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Co-ops and Covid Safety


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15 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I think she said there are only a few kids per class - like 5 or 6, and they have big rooms so can spread way out. 

In an area with few cases, and small numbers of kids who can be widely spaced, I don't have the same level of "what the heck are you thinking" as I do places with 30 kids in a small room, you know?

Don't get me wrong, y'all know I'm about minimizing the risks, especially in areas of high community spread. I personally wouldn't send my kid to even a small class here in my area. But if we weren't drowning in cases and it was small like that, with lots of air space, I can see the risk level is different. And if it meets once or twice a week versus daily, it will be less viral load (important) and easier to catch and contain versus hundreds of people exposed. 

Would I do it? Not now, not in my situation. But even as I want to smack some people upside the head for their barbecues and birthday parties, I can see how someone might decide an educational class with 5 kids in a big room, with distancing, for not a whole day, might be worth it - depending on the situation. In her situation, she has other kids needs including special needs kids, so a greater reliance on outside help in a setting with lower risk makes sense. 

Same goes for parents that have to work, and are forming pods with a few families rotating childcare during this. If the need outweighs the risk, or it is the least risky option, do it. 

But I think for a lot of people, the problem is they don't really need it, they just want a break from their kids, a chance to hit the gym (ARGH!!! WhY ARE THEY STILL OPEN?) and hang out with the other moms for coffee at a table together. In that case? Especially in an area of high spread? Nope. 

(see, I'm sort of reasonable!)

This was why I decided to go ahead and offer small group classes this fall. Because we have the facilities to do it safely (outdoors or in a VERY large space with good ventilation), and there is a need for those small, relatively low risk groups, especially for kids who had been planning to go back to school, looking forward to it, but are not-and who also are not in one of the established, small co-ops which really can’t get any bigger because they need to be able to spread out for safety, too. 

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42 minutes ago, square_25 said:

So here's the thing -- what's going to happen if one kid brings it into a class, then it spreads around that class, and then it goes around the families in the class? Is there something that's going to stop that from happening? It now looks like older kids spread it quite effectively. 

DD was really having a bad week because we aren't going to do co-op next year. She recently talked to her boyfriend who will be attending, so she was really mourning the loss this week. We talked it through, and she understands in her head that it won't work, but her heart still hurts. 

Edit: hit enter too soon.

Our co-op is 5 hours, class hours are separate (like a normal high school, all kids switch classes and teachers). So we talked through the risks involved in co-op when we decided not attend and reviewed them this past week when she was really upset. 

Here is what we came up with regarding boyfriend's family:

He and one of his siblings are in high school - they each take all 5 classes there. They're exposed to approximately 30-50 kids between the 2 of them just in classes, not to mention lunch time (co-op has about 60-75 high schoolers every year). He has 3 elementary age siblings, probably 50-75 kids there between their 3-4 classes each and playtime. He also has 1 preK sibling, another 15 kids in class, plus any child she plays with during her off hours. His mom sits in the nursery for an hour a day, so another 10ish or so kids. Most of those kids who interact with dd's boyfriend's family have siblings, so that probably affects the middle schoolers as well. So, just his family could infect the majority of the co-op members on any given week if one of them gets it. His mom does not believe in masks, so I am 100% sure none of them will wear a mask for any amount of time. 

Then, add to that: our family. 2 kids attend co-op 3 hours. About 30 kids total, probably 15 different due to my having a middle schooler. Then, boyfriend's brother has a girlfriend as well, who has 4 siblings, spread throughout elem - high school. Co-op lunch is one of the few places DD and boyfriend get to hang out since his family doesn't do one-on-one or group in-person dating until 17 (he's 15), so you know they are going to sit together every lunch. Ugh. Just too many interactions each week. 

While I understand the whole "looking at the data differently and coming up with your personal risk assessment" viewpoint, it really sucks for my dd, who is already struggling with isolation. I don't really know what my point is; just venting, I guess. I'm feeling so sad and grieving, I guess, for her coming year.  

