What are the safety protocols?

BlissfulSynergy

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Does anyone know whether there is a list of safety protocols. I don't see a thread in figure skating edge. I will check out the 'General Info' post here to see if there was a press statement. I would imagine that spectators will not be allowed, or else there will be stringent requirements instituted regarding seating distance and wearing masks, as well as temperature screening?

ETA:
Okay, I see in the general info thread that 'no spectators' are allowed, which is sad for fans and for Las Vegas and the economy. But safety first is important. There will surely be proactive measures in place to ensure health of the athletes, officials, and rink staff.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Does anyone know whether there is a list of safety protocols. ...

There will surely be proactive measures in place to ensure health of the athletes, officials, and rink staff.

Yes, of course, there are many COVID safety protocols in place for Skate America.
They are explained in detail in a long section of the Announcement document.

The safety protocols also are discussed at length in the Media Information document -- because credentialed media who attend Skate America in person are required to comply with all the safety protocols.

Both documents are readily accessible on the ISU event page:

I think the USFS safety protocols are very well thought out.
The general idea is that USFS is creating a bubble.
For anyone who really cares to know what exactly is in the safety protocols, please take the time to read the documents.

I am not going to go back now to re-read everything, and certainly am not going to attempt to include all the details in this post. But IIRC, some examples of what I remember off the top of my head:
- The process starts two weeks in advance, when everyone (not only skaters) who will attend must begin using a designated app to report health information (I think temperature checks and the like).​
- Everyone is encouraged to reduce public interactions leading up to arrival in Las Vegas.​
- Everyone must arrive in Las Vegas two to three days in advance for mandatory COVID testing.​
- Everyone must stay at the Orleans Hotel, which is adjacent to the Orleans Arena venue. Hotel check-in will be at the arena (which is closed to the public) -- not at the front desk of the hotel (which is at an entrance in a public area of the casino).​
- Everyone must quarantine in her/his hotel room until her/his COVID test comes back negative.​
- All public areas of the casino are outside the bubble. Off limits, in other words.​
- Everyone in the bubble must get meals from the USFS dining room. No delivery of food from outside.​
- Everyone must wear masks everywhere -- except skaters who are warming up or who are on ice.​
- Obviously, no one is allowed to leave the bubble. If you leave, you must go through testing and quarantine again.​
- Credentialed media who have met the requirements to be within the bubble nonetheless will have no in-person contact with skaters, coaches, etc. The mixed zone will be virtual, not in person. Ditto for press conferences. Ditto for one-on-one interviews.​
(There also is a separate category of media who will be credentialed to cover the event remotely and who will not be allowed inside the bubble.)​
Etc.​
Etc.​
Etc.​



ETA (on Oct 15):

Adding here what I already said days ago in a different Skate America thread:​
The very short walking distance between the Orleans Hotel and the Orleans Arena is even more of an advantage than it was last year.​
As far as I could see, most of last year's skaters/coaches/officials [also many spectators] were in the habit of taking the outdoor route for the easy walk back and forth btwn hotel and arena.​
Even the indoor route bypasses the casino areas.​
 
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CoyoteChris

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Yes, of course, there are many COVID safety protocols in place for Skate America.
They are explained in detail in a long section of the Announcement document.

The safety protocols also are discussed at length in the Media Information document -- because credentialed media who attend Skate America in person are required to comply with all the safety protocols.

Both documents are readily accessible on the ISU event page:

I think the USFS safety protocols are very well thought out.
The general idea is that USFS is creating a bubble.
For anyone who really cares to know what exactly is in the safety protocols, please take the time to read the documents.

I am not going to go back now to re-read everything, and certainly am not going to attempt to include all the details in this post. But IIRC, some examples of what I remember off the top of my head:
- The process starts two weeks in advance, when everyone (not only skaters) who will attend must begin using a designated app to report health information (I think temperature checks and the like).​
- Everyone is encouraged to reduce public interactions leading up to arrival in Las Vegas.​
- Everyone must arrive in Las Vegas two to three days in advance for mandatory COVID testing.​
- Everyone must stay at the Orleans Hotel, which is adjacent to the Orleans Arena venue. Hotel check-in will be at the arena (which is closed to the public) -- not at the front desk of the hotel (which is at an entrance in a public area of the casino).​
- Everyone must quarantine in her/his hotel room until her/his COVID test comes back negative.​
- All public areas of the casino are outside the bubble. Off limits, in other words.​
- Everyone in the bubble must get meals from the USFS dining room. No delivery of food from outside.​
- Everyone must wear masks everywhere -- except skaters who are warming up or who are on ice.​
- Obviously, no one is allowed to leave the bubble. If you leave, you must go through testing and quarantine again.​
- Credentialed media who have met the requirements to be within the bubble nonetheless will have no in-person contact with skaters, coaches, etc. The mixed zone will be virtual, not in person. Ditto for press conferences. Ditto for one-on-one interviews.​
(There also is a separate category of media who will be credentialed to cover the event remotely and who will not be allowed inside the bubble.)​
Etc.​
Etc.​
Etc.​



