Handwashing Plans

With the potential for the coronavirus outbreak to spread through our community, we're planning on requiring handwashing at our dances.  Everyone will need to wash their hands before dancing, and before eating the snacks we provide at the break.

With the coronavirus people can be contagious for up to two weeks before showing any symptoms, and there are starting to be cases in the US where people have caught it through community transmission, without any connection to people who've travelled to affected areas.  It is likely that by the time we detect it spreading in Boston it will already be reasonably far along, so we should be taking precautions in advance.


Is this really that dangerous?  Don't a lot more people die from the flu?

The coronavirus has a much higher death rate than the flu, especially among older people.  We're trying to do our part to keep it from becoming as widespread as the flu.

This is also not either-or: hand washing is also helpful for reducing the risk of flu, colds, and other infectious diseases.

Wouldn't using hand sanitizer be easier?

The CDC recommends only using hand sanitizer when soap and water aren't available.

Why are you taking these steps when workplaces, schools, and others aren't?

In contra dance you touch the hands of a very large number of people, and we all can remember times when a lot of people were sick after a dance event.

If you're so worried, why aren't you cancelling the dance?

There's no sign of community transmission in Boston, schools are still open, and the CDC has not suggested people cancel conferences and similar events.  We're trying to be cautious, but not overreact.


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