Northrop Event COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

 

 Updated Aug 6, 2020

General Information

Venue Capacities
Performances
Building Use
HVAC
Cleaning

Patron Experience

Safety and Screening
Ticketing
Directions for patron arrival
Seating

Artist Experience

Employee Experience

All Employees - (full time, part time, temp/casual and contractors)
Front of House
Box Office
Marketing
Production

 


 

General Information:

Venue Capacities:

  • The capacity of the Carlson Family Stage will be limited to 250 patrons per the recommendations from the Preparedness Plan Requirements Guidance - Seated Entertainment & Meetings.
  • The capacity of the Best Buy Theater will be limited to 22 patrons including the speaker.  While 25 percent of the full 168-seat capacity is 42, we will reduce that number to 22 to adhere to the 6-foot physical distancing requirement.
  • Occupancies will be posted for the Founder’s Room, Seminar Room, study lounges, backstage break room, dressing rooms, and any other appropriate spaces near the entrances of those spaces.

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Performances:

  • All Fall 2020 Northrop Presents performances have been converted to online only experiences with exception of one, which will follow all guidelines outlined in this preparedness plan and all guidelines in the Preparedness Plan Requirements Guidance - Seated Entertainment & Meetings.
  • For all in-person Northrop Presents performances, Northrop will offer an online alternative to view the performance remotely.
  • Many Northrop Presents performances have been shortened to eliminate intermissions as a way to avoid patrons congregating in lobbies and restrooms.
  • All Northrop Presents performance previews will be offered online only, the day before each performance.
  • All Northrop films and many engagement activities have been converted to online only experiences until further notice.
  • All in-person events presented by renters of Northrop will be required to follow the University of Minnesota’s Sunrise Plan, all guidelines outlined in this preparedness plan, and all guidelines in the Preparedness Plan Requirements Guidance - Seated Entertainment & Meetings.
  • Printed programs have been eliminated and will be replaced with digital programs that will be emailed to patrons ahead of each performance and also available online.

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Building Use

  • Surdyk’s Café will remain closed until further notice. When it reopens, Northrop will follow the recommendations of the Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening: Restaurants & Bars.
  • Tables, chairs, benches, and other seating areas will either be removed, moved to accommodate physical distancing guidelines, or marked as unavailable to prevent use, as appropriate.
  • Elevator occupancy will be limited per guidance from the National Elevator Industry, Inc. and managed by University of Minnesota’s Facilities Management. Stair use will be encouraged.
  • Trash cans will be placed at each restroom entrance.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be located inside each building entrance, backstage, and near the ATM/vending machine on the Ground Floor West Side.

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HVAC:

  • Northrop has been working very closely with the University of Minnesota’s Energy Management on HVAC protocols for the venue and has an updated system following the building’s 2014 reopening.
  • Northrop’s HVAC system will be programmed to run continuously to increase total room ventilation and to ventilate per ASHRAE 62.1-2019 Table 6-1. Outdoor air ventilation will be increased beyond ASHRAE 62.1-2019 Table 6-1.
  • Northrop’s demand control ventilation (DCV) and occupancy sensor ventilation controls will be disabled.
  • Northrop will improve filtration to MERV-13 in accordance with the University’s recommended timeline.

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Cleaning:

    • Northrop has been working very closely with University of Minnesota’s Facilities Management on cleaning protocols for the venue. FM will be performing enhanced cleaning for public spaces, including:
      • Each building entry lobby area and venue entrances will have a wall mount or stand mount hand sanitizer dispenser installed and refilled regularly.
      • High-touchpoint areas such door push bars, door handles, stair railings, elevator buttons, and other areas will be cleaned daily.
      • Water bottle filling stations will be cleaned daily.
      • Restrooms will be cleaned daily.
      • Vending machines and the ATM will be wiped down daily.

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  • Facilities Management will be cleaning the venue more frequently per the FM Sunrise Support Plan, using approved cleaning supplies.
  • Facilities Management has purchased misters that will be used to clean the theater seats, locker rooms, and other areas efficiently.
  • On days with two performances, a minimum of one hour between shows will be required for cleaning per the test that FM has completed.
  • Additional trash cans will be placed throughout the lobbies to minimize the travel necessary to reach one.