 

Edited by beckyjo
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32 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Oooh, I see. So the idea is that the kids will stay really far apart and socialize like that? 

So, for me, PERSONALLY, it's more appealing to have a small number of kids together who can actually interact normally. Because it just seems sad forcing kids to stay far apart :-(. But if you do enforce physical distancing, and you have few kids in a room... yeah, that doesn't seem so bad. 

Our priority in deciding on fall programming was classes that were inherently socially distanced. So, painting on easels, where the materials provide a barrier, was brought back pretty soon, as was hand building with clay. Things where each person has their space, and are social in the sense of doing the same thing together,  but didn’t require a lot of contact. I’m doing bucket drumming, and honestly, we’d usually be spread out at least 6 feet anyway to avoid anyone getting hit by a flailing stick wielded by an excited 10 yr old. Move them into nice, shaded spaces, or a big room with open windows, and it ends up being inherently safer, but also normal feeling in a way that a class where you normally would be much closer together isn’t.
 

I’m guessing a lot of co-ops are making similar decisions and trade offs. 

Edited by dmmetler
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1 hour ago, Arctic Mama said:

The kids are spaced far apart in large Sunday school rooms

Is it getting modified with the new statewide mask order? Churches are being given choice but a co-op isnt a church sigh.

im with you on not liking it. our numberswere going DOWN before they bumped our level.

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@beckyjo  I totally understand. Our situation is similar except that we have our own health issues and my parents' to consider.  There were about 100 people in our co-op and as many as 12 to 16 in each class, times three classes, plus assembly (with singing) and lunch.  I am so sorry. I am grieving too.

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7 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

I’m really not sure, especially as it is a faith based tutorial. No word on how the new guidelines are going to be interpreted at present. It’s confusing!

 

I need to look up the order itself, but I have not seen it posted yet. I am not sure if religious entities are excluded or not?  It is a mandate, so it is enforceable. 

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1 hour ago, cintinative said:

 

I need to look up the order itself, but I have not seen it posted yet. I am not sure if religious entities are excluded or not?  It is a mandate, so it is enforceable. 

i assume there was choice for chrches as boards discussed it. but thats a totl leap to say it covers (no mask) random non church activities. then AHG etc would be exempt too. and why is a church not when the governor ASKED them to? sorry, i despise masks, barely tolerate them, but the governor asked them.

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5 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

In our area, a lot of families DO need schools for the reasons you consider "acceptable" -- I don't know what makes you think there are a lot of families with a stay at home parent at home in schools in general. We have a lot of troubles getting volunteers from the parents because we have so many single parent homes who are just stressed and stretched trying to keep food on the table and a house over their heads.

 

I'm sure it varies on where you live. My actual neighborhood is working class, but my area in general has a lot of well to do people. Lots of moms who stay home but have kids in expensive private schools, expensive preschools, or "good" public schools. Many I know from mom's group at my former parish (still in the mom's group), etc. 

Trust me, lots of people that are home anyway, but don't want to have their kids homes and are vocal about it. 

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10 hours ago, dmmetler said:

Our priority in deciding on fall programming was classes that were inherently socially distanced. So, painting on easels, where the materials provide a barrier, was brought back pretty soon, as was hand building with clay. Things where each person has their space, and are social in the sense of doing the same thing together,  but didn’t require a lot of contact. I’m doing bucket drumming, and honestly, we’d usually be spread out at least 6 feet anyway to avoid anyone getting hit by a flailing stick wielded by an excited 10 yr old. Move them into nice, shaded spaces, or a big room with open windows, and it ends up being inherently safer, but also normal feeling in a way that a class where you normally would be much closer together isn’t.
 

I’m guessing a lot of co-ops are making similar decisions and trade offs. 

I took a bucket drumming for teachers beginner class this summer  (remotely) and it was SO much fun!!!

Edited by Hilltopmom
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16 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

I find it absolutely fascinating how this is a thing - not just in school settings but businesses, etc. 

