August 25, 2021
Dear MDU Families,
Thank you for a great kick-off to our 24th season of “More Than Just Great Dancing!”. We are now a full week into our season and it has been amazing to see kids and families back in the building.
As the leader of our studio community, I have the great joy of seeing the excitement of the kids and teacher returning to class. I also have the great responsibility of navigating a continuously changing situation as it relates to Covid-19.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, MDU has provided clear communication and real-time decision-making. This has allowed us to offer continuous programming with only .0002% incidence of Covid-19 while providing consistent access to the benefits of dance such as physical fitness, social-emotional health, and mental wellness. That’s the joy part!
Now for the responsibility part. At MDU, we make all of our Covid-related decisions based on a variety of inputs, including local and national sources, as well as industry and studio data. I wake up every morning, search the data, and track the trends. I also consult with our county, speak with other community leaders, and pray for wisdom. I’m pleased to say that MDU is still doing extremely well in terms of cases as shared above. That’s why we began our fall season by continuing our summer policy of mask recommendation, not a requirement. Our community, however, is not doing as well. The cases reported yesterday morning were double what they were the week prior and the 7-day average is one we have not seen since February.
In my Welcome Letter from one week ago, I shared that we would escalate our policies if cases continue to rise. As such, beginning today (8/25/21), the following mitigation measures are being implemented:
We will continue monitoring the situation week by week and will make you aware of any changes. If community cases continue to rise, potential escalation of policies may include closing the lobby to reduce traffic, further limiting class sizes, greater physical distancing requirements in classes, and/or masking requirements for all ages.
In closing, I fully understand this message will cause relief for some and disappointment for others. Some will think it’s too much and others may think it’s not enough. This is the nature of the times we live in. But, it’s also in our nature to adapt and to support each other. Our kids are mirrors of our reactions and emotions, so let’s focus on what’s positive! In a time when our community is welcoming Afghan refugees who have lost all, we have much to be thankful for. Thank YOU for your support!
Dear MDU Family,
As many of you are aware, the CDC released new guidance yesterday regarding the use of face masks and face coverings, which states “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
While many of our dance parents are now fully vaccinated, I am also aware that there are members of our community who are not yet eligible, and the CDC continues to state that “the wearing of facial coverings is an effective means of preventing the transmission of COVID-19, particularly when worn indoors.”
MDU has taken a safety-focused approach to in-person activities through our Safer Studio™ practices which have resulted in a .0002% occurrence of positive Covid reports since re-opening in June of 2020.
For this reason, and in cooperation with the Weber Center's ongoing policy, MDU will continue to expect dancers, parents, and staff to comply with our current Safer Studio™ guidelines while at the studio or at the Weber Center for MDU Fest next week. This includes practicing social distancing, following good hand hygiene, and wearing masks for age 2 and up.
In light of the new CDC guidance, we will be re-evaluating our mask and COVID safety practices for the summer and fall classes, and as always families will be informed of any updates.
Thank you for your continued support, and for helping us fulfill our promise to make this season as safe as it is fun for our students and their families! Please see below for a statement from the Executive Director of the Weber Center.
"With new CDC guidelines on mask-wearing for fully vaccinated individuals being released in the past 24 hours, the Weber Center for the Performing Arts will be maintaining its current masking policies at this time. You can view Weber Center policies at webercenterarts.org and click on "Current Business Operations". The Weber Center will be assessing the new CDC guidelines and how they impact our operations moving forward, and will adjust our policies accordingly. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we navigate this ever-changing environment." - Dillon McArdle, Executive Director