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Patron Experience

Safety and Screening:

  • Patrons attending in-person events will be asked to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms using the Stay Safe MN Visitor and Employee Health Screening Checklist. This checklist will be included in the pre-event email, and posted at venue entrances.
  • Patrons exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 during their visit will be asked to leave the venue.
  • Patrons are required to wear a mask at all times in the building, unless they are under the age of two or it is not recommended for health or physical ability reasons, per the University of Minnesota’s policy on face coverings
  • If a patron arrives without a mask, masks will be available at the box office for $1 each.
  • Patrons will be reminded to wash hands often, get tested, and stay home when ill or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, maintain physical distancing, and wear a mask.  These reminders will be placed on signage throughout the facility and included in the pre-event email.
  • Northrop’s written communications and tickets will encourage patrons who experience COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of a visit to Northrop to get tested and contact the Minnesota Department of Health if they test positive to facilitate contact tracing. Northrop will cooperate fully with University policy and the Minnesota Department of Health for this purpose.

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Ticketing:

  • Northrop will offer flexibility in exchanges and refunds during COVID-19 in an effort to encourage patrons who are ill to stay home. This will include the option to exchange in-person tickets for live-stream tickets, exchange tickets for another performance, donate the value of the tickets, or request a refund.
  • All patrons will be strongly encouraged to use mobile tickets, delivered to their personal devices. This includes walk-up sales.
  • Patrons who require physical tickets due to an inability to receive e-tickets will receive their tickets via USPS, unless the lead time is too short to mail tickets. In that case, physical tickets will be available for pick-up at the Box Office Will Call.
  • Patrons needing ticketing assistance upon arrival to the venue will be directed to the Box Office.
  • Northrop’s policies and guidelines will be clearly posted on the ticketing site for review during the ticket purchasing process.
  • Northrop will use floor decals to demarcate the Box Office lines and ensure 6-foot physical distancing between patrons while waiting.
  • Group sales are not available until further notice.

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Directions for patron arrival:

  • Patrons will receive a pre-event email on two to three occasions prior to each performance based on the type of performance.
  • Pre-event email will include the following in addition to standard information:
    • Patron responsibilities:
      • Face mask requirements.
      • Health check recommendations.
      • Refund or ticket exchange information.
      • Arrival and building updates.
      • Reminder to bring a personal water bottle for filling if desired.
    • Patron arrival information:
      • Patrons needing ADA accommodations should enter the building through the Ground Floor East entrance.
      • Patrons needing Box Office assistance should enter through the Ground Floor East or West entrances.
      • Patrons with seats on the Ground Floor East or Orchestra East levels should enter the building through the Ground Floor East entrance.
      • Patrons with seats on the Ground Floor West or Orchestra West levels should enter the building through the Ground Floor West entrance.
      • Patrons with seats on the Presidents Circle East, Scholars East, or Gallery East levels should enter through the Plaza East entrance.
      • If your seats are on the Presidents Circle West, Scholars West, or Gallery West levels, should enter the building through the Plaza West doors.
  • Patrons will be encouraged to pre-purchase parking to minimize contact at parking facilities.

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Seating:

  • Patrons will be seated by household, in groups of six or fewer, with at least six feet of space between groups in all directions. The Box Office staff will assign seats approximately one week in advance of each performance.
  • Doors to the Carlson Family Stage will open one hour prior to each performance to allow for ample seating time.
  • Once in the building, ushers will direct guests entering through the Ground Floor East and West doors as follows:
    • Rows AA-G are directed to the Ground Floor theater entrances.
    • Rows H-Z are directed up the curved stairs to Level 1 entrances.
  • Once in the building, ushers will direct guests entering through the Plaza doors to the south stairwells and up to the appropriate level.
  • Patrons attending general admission events will be seated by the usher staff on a first- come, first-served basis that accounts for unavailable seating.  
  • The 250 capacity physically distanced seating map will ensure that no patrons will have to cross in front of other patrons to get to their seats.
  • After the event, patrons will be asked to remain in their seats until dismissed. Ushers will dismiss patrons from the rear rows first, working down to the front rows last. This method of dismissal will be announced prior to the start of the performance.

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Artist Experience

 

Employee Experience:

All Employees - (full time, part time, temp/casual and contractors):

