GREAT Health & Safety Guidelines Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre Facility


We are committed to your safety! Making sure you are safe and healthy is our highest priority. We know you are anxious and nervous about the COVID-19 emergency and we want to do whatever is necessary to support you. Below are details on our COVID-19 PANDEMIC PLAN.



    2. STAGING



In our near 23 seasons of producing theatre with and for our community, we feel as certain now as ever that theatre changes lives. We will continue to diligently monitor this fluid situation alongside you, and we are committed to ensuring a safe and healthy environment as we begin to welcome volunteers, audiences and staff back into the Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre and facility. We are stronger together and can’t wait to see you all again.

As we look toward the future, we have set our sights on creating a plan that will allow us to reopen to the community in a safe and responsible way. Our Safety Guide contains the guidelines that we recommend in order to keep each employee, volunteer and audience person safe and healthy. Updates will be made as we are able to welcome you back to additional facilities for GREAT programing including the Paramount Center for the Arts, our Summer Camp locations and the Downtown Rehearsal Studios.

There is no “perfect” or outlined way to proceed in a pandemic such as this one, but we have drawn upon the guidelines suggested by local, state, and federal agencies, experts, and associations. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. By entering the Helgson Learning Lab Theatre facilities, employees, volunteers and audiences voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. GREAT Theatre remains committed to monitoring the current recommendations, guidelines and restrictions that we are subject to; as such, everything in this safety guide is subject to change based on local, state, and federal regulations and recommendations.

This is an unprecedented time for performing arts organizations and we appreciate the amazing support and caring shown to us. It will take us all working together to create a safe and healthy return to in person programming.


EVERY employee or volunteer must provide contact information to be on file to enter the Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre (if you are new to GREAT we will ask that you provide your name, the date, an email and phone number.)

GREAT will communicate if we activate our COVID-19 PANDEMIC PLAN and directions will follow.

  • Employees should always check their email prior to coming to work to check if there are any updates to the schedule or if not allowed to come to facility.
  • Volunteers should always check their email prior to coming to their volunteer shift or rehearsal to check if there are any updates to the schedule or if their volunteer shift is cancelled.
  • GREAT will use email, text and phone calls to alert everyone to communicate any changes to the best of our ability.
  • GREAT will pause all work, rehearsals, performances or volunteer shifts out of an abundance of caution if we have a positive COVID case, or locally cases increase and a pause is recommended by local health officials. We must all remain nimble and adapt to the best health interests of the entire GREAT family.
  • All staff meetings will continue to take place virtually.




All employees and volunteers are encouraged to put the following guidelines into practice at work and when volunteering:

  • HAND WASHING. When available, employees and volunteers will wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When this is not an option, use sanitizer containing at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. Employees and volunteers should also wash their hands at the beginning and end of each shift and break, after using the restroom, sneezing, touching their face, blowing their nose, cleaning, eating, or drinking.
  • PHYSICAL DISTANCING. Whenever possible, employees and volunteers should leave at least 6 feet between them and the person closest to them.
  • FACE COVERINGS. Employees and volunteers should wear physical respiratory protection, such as cloth face masks, whenever possible. When handling face coverings employees should observe the following:
  • Wash your hands before putting on a face covering.
  • Put the same side against your face each time to avoid wearing the “contaminated side” against your nose and mouth.
  • Remove your face covering using the straps to avoid touching the part that protects your face.
  • Wash face coverings frequently (preferably after each use).
  • GREAT will enforce any local, state or federal mask requirement.

OTHER PRACTICES. Employees and volunteers should avoid touching their face, especially their eyes, nose, and mouth, whenever possible. Work spaces, computers, phones, microphones, headphones, and other personal equipment should be cleaned and sanitized before and after each use. Everyone should also cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, or elbow/shoulder if no tissue is available, followed by thorough hand washing or hand-sanitizer. It should be common practice to avoid close contact with people who are sick (COVID-19 or not), stay home when sick, and clean/disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.


All employees and volunteers may be subject to the following:

  • BUILDING ACCESS SCREENINGS. Upon arrival at the theatre or rehearsal space each day, each employee or volunteer are asked to self-report the following questions upon their arrival:
  • In the last 10 days, have you come in contact (less than six feet for more than 15 minutes) with any person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Within the last 10 days have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had a test confirming you have the virus?
  • Have you experienced persistent coughing, difficulty breathing, or a fever of greater than 100.4F within the last 24 hours?

COVID-19 TESTING. GREAT Theatre will not generally require a completed COVID-19 test result before beginning work or volunteers, but GREAT reserves the right to test any employee for COVID-19 at our cost or request a COVID-19 test for a volunteer at our cost as part of the requirement to be able to volunteer.



Employees and volunteers must stay home from work or their volunteer shift if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness consistent with COVID-19, including fever, cough, chills, sudden loss of taste or smell, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or shortness of breath. If an employee or volunteer is excluded from GREAT facilities pursuant to this plan, they must report it to their supervisor(s).

QUARANTINE POLICY. If any one or more of the following occurrences is true of any employee or volunteer, they will be immediately be excluded from GREAT facilities and work environments and should self-quarantine immediately:

  • The employee or volunteer tests positive for COVID-19.
  • The employee or volunteer learns that the employee has been in close contact (longer than 15 minutes) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The employee or volunteer has been asked to self-quarantine by any hospital, health agency or medical professional.
  • SYMPTOMATIC EMPLOYEES & VOLUNTEERS. If an employee or volunteer exhibits symptoms of acute respiratory illness upon arrival to work or volunteer shift, or becomes sick during the work day, their supervisor must separate them from patrons and other employees and send them home immediately.
  • If symptoms occur on site, the supervisor should document the circumstances of the employee’s or volunteer’s illness and work day to help with contact tracing, as applicable.
  • CONTACT WITH SYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS. Anyone who has been in close contact with a person known to have had the virus, or whose family or friends show signs of exposure, should closely monitor themselves for potential COVID-19 symptoms.
  • RETURNING TO WORK OR TO VOLUNTEER. GREAT may require employees or volunteers with any symptoms of acute respiratory illness associated with COVID-19 or who have experienced one of the occurrences listed above in “Quarantine Policy” to return only if the employee or volunteer provides reliable proof that a physician has determined that they should be released from quarantine or need not be quarantined and may return to work or volunteer.