I mean, to me it is like people saying, "we've decided that following abuse safety guidelines should be up to the teachers and not mandated" or a restaurant saying, "we've decided washing hands after pooping should be up to the individual kitchen employees and not mandated". 

Given the strict dress codes so many co-ops have, I find it sort of amusing that requiring closed toed shoes and that midriffs be covered is acceptable but requiring teachers wear facemasks in a pandemic would prompt resignation.

Actually literally the same people at church who think child protection guidelines are stupid think covid guidelines are stupid.  Needless to say my kids don’t go round their house and we don’t hug!

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19 hours ago, cintinative said:

 

I need to look up the order itself, but I have not seen it posted yet. I am not sure if religious entities are excluded or not?  It is a mandate, so it is enforceable. 

Churches aren't exempt from the statewide masking order in Ohio.  Only exemption that applies to churches is that a minister doesn't have to wear a mask while speaking to the congregation.

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7 minutes ago, JanOH said:

Churches aren't exempt from the statewide masking order in Ohio.  Only exemption that applies to churches is that a minister doesn't have to wear a mask while speaking to the congregation.

 

Yes! They finally posted the order and I saw that also!

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2 hours ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

That’s what our congregation and tutorial are trying to figure out. If the mandate is widespread then the group will have the kids mask, but I know the director didn’t want to enforce policy on that unless she had to on principles of bodily autonomy and individual freedom. However they’re not going to defy the mask requirements, so I’m expecting an email to go out about this and change it from optional to mandatory for a time.

Don’t know about our church, still waiting to hear to hear on that, but since they do believe in respecting laws that aren’t causing stumbling and sin, I imagine the policy will change there as well. I don’t know what they’d do about individual members refusing to comply, we shall see.

Our pastor had to make a pretty strong statement from the pulpit (our church has been in a mandatory masking order county for three weeks now) but even those who were refusing have masked now for the most part.  It was hard for our pastor at first to think about but he handled it well and I was pleased that he based it on Scripture and respecting authority unless it goes against God's law.  I'm praying for unity as we have some who are NOT happy and that breaks my heart even though I don't understand their position.

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I wish more pastors would also frame it perhaps as a modesty issue? As in, not standing out or drawing attention to oneself? Seems that might work in certain denominations and congregations. I mean, you don't hear of Baptists claiming they can show up naked to church on Sunday due to beliefs on bodily autonomy and liberty and such, you know?

For co-ops, I figure if there is already a dress code in place, you can include masking as part of the dress code. If people can accept that they have to wear shirts with sleeves or closed toe shoes it's hard to figure out why masks would be logically different. 

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On 7/23/2020 at 12:26 AM, KungFuPanda said:

Seeing co-ops opening elsewhere is just surreal to me. This is such a bazaar time.  I feel like I’m in full protective gear in a bunker the middle of a forest fire while a mile away my neighbors are setting up lawn chairs and busting out marshmallows because their fire is still small. 
 

The reality is that we’re all really far apart and the situation is different everywhere. Still, what IS is about this thing that nobody quite gets it until it’s really bad and too late to keep it in check?

I think that is a huge part of the problem. So many can’t understand the reality until they have really experienced it, which means it’s so hard to persuade people to do the things needed to mitigate. It’s hard to stand by and watch that too.

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54 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

I don’t get the face shields. I need someone to walk me through how these work. I’m definitely missing something. 

Face shields are plastic so the front piece doesn't let anything through.  It's a physical barrier.   Because air can actually get around them on the sides and bottom, they are not considered protective from aerosol, which can linger in the air and be blown around by air currents.    A face shield with a mask is considered very protective because very little should get past the combination.   

I'm going to be using face shields so kids can see the teacher's faces, but instead of a mask over the mouth, we are doing a cloth drape that covers the open side and bottom of the shield to keep out the aerosol as well.  

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21 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

I'm going to be using face shields so kids can see the teacher's faces, but instead of a mask over the mouth, we are doing a cloth drape that covers the open side and bottom of the shield to keep out the aerosol as well.  