ETA (on Oct 15):

Adding here what I already said days ago in a different Skate America thread:​
The very short walking distance between the Orleans Hotel and the Orleans Arena is even more of an advantage than it was last year.​
As far as I could see, most of last year's skaters/coaches/officials [also many spectators] were in the habit of taking the outdoor route for the easy walk back and forth btwn hotel and arena.​
Even the indoor route bypasses the casino areas.​
Wow....I am impressed...sounds like they are doing about everything they can. The hardest thing to control is the incubation period from the time a credentialed person arrives at Airport X, flys out and leaves Las Vegas Airport and takes surface transportation to the Hotel. They can test negative for quite awhile yet be asymptomatic and then infectous. But with a short event, this shouldnt be a problem for them. (The 3M 8511 N95 masks are still available on Ebay for only 500% -1000 % markup, along with medical grade surgical masks. ) I would be very surprised if this becomes a super spreader event with these protocals. Thanks.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
The safety bubble also is discussed on p. 34 of the Skate America event program [ETA: and the same article also is here]:

Skating In A Bubble
Safety Top Priority At Skate America

https://online.flippingbook.com/view/446888/36/ (p. 36 of the Flipping Book pagination)​

Examples of additional details:​

- "A designated bank of four [hotel] elevators will be exclusively used for the event, and everyone will stay on three dedicated floors of the hotel."​
- "At the arena, there are two locker rooms for ladies, two for men and two for officials. There are also two dining rooms, which include tables for four people, with plexiglass three feet high separating each seat. Having extra locker rooms and dining areas allows arena staff to keep each of those areas clean and sanitized." ...​
'The dining rooms will be closed for 15 minutes every hour for a deep clean -- new linens, wipe down the plexiglass. There is always going to be one open, sometimes two.'"​
- "Having held the event last year at the Orleans Arena, [Bob] Dunlop [of USFS] said, has been a huge advantage in planning this event during these unprecedented times.​
'The Arena is a good partner,' Dunlop said. 'It's been much easier to implement than if it would have been the first time around.'"​



Excerpt from Mervin Tran's "Airplane Ramblings" yesterday (emphasis added):

I know for a fact that the organizers of this event and that US Figure Skating has taken the utmost precautions when it comes to hosting Skate America. When I arrive, I will be immediately tested from the airport and then isolated to my hotel room until I get my results. During the event, we will be in a social bubble quarantined from the population of the city of Las Vegas. It's been made fully aware that we will not be given any warnings of misconduct. We will be ejected if we compromise the event in any way. Is this annoying? Yes. Is it necessary? Abso-f***ing-lutely.

(This morning Mervin's Instastory said, "Test came back undetected! First obstacle completed.")
 
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sheetz

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 10, 2015
Seems like they've done a good job with the planning for SA. If this goes well I can easily imagine them holding Nationals at the Orleans as well.
 

Hyena

Medalist
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
I'm impressed and pleasantly surprised by this protocol. It's not quite a total "bubble" like they had for the NBA, since they're not quarantining for a full two weeks after arriving in Vegas/before competing. But I do hope it's successful.
 

CoyoteChris

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
The safety bubble also is discussed on p. 34 of the Skate America event program [ETA: and the same article also is here]:

Skating In A Bubble
Safety Top Priority At Skate America

https://online.flippingbook.com/view/446888/36/ (p. 36 of the Flipping Book pagination)​

Examples of additional details:​

- "A designated bank of four [hotel] elevators will be exclusively used for the event, and everyone will stay on three dedicated floors of the hotel."​
- "At the arena, there are two locker rooms for ladies, two for men and two for officials. There are also two dining rooms, which include tables for four people, with plexiglass three feet high separating each seat. Having extra locker rooms and dining areas allows arena staff to keep each of those areas clean and sanitized." ...​
'The dining rooms will be closed for 15 minutes every hour for a deep clean -- new linens, wipe down the plexiglass. There is always going to be one open, sometimes two.'"​
- "Having held the event last year at the Orleans Arena, [Bob] Dunlop [of USFS] said, has been a huge advantage in planning this event during these unprecedented times.​
'The Arena is a good partner,' Dunlop said. 'It's been much easier to implement than if it would have been the first time around.'"​



Excerpt from Mervin Tran's "Airplane Ramblings" yesterday (emphasis added):

I know for a fact that the organizers of this event and that US Figure Skating has taken the utmost precautions when it comes to hosting Skate America. When I arrive, I will be immediately tested from the airport and then isolated to my hotel room until I get my results. During the event, we will be in a social bubble quarantined from the population of the city of Las Vegas. It's been made fully aware that we will not be given any warnings of misconduct. We will be ejected if we compromise the event in any way. Is this annoying? Yes. Is it necessary? Abso-f***ing-lutely.

(This morning Mervin's Instastory said, "Test came back undetected! First obstacle completed.")
I am so old that I remember when people could be emphatic without using the F word! "Ask NOT what your (F***ing) country can do for you, ask what you can do for your (F***ing) country."
 

