Dear MDU Families,
Congratulations again on your performances at MDU Fest! I knew it would be a wonderful return to the stage (after a TWO-year absence) but we are still talking about how much JOY we saw! Awesome!
Now that MDU Fest is complete, we are turning our attention towards summer and fall. I’m so proud of how our team worked tirelessly to deliver our Safer Studio™ plan over the last 15 months. Thanks to our team’s dedication, we experienced only a .0002% occurrence of Covid cases out of tens of thousands of visits. Vaccines are now widely available, Wisconsin’s positivity rates are declining, and county and school mandates are lifting and lightening. The CDC issued new guidelines on May 13 stating that fully vaccinated individuals can feel safe without a mask regardless of location, activity, or crowd size.
It is after thoughtful consideration of these factors, plus a safe run of performances for over 3,000 audience members and the fact that summer is our lowest enrollment period with 50% of our students in the building for only 30 minutes at a time, that we make the following plan to return-to-normal operations:
June 7 - MDU will be transitioning from a policy of mask requirement to a policy of mask recommendation for staff and students. Use of all entrances and exits may resume.
June 21 - MDU will be re-opening up its locker rooms, dressing rooms, and dining area. Food may now be brought into the building (but please don’t forget how to pick up after yourselves:).
July 5 - MDU will be re-opening its lobbies for parents of all ages of students. (Parents of kids ages 5 and under can still accompany their students to class prior to this date.)
July 19 - MDU will end temp checking for staff and transition to self-monitoring for symptoms. The last of the social distancing spots will be removed from classrooms.
August 1 - Full return to normal programming.
We are taking measured steps back to normal during the low enrollment period of summer so that we can watch for impacts and trends before the start of fall classes on August 18. MDU reserves the right to pause or reverse its return-to-normal plan at any time. Any Covid-positive staff members and students will still be expected to stay home until they are out of the CDC recommended isolation window.
Although many of us will feel relieved to read this announcement, many also will feel concerned about and may choose to continue wearing their mask. Some dancers may be contending with additional health problems, some might have a particularly vulnerable family member at home, or they might simply choose to wear their mask. MDU warmly welcomes EACH family to make the choice that is right for them and encourages parents to talk to their children about this transitional period as well. Parents of dancers under 12 can check out this helpful resource from Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, who is currently the chief of the pediatric infectious diseases division at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
We continue to encourage the kindness and empathy which you have shown since the very beginning. YOU are truly what make us More Than Just Great Dancing!® and we thank you for your continued support!
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