Do you have a link?

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19 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

Face shields are plastic so the front piece doesn't let anything through.  It's a physical barrier.   Because air can actually get around them on the sides and bottom, they are not considered protective from aerosol, which can linger in the air and be blown around by air currents.    A face shield with a mask is considered very protective because very little should get past the combination.   

I'm going to be using face shields so kids can see the teacher's faces, but instead of a mask over the mouth, we are doing a cloth drape that covers the open side and bottom of the shield to keep out the aerosol as well.  

The cloth drape makes sense. If we all had some version of that we might look like beekeepers but it might be more comfortable and easier to communicate. I was curious why anyone though a shield alone did anything. 

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2 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

I don’t get the face shields. I need someone to walk me through how these work. I’m definitely missing something. 

 

1 hour ago, Where's Toto? said:

Face shields are plastic so the front piece doesn't let anything through.  It's a physical barrier.   Because air can actually get around them on the sides and bottom, they are not considered protective from aerosol, which can linger in the air and be blown around by air currents.    A face shield with a mask is considered very protective because very little should get past the combination.   

I'm going to be using face shields so kids can see the teacher's faces, but instead of a mask over the mouth, we are doing a cloth drape that covers the open side and bottom of the shield to keep out the aerosol as well.  

Yes, this, but wearing a mask. If I could figure out a way to add the drape to the sides/bottom, I'd try that as well instead. I can't quite figure it out with the face shield I have though. I'm still experimenting. 

1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

The cloth drape makes sense. If we all had some version of that we might look like beekeepers but it might be more comfortable and easier to communicate. I was curious why anyone though a shield alone did anything. 

For me, I'm wearing a face shield only *when far enough away from the kids not to be a risk* and then will have my mask on underneath the rest of the time. Because although we'll be indoors, there's easily 20+ feet from where the kids' chairs are to where I stand at my white board, (the only time I'll have my mask off) so even though we're sharing air....that seems a safe distance. Then the rest of the time, mask on underneath (and probably a clear one also/one with a clear panel, which I recently tested out and liked). 

Other than that, most people I've seen wearing/talking about wearing just a face shield feel it more or less protects the wearer (from particles/spit/etc) but not so much other people, and are people wearing them in cases where prolonged wearing of a mask is an issue (ex; friend who's a grocery employee, but not in a customer-facing role most of the time, so wears it to comply with the rules but doesn't feel the need for a full mask). 

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If anyone is still following for co-op info/guidelines, ours sent out their email and now I can discuss it 🙂

*classes will be offered in person, unless the individual teacher prefers online only
*classes may/will be offered online *also* at the discretion of the individual teacher (and will be formatted how that teacher sees fit)
*our entrance/exit doors at the main entrances will be kept physically OPEN at intervals surrounding drop off/pick up times for each period, so that students do not have to touch the entrance/exit doors at all
*classroom doors will only be opened/closed by the teachers, so students don't touch the doors
*student's hands will be washed/sanitized when they enter each classroom
*only one student will be permitted in a bathroom at a time (I assume our hall monitors will keep an eye on this so kids from multiple classes aren't going at the same time)(meaning for in multi-stall bathrooms, obviously; single stall are already this way, of course)
*water fountains will be closed/off limits; students will bring water bottles; we will have single serve bottles for sale, and teachers will have gallon jugs of drinking water to refill water bottles as needed
*classrooms will be social distanced (seating, etc.)
*there will be NO SHARING of items at all (supplies, etc)
*labs will have students wear gloves and masks for added safety/cleanliness
*masks will NOT be required on students or staff unless the state mandate extends; otherwise, it will be up to each teacher
*lunch will be held in each individual classroom (students will remain in their 2nd period class) rather than in large groups
*each class will end 5 mins early so that students have time to sanitize their seat, table space, etc. before leaving (or teachers do so, etc., depending on age of kids)
*classrooms will be sanitized between each class and end of day
*recess is already fairly small groups and kids will hand sanitize before/after
*if inside for recess due to weather, they'll be in smaller groups