  • All employees will be trained on the University’s Sunrise Plan and this preparedness plan prior to the resumption of events.
  • Employees will be provided with the full plan to be read prior to their first shift. Prior to each shift, each employee group will be trained on their job specific portion of the Northrop event COVID-19 preparedness plan in preparation for that shift.
  • Any employee who has contact with hazardous materials will be required to complete course UHS470 - Hazard Communication annually and become familiar with any site specific hazardous chemicals that are used in the course of work.
  • Employees are asked to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms daily, take temperatures twice daily at home—at the same time in the morning and evening or before and after work and maintain a log—and to stay home if ill or exhibiting symptoms. 
  • Employees exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival or during a shift will be sent home immediately and we will follow the instructions in the University’s Toolkit for Supervisors. For each event, a predetermined waiting area will be designated in the case that an employee cannot leave immediately.
  • Employees are required to wear a mask at all times in the building, unless it is not recommended for health or physical ability reasons, per the University of Minnesota’s policy on face coverings
  • Reusable masks should be washed per CDC guidance. If any employee does not have a reusable mask, a disposable mask will be provided at no cost.
  • Employees will be reminded to wash hands often, get tested, and stay home when ill or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, and to maintain physical distance. 
  • Stop the Spread signage will be placed throughout the facility.
  • Employees with uniforms should wash uniforms between shifts.
  • Non-event staff will continue to work from home. 
  • Event staff will work on site for events and from home during non-event work hours. 
  • Staff approved to return to work under the University of Minnesota’s Sunrise Plan will continue to follow the guidelines in Northrop’s policies that supplement the Sunrise Plan.

 

Front of House:

  • All ushers will check in with management upon arrival. They will go through the Stay Safe MN Visitor and Employee Health Screening Checklist before being assigned to their work stations.
  • Face shields will be made available for ushers to use during shifts.
  • Ushers scanning tickets will be provided with Plexiglas barriers.
  • Scanners and radios will be cleaned with disinfecting wipes prior to and after each use, and earbuds will be washed prior to each use. The front of house management team will be responsible for cleaning, distributing, and then collecting these items during each shift.
  • Ushers will monitor for adherence to public health guidelines. If a patron refuses to comply with the recommendations and requirements, Northrop staff will employ the Educate, Inform, Escalate model:
    • Educate: Politely explain what the problem is, assume that the patron simply did not understand the requirement.
    • Inform: Tell the patron to please respect the requirement, including why it is important.
    • Escalate: Call the manager on duty who may ask the patron and their group to leave if they pose a threat to staff or visitors.
  • Northrop will schedule one additional UMPD officer to be a resource for staff as needed. 

 

Box Office:

  • All Box Office personnel will check in at their assigned location upon arrival and go through the Stay Safe MN Visitor and Employee Health Screening Checklist.
  • Glass barriers will be installed at all Box Office windows.
  • Only one window will be open at each Box Office East and West location.
  • One student will be scheduled to answer phones and be stationed at least six feet from other staff members.
  • Non-Box Office staff members will not be allowed in the Box Offices.
  • Other staff members can contact the Box Office staff as needed by radio, phone, G-Chat or email.
  • Disposable gloves will be made available to Box Office staff. If used, gloves will be changed between each task.
  • Two baskets for pens will be available at the Box Office windows. One will contain clean sanitized pens, and the other will be for pens that have been used. Used pens will be cleaned and sanitized before reuse.

Marketing:

  • All literature racks, brochures, and printed materials will be eliminated.
  • The marketing table will be relocated within the lobby to a location that allows for one employee to staff the table and socially distance from patrons. 
  • The marketing table will only contain one display and no hand-outs. There will be an “Enter to Win” QR code available.

 

Production:

  • IATSE and other backstage personnel will enter through the backstage door by the loading dock. They will not be allowed to enter backstage any other way. This information will be relayed to the Local 13 by Northrop’s Technical Director.
  • All backstage personnel will check in at a table upon entry through the backstage door and go through the Stay Safe MN Visitor and Employee Health Screening Checklist.
  • Masks will be distributed upon check-in.
  • Upon completion of the health screening, IATSE employees will be issued a Northrop satin to indicate that they have been cleared to work.
  • Production is working with touring companies and Local 13 to ensure consistent staffing from load-in to load-out.
  • IATSE and contractors will not be allowed to use the break room and will be asked to bring meals in coolers as necessary.
  • Hygiene stations will be set up outside each stage entrance door that include hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
  • Cleaning station will be set up on stage left and stage right with supplies used to clean commonly/communally used tools.
  • House production staff and visiting production staff will collaborate on social distancing the load-in and strike work calls based on the total number of local and visiting production staff/stagehands needed for each call, increasing the amount of time for work calls as necessary.
  • Backstage access will be limited to essential personnel only during all work and performance calls. Essential personnel is defined as Northrop production staff, visiting company, and artistic staff.

Plan Administrator:
Kari Schloner, Director of Northrop
612-655-7288
kschlone@umn.edu

Northrop’s Re-Opening Committee:
Ken Hahn, Shayna Houp, Brad Kern, Amy Nelson, Bridget Reddan, David Russell, Megan Sangster, Julie Strothman, Trisha Taylor