By Sergey Danilov
While I am lost in time, figuratively and literally, I realize how much I want to be back to a somewhat normal life. The past almost three months went in a blink of the eye and it was the longest three months of my life at the same time. We learned a lot during this time of the pandemic COVID-19 – new virus, what is social distance, online training, online learning, spending more time with the people we did not have time for before… I can continue on and on. But the bottom line… we are all ready to be back to normal.
At New York Fencing Academy, looking through different guidelines, such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), United States Fencing Association (USFA), New York Department of Health and Nassau County Department of Health, we are putting together our Academy guidelines for reopening when it will happen.
While both of our clubs are in New York, they are in different zones and it looks like the Long Island location is moving towards reopening a bit sooner than the Brooklyn location. The health and safety of our community is our top priority and we will work hard to follow all the guidelines before and during the reopening. So, both locations will follow the guidelines of the local Health authorities.
Meanwhile, we developed some New York Fencing Academy guidelines for all athletes, parents, coaches and staff.
While we will be reopening the facilities with strict guidelines stated below, we will provide full support to our NYFA family by continuing all online classes and online private lessons. So, you can choose either one or even a combination.
NYFA will be providing:
- Group classes with limited number of participants (when permitted by region’s control room);
- Private lessons at the NYFA facilities (by appointment only);
- Zoom training including group classes and private lessons;
- Any combination;
The following guidelines will apply to facilities, athletes, parents, coaches and staff who might be involved in fencing activities with NYFA.
Facility and cleaning:
- The gyms will be ventilated daily, and air purifiers with UV-C light & True HEPA filters, and ozone generator machines will be working overnight to sanitize the air.
- The gym, hallways and restrooms will be cleaned and fully sanitized daily, including the door handles of the street entrance, elevator doors and buttons.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be installed throughout the facility.
- The sign of all the necessary precautions will be posted in the lobby.
- Temperature checks for all who are entering the facility (including the coaches and staff) will be made by touchless thermometer. All who have temperatures of 37.2C (99F) or higher will not be admitted to the facility and will be asked to isolate themselves at home for 14 days (in case of good health, Zoom classes are still available for those who cannot attend).
- Changing rooms will be closed for all athletes. Gearing up should happen at home or in the car, prior to entering the building.
- The water fountain will be closed at this time. Only personal bottles are allowed for use (before and after private sessions only – in the designated bag area or outside the gym).
- NO PARENTS are allowed in the facility. The drop off for fencers will be right in front of the door. Anyone who does enter the facility must wear a face mask.
The Fencers and Coaches:
- NYFA Coaches and staff will be wearing face masks at all times.
- All fencers must wear face masks before entering the facility of NYFA. If not single use mask, it should:
· Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
· Be secured with ties or ear loops
· Include multiple layers of fabric
· Allow for breathing without restriction
· Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
- Fencers, coaches and staff should come to the gym directly from home.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home, self-isolate and call your healthcare provider.
- Practice proper hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
– Wash your hands frequently with soap and use hand sanitizer;
– Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze into a tissue;
– Practice social distance;
– Do not use or share other people’s devices such as phones, tablets etc;
Fencing and sport equipment:
- Coaches and Fencers are not allowed to leave any equipment in the gym under any circumstances.
- All personal equipment should be washed and/or sanitized after each use. If the equipment cannot be washed (mask, epee) – it must be sanitized.
- The club equipment will not be available for anyone. If Fencer forgot the equipment, he/she will not be able to participate in the club activity – no exceptions.
- Some sports equipment (i.e. jumping rope, tennis ball, resistant band, etc) will not be provided by the club; all fencers must have their own. Please consult with the coaches about what you need for upcoming practices.
- Due to closure of the changing rooms, there will be a designated bag area, marked with tape, which will be clearly visible. Please follow the 6 feet social distance rule when in the bag area.
Private sessions and group classes:
- Only fencers who have previously booked lessons or classes will be admitted to the gym (contact Marina at 516-472-7042 for Long Island location and 718-996-0426 for Brooklyn location). Fencers who have no appointments, please contact our office OVER THE PHONE ONLY! Availability of group classes will be announced separately when permitted by state.
- The fencers who have booked lesson(s) will be admitted to the facility no earlier than 15 minutes prior in order to warm-up. There will be a special designated area for the warm-up.
- All games including sharing of objects or possible physical contact are canceled.
- All fencers must wear face masks, covering the nose and mouth.
At the end of the day, we would like to keep everyone safe and healthy. We will continue Zoom classes and the combination of Zoom and in-person training. Stay healthy and We Will Fence Again!