COVID-19

Position Paper II


In the face of 2020’s challenges, we’ve tried to keep your health and safety front-of-mind at Granite Forest Dojo. Our first Position Paper on the pandemic was sent March 11,2020. We were exhaustive in our research then, striving for the most conservative approach to the safety protocols we’d require of our students. That didn’t change as we moved out of the dojo onto Zoom, and from Zoom to training outside. In recent weeks, we’ve been working toward a safety-minded approach for training indoors. This second Position Paper lays out our intentions. It is the result of much research, meetings with HVAC-system engineers, conversations with knowledgeable dojo family members who work in the medical field, and an in-dojo consultation with a Harvard-trained epidemiologist. With your support, we will welcome you inside the dojo once again, but with measures that may go beyond what you’re finding in most other public facilities:

The Protocols:

  • Masks fully covering noses and mouths will be required of everyone inside the dojo, on the front patio, and on the rear walkway, at all times and without exception.
  • Uniforms — All students will be requested to arrive dressed for class, as dressing rooms are not large enough to maintain distance, and it will be unfeasible to sanitize them between changes. We’ve all found ourselves wearing undergarments for cold, lighter garments for heat, and full-foot shoes on asphalt and grass. Nevertheless, we can all find ways to maintain the uniform standards of our tradition.
  • Footwear — All students will be requested to arrive in slip-on shoes to prevent entrance-and-exit traffic jams and maintain distancing during class transitions. Students should bring sneakers during temperate weather, so that instructor may, at his or her discretion, move class into the rear parking lot.
  • Transmission Prevention — Everyone will be temperature-scanned and given sanitizer when entering the building, whether they’re training or not. Hand sanitizer and spray disinfectant will be available in multiple places inside the building.
  • Social Distancing requirements must be maintained before and after class. Students must maintain distance and return to marked positions as instructed during class. Our dojo can hold a maximum of 14 excessively-distanced, masked students per adult class, plus instructors.
  • Air Exchange — Our new air ejection system exceeds the federal requirement for fitness facilities.*
  • Sanitization — We will sanitize chairs, surfaces, bathroom and dojo floor before and after each class.
  • Parents and Visitors — Only nine (9) parents will be able to sit in the parent galleries during children’s classes, plus one family in the playroom. During classes where parental attendance exceeds this number, we’ll ask that parents rotate viewing days in order to be fair to one another in these unusual circumstances. When needed, parents are also invited to bundle up and view their children through our large bay window.
  • Playroom availability will be limited to one toddler family per class. The room will be cleared of toys, with waiting siblings encouraged to bring their own.
  • Foot Traffic through the dojo will be a one-way, with all students and visitors exiting in the rear.
  • Zoom will be available to students as an option to in-person classes.

Please review the chart on page 2, which explains how the dojo air-flow will work, where people will be positioned during classes, where parents will sit, and traffic pattern directions in and out of the dojo.

You’ve often heard us refer to our dojo as a family. We mean it. We’d be beside ourselves if someone were to come to harm when there’s something we could have done to prevent it. This paper describes everything we could learn of to create as safe an environment as possible. Bearing in mind that there are members of our dojo family who are elderly, have compromised immune systems, or otherwise are at increased danger if COVID is contracted, we are asking for unanimous help in getting through the pandemic.


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* For air circulation and exchange, in addition to its industrial-grade ceiling fans, our dojo has two state-of–theart, natural gas HVAC systems. Servicing the training area is a Goodman GPG154911541C (which means it’s a really good one), installed to maximize its efficiency to the tatami. Notice how we positioned it: atop a custombuilt platform out back, rather than on the roof, to deliver a straight flow of air to our main chamber. (The playroom, office, and front gathering area are serviced by the other unit on the front roof.) This was originally intended to maximize cooling for intense physical training, but now its exceptional air-exchange rate is more valuable for COVID protection than any other purpose. In addition to all this, we’ve recently installed two highvelocity ejector fans in the rear of the building. This negative-pressure system will be used as needed to exceed fresh air requirements.

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