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COVID Safety lessons learned and improvements. (Updated November 23rd 2020)

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Dear fencing friends and families,

First, nothing brings more joy to us than the sounds of kids having fun, jumping around and just being kids. All things considered, every single one has been incredibly well behaved and it just shows the kind of parents we have at CFA. Thank you so much for helping us prepare the kids, your contribution is priceless.

In light of the recent month of our Phase Two reopening and the fencing world starting to slowly come back to life, I’d like to share some lessons learned and improvements we have developed for you to feel 200% safe and welcome at CFA.

CFA is a unique facility in that though it is a box gym, we have open access to the outside and there is constant airflow out of the room. According to this NIH study, aerosol droplets in enclosed static space is the most significant method of transmission. CFA has constant air circulation and even if we do turn on the AC (yes we let the kids cool down one at a time, even though we end up cooling the parking lot mostly) the air intake is on the roof, then goes out of the bottom of the garage door opening. The fans on the ceiling draw the air from the top. We are also waiting on a tower fan to assist with the air outflow.

Small class size and three to eight coach/student ratio. Training then re-training our assistant coaches. We developed a room scanning rhythm and tag-team coaching methods that preemptively mitigate any kid issues with masks, sanitizing, spacing, ect.

Always wearing masks. Yes, under the fencing mask while sparring as well.

Sanitizing. Equipment is not shared, and packages are assigned to beginners at the start of a session that stay with them for the duration of the week. They are still sanitized between use with 80% alcohol solution.

We use an industrial disinfectant fogger between beginner classes and the kids never share gear.

All interactive objects are sanitized between use, including each bathroom use. This is possible due to our staffing and small class size.

Formations and spacing. CFA always used formations to run activities. We have implemented process changes and will be using a short strip to go lengthwise across the gym and stay at least 12 feet apart in our drills and mirror games. Some kids are siblings and arrive in the same vehicle, so we let those stay close. We have also marked the perimeter of the gym with dots and trained everyone to use them for proper distancing.

Club cross-pollination and tournaments. It is now official CFA Policy to report visits to other fencing related activities and events to the Head Coach. We hope you understand and work with us during these fluid times.

We are implementing the following new policies due to rising COVID numbers in Loudoun County, at least until January 3rd when we come back from Winter break:

  • Travel quarantine. If you have traveled out of town please get tested before returning to practice. Test timing is critical so please wait at least seven days after potential exposure before getting tested. This has already been discussed individually with the travel team that went to Music City and everyone is onboard.

  • Contact tracing for the Competitive classes and coaches. This will be discussed on an individual case basis and only applies to certain overlapping classes at CFA. We are working on making this as convenient as possible.

  • Continuing sanitation, ventilation and strict masking operations as before.

Thank you so much again for being a part of CFA and please stay tuned for the 2020-2021 Season class schedule and process. There will be some adjustments (good-bye Parent Land) but we will adapt and live our fencing life to the fullest.

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