COVID-19 Health Information
On March 15, Yoga Alliance communicated our recommendation that—for communities where social distancing has become required, recommended, or the community norm—all in-person yoga instruction be cancelled until the need for social distancing has passed.
At Yoga Alliance, we are committed to updating you and connecting with you through the global coronavirus pandemic. This health emergency has understandably caused concern and anxiety amongst our communities around the world. While we cannot eliminate all threats, we can take preventative steps to minimize risk.
There is a lot of fast-moving information out there with respect to the novel coronavirus, the disease it causes (COVID-19), and general health and safety measures. As a result, it can be hard to keep track of what is valuable without becoming completely overwhelmed. Yoga Alliance leans on and recommends three credible sources for the most up-to-date guidance, given how quickly the information on this situation is evolving:
- The World Health Organization (WHO);
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and
- The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).
We also look towards two online trackers that are following the cases of the coronavirus:
- The Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center and its global tracker of cases around the world; and
- The US Health Weather Map powered by Kinsa Insights and its tracker of U.S. cases.
The information contained below pertains specifically to those communities that have not received local, state, or federal direction or advice to close their businesses and/or establish social distancing precautions.
- Stock and maintain your bathroom(s) with soap and water
- Stock and maintain your studio(s) with at least 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Stock and maintain your studio(s) with disinfectant wipes
- Stock and maintain your studio(s) with tissues
- Offer no-touch receptacles where possible
- Clean the bathroom(s) multiple times each day with a disinfectant cleaner and disposable paper towels or wipes
- Clean the studio floors after each class
- Wipe telephones, keyboards, door handles, bathroom faucets, front desk surfaces, and anything that staff, teachers, or students commonly touch
- Thoroughly wipe all rental mats and other props before and after each use
- Wash blankets and bolsters more frequently
Signage – we created flyers that you can download and use
*Yoga Alliance recommends all in-person yoga instruction be cancelled until the need for social distancing has passed. These materials are recommended for communities that have not received local, state, or federal direction or advice to close their businesses and/or establish social distancing precautions.
- Post signs in each bathroom and around the studio with respect to cough-and-sneeze etiquette (using a tissue and throwing it away, using upper sleeve if a tissue is not available, refraining from touching your mouth, nose, and eyes, etc.)
- Post signs in each bathroom about washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Post signage at the front desk regarding the request to refrain from practicing at the studio if under the weather
Staff, Teachers, and Volunteers
- Set up a COVID-19 response team that meets regularly to share information reports from federal, state, and local resources and to manage various contingency plans, including staff (including teachers and volunteers) and practitioner communication
- Create a response matrix based on transmission scenarios in your region (see a sample framework as developed by the WHO)
- Ensure that your work-from-home policies (telework, remote meeting options, etc.) are flexible
- Ensure that your sick leave policies are also flexible and consistent with public health guidance
- Encourage staff, teachers, and volunteers to work from home or take a sick day if they are sick
- Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for staff, teachers, and volunteers who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work
- Maintain confidentiality of people with confirmed COVID-19
- Maintain flexible policies that permit staff, teachers, and volunteers to stay home to care for a sick family member
- Empower staff, teachers, and volunteers to ask sick practitioners not to practice if they are showing symptoms
- Encourage staff, teachers, and volunteers to practice good health habits, such as getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing their stress, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating nutritious foods
- Don’t propose to know everything; stick to the basics
Students and Practitioners
- Proactively communicate with your students about what you are doing to increase your studio cleaning and other precautions, including emails, social media posts, and in-studio flyers
- Encourage students to remain at home if they are sick but to do a home practice if they feel up to it to help manage their stress
- Ask students to leave if they cough or sneeze in class, offering them class credit for a later date
- Email sequences from your teachers that can keep them practicing if staying home
- Reduce or pause the use of studio-provided props in your in-studio classes
- If still offering studio-provided props, ask students to use a tissue between them and eye pillows, or encourage them to bring a clean pillowcase from home to use over blankets or bolsters
- Encourage students to bring their own props with them, including not just mats but belts, blocks, and bolsters
- Reduce or pause the use of physical assists in your in-studio classes
- Limit or reduce the number of students per class to allow for more space between mats
- Require advanced class sign up, if possible