required for students and staff members, prior to arriving on campus.  
Rigorous cleaning, per CDC guidelines with windows and doors open for maximum ventilation when possible.
Frequent hand washing and sanitization will be observed.  
In-person group size will be limited based on area of meeting space and ventilation. 
Outside spaces will be utilized when appropriate and weather permitting.  
Participants, regardless of vaccination status, may be asked for serial Covid testing to better ensure safety, especially for programs (like rehearsals) with frequent contact times.
If traveling, participants are asked to receive a negative Covid test before returning to YTN programming. Please plan your travel times accordingly to allow time for test results to be returned before the next expected on-site day.

Vaccination Requirement for Staff:

YTN will be compliant with the Washington State vaccination requirement for employees and contractors working with K-12th student populations, effective October 18, 2021:

Should quarantine be necessary, or to comply with government policy or mandate changes, all classes and productions will move to a fully online format, if possible.

If You Test Positive:

After a positive test result, please let YTN staff know immediately so staff may assess exposure risks, notify families of a possible exposure, and adjust plans as needed.

Participants that test positive may return to programming after:

You have no Covid-19 symptoms for at least 24 hours

AND

You have a negative test result OR you have quarantined for at least 10 days (no negative result required)

Testing Requirement for Cast, Crew, and Production Teams for Shows

For the 2021-2022 Season (with the exception of Chaos Theory), participants (cast, crew, and production team) will be required to virtually submit signed attestation of a negative Covid test result, at various points near the end of the rehearsal process/throughout the performance process.
YTN is requiring a negative result via Covid testing, for all participants, prior to:
  • The first day of tech rehearsals (typically 6 to 10 days prior to the first performance) 
  • The first performance  
  • The first performance of each subsequent weekend of shows 
Participants will be sent the specific testing schedule by the stage manager, as it varies by show.  
For this participant testing requirement YTN will accepts testing from:
  • Certified testing site/clinic 
  • Testing done via a student’s school (if applicable)
  • Home test 
For this participant testing requirement YTN will accept:
  • Molecular/PCR tests 
  • Antigen tests (rapid test) 
  • Antigen (Rapid) Tests are approved by the FDA for "serial testing," due to their lower accuracy rate than the PCR/molecular tests. Serial testing means this test is meant to be taken multiple times to ensure a negative result. If participants chooses to test via rapid at-home testing, YTN is requesting a second rapid test after 24 hours, or as directed by the test kit, to ensure a negative result.
Participants will be sent a virtual form by the stage manager, which will include:
  • Where the participant was tested 
  • The date of the test
  • Signature affirming a negative test result 
If a Covid test comes back positive, please email both Cory Southwell (cory@youththeatre.org) and Mimi Katano (mimi@youththeatre.org) immediately.  
If there is a positive case within the cast, crew, or production team at any point in the process:
  • YTN administrative staff will notify you as soon as possible, maintaining confidentiality. 
  • The production will shut down for 10 days. 
  • Anyone exposed would be required to get tested after the 3-day incubation period.  
  • Pending results of testing, an alternative production/performance schedule will be sent out if possible. It is unlikely a performance would be postponed after the scheduled closing date of a show, it is more likely the performance schedule would be truncated.

Audience Requirements & Safety Protocols

Upon arrival, audiences will:
  • Be undergo a verbal screening for Covid-19 symptoms by Box Office staff.
  • Be asked to remain outside until just before the performance start time, during intermission (if applicable), and post-show while actors get out of costume.  
  • Be required to wear face masks while inside the theatre.
YTN is asking for all tickets to be purchased electronically, in advance, in order to:  
  • Limit in-person contact with Box Office volunteers 
  • Maintain record of audience members, for contract tracing purposes, in the case of exposure

YTN Specific COVID-19 Safety Expectations and Policies For Productions

All participants will:
  • Submit Daily Health Screenings 
  • Remain masked during all rehearsal times (with the exception of water breaks, outside snack breaks)
  • Abide by social distancing guidelines 

Productions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis if actors will be masked during a performance or invited to be unmasked while on stage. All audience members, crew, and off-stage actors will be required to remain masked. Families will be notified in writing of a production's mask policy at least a week before the policy would come into effect.

All employees and contractors are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021, in compliance with the Washington State vaccination requirement for people working with K-12 populations. 
When staging a production, a minimum of 3’ of distancing is expected. Brief/minimal close proximity or contact is permitted if it is required by the script.
Whenever possible, prop and costume sharing will be avoided.
Frequent hand sanitization, along with mask wearing, distancing, and vaccination, is key to keeping each other safe. During rehearsals/performances, participants should wash hands or use hand sanitizer:
  • When arriving on-site. 
  • At the beginning and end of breaks.
  • At the beginning and end of each act of the play.
  • Immediately prior to any scene requiring physical contact or prop sharing.
  • Before leaving the space at the end of the day. 
Assistant Stage Managers will supervise frequent hand cleaning during tech rehearsals and through the run of the performances. 
YTN asks programs to keep the doors open as much as possible for Covid safety. However, if the temperature does not allow for this to responsibly happen, the space will get cleared out and ventilated for at least 15 minutes during a program's meeting time.

COVID Communication From YTN For Productions

From the Stage Manager:
  • Distribute and collect Daily Health Screenings 
  • Distribute and collect Negative Covid Test Confirmations, starting one week before tech begins.
  • If necessary, be in contact with the cast, crew, and production team in the event of rescheduling rehearsals or performances, following a Covid exposure shut-down.  
  • Communicate failed Health Screenings and any external Covid exposures to Cory and Mimi. 
From YTN’s Administrative Staff:
  • Provide Covid policies and procedures to participants, contractors, and audiences. 
  • Provide detailed box office/ticketing information for families prior to opening, to communicate in-person audience expectations and safety procedures.
  • If necessary, confidentially communicate positive Covid test results to actors, crew, their families, and the production team.  
  • Communicate testing expectations in the event of a positive case.
  • Track testing results following the need for exposure testing. 

Source Material

Rehearsal and Performance Guidelines:

Though they are no longer being updated by the Governor's office, YTN continues to base rehearsal and performance guidelines off the (now archived) Washington state guidelines for Performing Arts: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19%20Performing%20Arts%20Theater%20Sector%20Guidance.pdf

(All YTN performances, crew, and production teams will remain masked; in addition to complying to distancing guidance for actors and audiences.)

Classes and Camps Guidelines:

Will remain as before, following the Day Camp guidelines: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/schools-childcare.aspx

Additional source material: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/DOH-OSPI-DYCF-SchoolsChildCareGuidance.pdf 

Audience Vaccination/Testing Requirement:

Info Sheet from King County Health Department

King County Health Order