*bathrooms will be sanitized more often
*screening for fever/symptoms/Covid exposure/positive Covid test (not allowed if yes) (relying on parents to self screen/relay info)
*if a kid has close exposure to someone with a positive, or has a positive test themselves, then they'll be contact traced and exposed families notified w/o mentioning the name of the student; affected class(es) will go online for 2 wks as a precaution
*we will be online only after Thanksgiving break and resume in person after the end of our Christmas break (mid January)

Our classes are already fairly small, our rooms are already fairly big (we will be rearranging as needed so classes with larger class size can have the larger rooms, to social distance better), and our families are already fairly good at not coming if sick, so I *think* this is about as safe as you can get (unless they'd require masks which of course would be safer); kids will be of course allowed to wear masks if parent requests, and individual teachers can require it if they wish. 

anyway, I'd said I'd post ours since I feel pretty good with it. If anyone was still interested 🙂

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14 minutes ago, TheReader said:

 

Yes, this, but wearing a mask. If I could figure out a way to add the drape to the sides/bottom, I'd try that as well instead. I can't quite figure it out with the face shield I have though. I'm still experimenting. 

For me, I'm wearing a face shield only *when far enough away from the kids not to be a risk* and then will have my mask on underneath the rest of the time. Because although we'll be indoors, there's easily 20+ feet from where the kids' chairs are to where I stand at my white board, (the only time I'll have my mask off) so even though we're sharing air....that seems a safe distance. Then the rest of the time, mask on underneath (and probably a clear one also/one with a clear panel, which I recently tested out and liked). 

Other than that, most people I've seen wearing/talking about wearing just a face shield feel it more or less protects the wearer (from particles/spit/etc) but not so much other people, and are people wearing them in cases where prolonged wearing of a mask is an issue (ex; friend who's a grocery employee, but not in a customer-facing role most of the time, so wears it to comply with the rules but doesn't feel the need for a full mask). 

My drapes are basically a rectangle about 2 inches larger than the shield on the sides and bottom, with a cutout in the middle running from the top edge to about an inch up from the bottom of the shield.   So it resembles a really thick U.  Made the same as a mask, multiple layers of quilters cotton. 

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32 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

My drapes are basically a rectangle about 2 inches larger than the shield on the sides and bottom, with a cutout in the middle running from the top edge to about an inch up from the bottom of the shield.   So it resembles a really thick U.  Made the same as a mask, multiple layers of quilters cotton. 

How are you attaching it, though? to the shield, or tied on to your head like a mask? That's the part I can't figure out, how to attach it....(and how for it not to interfere with peripheral vision, but that's minor)

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10 hours ago, JanOH said:

Churches aren't exempt from the statewide masking order in Ohio.  Only exemption that applies to churches is that a minister doesn't have to wear a mask while speaking to the congregation.

so were they exempt with county orders but not for state?

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10 hours ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

so I’m expecting an email to go out about this and change it from optional to mandatory for a time.

yeah the statewide thing sicks. i liked by county and changing with data better. i assume this means they see it going on a while.

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1 hour ago, TheReader said:

How are you attaching it, though? to the shield, or tied on to your head like a mask? That's the part I can't figure out, how to attach it....(and how for it not to interfere with peripheral vision, but that's minor)

Loops on the top corners.  I can put them over the visor strap or I may put a button on it to loop it over.  While testing them out I just used a safety pin to test it.  I'm putting small bits of gaffers tape on the inside to hold the drape to the shield, but it's actually unnecessary since it lies pretty flat.

 

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11 hours ago, PeterPan said:

so were they exempt with county orders but not for state?

They weren't exempt from county orders.  I had heard that the City of Dayton had exempted churches when they set up their city-wide mask mandate but I never researched that one because our church isn't in city limits.  When the state started the county mandates churches were not exempt, only officiants actively conducting services. 

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