CoyoteChris

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
I'm impressed and pleasantly surprised by this protocol. It's not quite a total "bubble" like they had for the NBA, since they're not quarantining for a full two weeks after arriving in Vegas/before competing. But I do hope it's successful.
It may well be. Because of the nature of Covid...the incubation period, time to symptoms if any, time to virus shedding, time to positive tests...the whole event could be over before a super spreader event could happen, especially with these protocals.
 

Hyena

Medalist
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
It may well be. Because of the nature of Covid...the incubation period, time to symptoms if any, time to virus shedding, time to positive tests...the whole event could be over before a super spreader event could happen, especially with these protocals.
I don't know...if a person gets sick on the flight in, they could become contagious before they develop symptoms (if they ever do) and would be pretty likely to be contagious on the flight back, if not by the end of the competition. So I'm impressed that the USFS is doing as much as they're doing but it's definitely not foolproof.
 

BlissfulSynergy

Final Flight
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Country
Mars
In order to hold the event, they have to be extra precautious. There are no ifs ands or buts. Fingers-crossed that everything works according to plans and that everyone remains safe. If this event is run successfully, then it becomes a way to plan and prepare for future events with greater understanding of the ins and outs of how things transpire.

Thanks for all the information you have provided @ice coverage. I've been away for awhile and very preoccupied with other things going on in my life, so I forgot that I'd started this thread.
 

Carolla5501

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
I don't know...if a person gets sick on the flight in, they could become contagious before they develop symptoms (if they ever do) and would be pretty likely to be contagious on the flight back, if not by the end of the competition. So I'm impressed that the USFS is doing as much as they're doing but it's definitely not foolproof.
And if you read the recent studies and the information coming out on the safety of planes, there’s really very little risk of a person getting sick on the plane on the way in.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
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LOL! As it turns out, the cardboard cutouts in the seats are enlarged photos of the skaters' family members, and even some of their pets! :love2:


With proceeds going to the USFS Memorial Fund, anyone :) -- not limited to families of competitors -- could purchase a cut-out.

Plenty of "independent" fans (who are not family members, I mean) also purchased cut-outs to represent themselves and/or their pets.
USFS did a good job of publicizing the fund-raiser.
(For a worthy cause. In 2019-20, $550,000 was awarded to over 165 skaters via Memorial Fund donations.)

From what I have seen on social media and elsewhere, the competitors really appreciate the cut-outs as a visible and safe show of support -- both from independent fans/pets who are participating, and from any of their family members/pets who are participating.

Re-posting these article about the cut-outs (from the General Info thread):


ETA:
I forgot to mention earlier that front-row positions for the audience cut-outs sold out first.
Again, with proceeds going to the Memorial Fund, the purchase price for front-row positions understandably was higher.​

ETA:
Certainly not the only source of photos of cut-outs, but USFS is posting more in the "Fan Cam" section of the Virtual Fan Experience:
https://twitter.com/USFigureSkating/status/1319700770888056833 (Oct 23)​



Who paid for those Poohbears?

The bears are not Poohs.
The bears are images of Snowplow Sam, the USFS mascot. 🇺🇸 ⛸️
For those who made the donation to USFS Memorial Fund but did not want a personalized cut-out, they could opt instead for a cut-out of Snowplow Sam.




ETA (on Dec 14):

For posterity, making note of some Skate America data that have become available only well after the event.

- 250 COVID tests were conducted, with no positive test results.
All participants were tracked for 14 days afterward, and no symptoms or illness were reported.

- "The Virtual Fan Cutout Program at 2020 Guaranteed Rate Skate America generated more than $14,000 for the Memorial Fund thanks to the nearly 300 cutouts in attendance."



ETA (on Jan 5, 2021):

Two-page article about Skate America bubble -- from Jan-Feb 2021 issue of Professional Skater magazine (pp. 14-15):

 
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rollerblade

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Joined
Jan 12, 2014
The bears are not Poohs.
The bears are images of Snowplow Sam, the USFS mascot. 🇺🇸 ⛸️
For those who made the donation to USFS Memorial Fund but did not want a personalized cut-out, they could opt instead for a cut-out of Snowplow Sam.

Oh lol. Sorry I was looking on a phone screen, and it won't let me do the usual pinch-expand to zoom in.

How do I properly quote just a segment of the post instead of the entire thing? I can't figure out this UI :/
 

1111bm

Final Flight
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Dec 31, 2016
Why do the skaters sit without their coach(es) in the KnC area? They are in contact with them during practice and warm-up, so I don't get it. :unsure:
 

anonymoose_au

Insert weird opinion here
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Oh lol. Sorry I was looking on a phone screen, and it won't let me do the usual pinch-expand to zoom in.

How do I properly quote just a segment of the post instead of the entire thing? I can't figure out this UI :/
If you highlight the part of a post you want to quote, a little bar should pop up that says :+Quote | Reply" click on the first one if you want to quote a whole bunch of stuff or "Reply" if you just want to reply.

At least that works both on my laptop and phone...
 
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