In the event that an employee or volunteer is confirmed to be currently infected with COVID-19, the following actions will be taken:

  • Determine what areas of the venue were visited, used, or impacted by the infected employee or volunteer. Identify if employees or volunteers need to be removed from the area and if the area requires sanitization.
  • Assess whether the employee’s or volunteer’s role put them within 6 feet of patrons or other employees or volunteers. Assess whether the employee’s or volunteer’s duties create specific transmission risks such as food handling, ticket checking, quick changes, etc.
  • Notify the ‘impacted employees or volunteers’ that they may have had contact with an infected person (without identifying such person for privacy reasons) and encourage them to monitor their health for any symptoms and if symptoms appear they should contact a medical professional and/or test for COVID-19.
  • Any employee or volunteer who tests positive for COVID-19 should remain in home isolation until the employee or volunteer provides reliable proof that a physician has determined that they should be released from quarantine or need not be quarantined and may return to work.
  • Impacted employees or volunteers who have been in close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19, but who are not presently symptomatic or suffering a fever greater than 100.4F should closely monitor themselves for potential COVID-19 symptoms.

EMPLOYEES SPECIAL NOTE: During home isolation, an affected employee may work remotely to the extent possible, but will not be expected to do so. Please note that we may allow remote work for a temporary period due to the extraordinary situation in the workplace caused by the coronavirus. You might not be able to perform all of your job’s essential functions during this temporary period while working remotely. There may be additional sick pay or federal sick pay available during the time the employee cannot work.



  • SANITIZING HIGH-TOUCH AREAS. High-touch areas around the theatre and rehearsal spaces will be cleaned and/or sanitized daily according to our sanitization checklist. These duties will be divided between individual departments, technicians and cast members, depending on the item and location.
  • CLEANING AND DISINFECTING. Cleaning removes dirt and impurities from surfaces and objects and may lower germ counts by removing them, not killing them. Disinfecting reduces and kills germs on surfaces and objects. Because disinfecting does not necessarily clean the surface, cleaning and disinfecting are both essential.
    • Clean areas and surfaces by using water and soap or cleaning solution to remove dirt and impurities. Disinfecting areas requires using materials effective against COVID-19.
    • Special Materials. Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions for sanitization of technical and production materials such as microphones.
    • Gloves/Disposal. While sanitizing, it may be recommended to wear gloves as a personal protection. Place gloves and other disposable items used for cleaning and disinfecting in a bag that can be tied and disposed of.


DOCUMENTATION. Everyone should ensure that all sanitization protocols have been completed and recorded for future reference via daily checklists.



Should any employee or volunteer have any concerns or suggestions regarding conditions related to COVID-19, or if they require any reasonable accommodation or leave related to COVID-19, including leave for qualifying COVID-19 related reasons under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, they are encouraged to Dennis Whipple at or 320.291.7044 (cell phone) or their direct supervisor, the stage manager or any GREAT employee.





  • Any volunteer or employee who has a temperature above 100.4F or symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted into the rehearsal hall or facility. No one will be allowed in the rehearsal room unless they are in the scene or invited by the director, stage manager or GREAT employee. Our goal is to keep each rehearsal group as small as possible and when possible include the same “working group” of volunteers and employees.
  • HAND WASHING. Volunteers will be required to wash or sanitize their hands upon arrival to the rehearsal hall or theatre and before they leave, as well as wash or sanitize their hands during each break.
  • FACE COVERINGS. Volunteers should wear physical respiratory protection, such as cloth face masks, whenever possible. After receiving approval from stage management, actors may remove their masks to run scene or final technical rehearsal, but must immediately replace their mask after the scene has completed.
  • PRODUCTION MEETINGS. Production and design meetings will be held virtually until further notice.



The following policy will be in effect in regards to staging while in rehearsal:

  • The rehearsal schedule will be created to utilize small groups whenever possible and/or to hold virtual rehearsals.
  • Performers who are not scheduled for a particular rehearsal will not be permitted in the rehearsal room.
  • Everyone will wear a mask (can be provided if needed.)
  • Performers are asked to arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before their call. Those who arrive earlier than 10 minutes prior could be asked to wait in the lobby area or outside.
  • Seats will be assigned to each performer for day-to-day use in the rehearsal room.
  • Bring a water bottle as the you will be able to fill the water bottle but there will not be a drinking fountain available at this time.
  • Performers must observe all current local, state, and federal recommendations and regulations in regards to social distancing and gatherings.



The rehearsal space should be frequently sanitized in accordance to the guidelines and materials as provided.

  • Checklists for rehearsal space sanitization will be provided and should be completed at the end of each rehearsal by the stage manager. These checklists will include but are not limited to: daily disinfection of rehearsal props and office supplies, daily washing or sanitization of props, rehearsal skirts and other fabric items, and sanitization of high-touch areas.
  • Cast members will be asked to sanitize the props that they come in contact with after each use.


This document will be updated as safer guidelines are identified. Thank you for your help in making sure GREAT continues to be a safe and healthy environment for all to create transformation theater opportunities.