We know that people get significant mental health, social and musical benefits from playing music together and, in close conjunction with our host clubs, we are running ukestras in the community.
We are working hard to stay safe and hygienic. But we also know that, if it all goes to pot again, we can return to the online sessions where everyone learned a lot and significantly improved their ukulele skills.
Most importantly, we need your support to keep offering face-to-face ukestras, for we all need to stay safe and respectful of those who feel vulnerable yet who still wish to be learning and socialising face-to-face.
Conditions for Participation in a COVID-era Ukestra
Version 5: 23 September 2020
THE SHORT VERSION
- Agree to these conditions
- Feel sick? Don’t come.
- Hung out in any corona hotspots lately? Hmmmm….. don’t come to class.
- Abide by entry requirements and club rules
- Stay seated, don’t move around the club.
- Wear a mask when singing. Except when singing lead on mic, and 3 metres away from other ukers.
- Bring your own mic (if you have one) to sing lead. We have some spares.
- Bring the music published for the session you are attending.
THE LONG VERSION (PLEASE READ ANYHOW)
- If this is your first time, book in by selecting your day. We need to know that you are agreeing with the conditions.
- Please don’t come if you are sick (even a sniffle) or have been in contact with a COVID-19 infected person. Complying with social distancing protocols for us means no hugging, handshaking, kissing etc. No infections on our watch please (of even the flu or the common cold!).
- If you have been in contact with someone from a current hotspot (particularly Western and South-Western Sydney), or have recently returned from there, please avoid coming to uke until two weeks after that contact. We would mention Victoria, but it ain’t legal to be here at the mo’ (without a two week quarantine).
- Please comply with the club’s hygiene and social protocols. Things like signing into the club will be used for contact tracing in the extremely unlikely event that a local outbreak occurs; hand sanitisers are freely available – use them liberally; abide by social distancing and hygiene procedures at all times in the club.
- You are required to remain seated at your table or position in the room where possible.
- Please wear a cloth or surgical mask. We do not think this is necessary for those singing lead on microphone, as we require the lead singer to be 3 metres from the nearest ukestrans (the teacher can be nearby, masked). Masks reduce the risk to others around you (singing is a very contagious activity, it creates aerosols). Homemade masks or scarves (like the gangsters of old) are fine. Remember, our perspective is to protect others. The ABC has recently published this report on choirs and aerosols. You need to be aware of the risks, and the means by which we can all reduce the risks of spreading infection.
- If you are singing lead on microphone it would help if you bring your own microphone. We have a limited number of spares.
- You need to bring your own prints outs (or device for digital versions) of the music. Each week we will put the repertoire for the coming sessions on the relevant repertoire pages. This should occur at least 24 hours prior to the session.
All of these conditions are to help us make it work – for you, and for us. We need to remain vigilant; we are still experiencing a pandemic, so we cannot get too relaxed. If all of our efforts are successful we can continue on a weekly basis.
The time of each ukestra is slightly reduced in order to comply better with contact tracing protocols. Anything over two hour exposure to someone with COVID-19 is considered more risky than for under two hours. Hence each Ukestra is one hour and 45 minutes. What you do prior to, or after a Ukestra is your business.
NSW Government Guidelines that we are following
As a business, we have completed a COVID-Safe plan, but as we operate in public venues (pubs/clubs), then we operate within the regulations and restrictions with which they comply. We also are very aware of our participation in the higher risk behaviour of singing. Hence we mandate masks at our ukestras. See the bottom of this page for a quick explanatory graphic about the benefits of masks.
Latest NSW Government Statistics
As at 21 August, in our understanding, there has been no unidentified community transmission in our health district (Hunter New England) for many weeks. On 21 August NSW had ONE new infection. Party time! (with social distancing).
So our perception is that we have a very local LOW risk of exposure to community transmission in the Lower Hunter.