COVID Safe Wine School

 COVID-19 SAFE RE-OPENING

 

Eating and drinking together is an essential part of being alive. In a pandemic, staying healthy and alive has it’s own set of challenges. How do both needs get met? We took our time and come up with a novel solution to keep safe and together.

To address this, I built a multi-layer antiviral system into the school and spent June testing it. How? By hosting a series of classes attended by a small cadre of doctors and scientists. As a final measure, we asked an epidemiologist to give our protocols a final review. We are now ready to roll.  The best part of all this? Our classes are just as fun as they always have been.

You can now safely register for in-person classes and programs.  We are also offering our Online Wine School for anyone who prefers to learn remotely.

 

Mutual Safety is Key

Our mutual safety is the priority, and we are implementing many new procedures in accordance with those proscribed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Centers for Disease Control.

These efforts will focus on preventing entrance by anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or potential exposure; promoting healthy hygiene practices inside the School; intensifying cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation in the School; and maintaining social distancing by restricting the number of people in shared spaces and using physical barriers and guides to control ingress and egress.

Essentially, if someone does not feel well or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they will not be permitted into the wine school.  Once inside the school, you will be cocooned within a friendly and safe environment.  We believe the Wine School is the safest indoor facility in America at this time.  Read on to find out how we are keeping everyone safe. 

 

Admission to the Wine School

A day before class, you will be emailed an appointment time, as well as a verification form stating that you do not have symptoms of an illness and have not been around a COVID-19 patient in the past 14 days.

At your appointment time, you will be given a touchless temperature check and have your verification form collected. If you have a fever (over 100℉), or do not have a completed form, you will not be admitted to the class. You will also be given two more tests prior to class.

 

Personal Protective Equipment

  • All staff will be wearing gloves, masks, and face shields.
  • All students must be wearing masks to be admitted.

 

Classroom Protocols

  • Students will be assigned a seat and must remain in that seat, with a face mask on, until the admission process is complete for everyone.
  • Students will be given two additional tests once seated: a test for anosmia and a test for hypoxia, using pulse oximetry.
  • At the instruction of the teacher, students may remove their masks but must not touch anything outside of their cubicle (including other people).
  • Bathroom use will be restricted until all students are admitted, and can only be used one-at-a-time.
  • Students must wear a mask when moving around the classroom and cannot congregate in common areas.
  • There will be no shared water station in the classroom. Students are encouraged to bring their own bottles of water.
  • During the class, students must refrain from loud talking, sneezing, or coughing.
  • Students will exit the classroom one-at-a-time, as instructed by the teacher.

 

Antiviral Protocols

  • Hand-sanitizer stations are available throughout the school.
  • Students are seated in protective cubicles.
  • Restrooms are equipped with touchless faucets, soap dispensers, and toilets.
  • Extensive cleaning and sanitization of the school takes place before and after each class.
  • Medical grade antiviral solutions are used to clean all surfaces.
  • Classroom air is sterilized and filtered for viruses during class.
  • Classrooms are sterilized using commercial grade ozone generators after class.
  • Social distancing is strictly enforced.

 

Antiviral Airflow

According to current research, the COVID virus is largely transmitted indoors by face-level airflow. We use multiple technologies to prevent this from occurring and to filter out potential viruses from the air. We have built a four-point airflow into our classrooms. The filtered clean air pushes any potential sneeze or cough away from the danger zone (face height) and removes it from circulation. This mimics the airflow of an open field or a forest.

The school’s air is continually scrubbed, using three hospital-grade technologies. First, we use a HEPA system to filter the air, followed by Ultraviolet radiation to kill any pathogens. Finally, we use a MERV 14 HVAC Filtration as a second- layer of safety.  While MERV-14 filters are not specifically rated for COVID (0.1 microns in size),  the literature suggests that they are roughly 50% efficient.

Using these multiple layers offers us unparalleled indoor safety.

 

 

 

 

—–Previous Updates Below. For Reference Only—-

Reschedule Codes and Options for Individual Classes

Section updated 4/20/2020

This is specifically for one-day classes. As the pandemic continues, we are canceling classes and issuing reschedule codes with at least a week’s notice. This will continue until we are notified we can reopen. Please be patient: it may take several weeks to receive a reschedule code due to the backlog of customer support.

To reiterate: all in-person classes are being cancelled with a weeks warning. This will continue until the stay-at-home order is lifted. 

Academic Programs New Schedule

Section updated 4/20/2020

With thousands of people sick and so many tragic deaths, we are working to keep our students and staff safe. We are balancing the needs of hundreds of students. Your support and patience has been critical at this time

 

CORE PROGRAMS

 

Section updated 4/20/2020

All students registered for academic programs in Spring and Summer programs have been notified of the COVID-19 changes to their schedule. They have been sent a form to select which schedule they prefer. 

Spring Core Program (Sundays) have been rescheduled. This was done on 4/12 and all students notified at that point. 

Enhanced Spring Core Program (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) The schedule for this program has changed from 8 weeks to 6. However, students will have the same number of hours in the classroom.  All students were notified on 4/19

Accelerated Core Program (Summer) is being rescheduled due to the pandemic. All students were notified on 4/19

 

If none of these options work for you, you can also get a reschedule codem which will allow you to reschedule at any time in the future.  This option is included in the form you were sent. 

 

ADVANCED PROGRAMS

Section updated 4/20/2020

Spanish Wine Scholar (Mondays) The schedule for this program has changed from 8 weeks to 6. However, students will have the same number of hours in the classroom. All students were notified on 4/19

Wine Scholar Program (Spring, Mondays) was cut short due to the pandemic. The last half of this semester has been scheduled for September. All students were notified on 4/19

Master in American Wine (Accelerated) was reschedule due to the pandemic. Online & local replacement is being developed. This is the only remaining program that still needs to be rescheduled. 

 

Master Programs

Section updated 4/20/2020

These programs are now fully online and functional. All students onboard by 4/1

 

Cru Club

Section updated 4/20/2020

The program is moving online in May and (Hopefully) back to IRL in June.  All members notified on 4/19

 

Support the Wine School!

Section added 3/25/2020

If you are looking to help out in this difficult time, here’s where to find information. We also have included a way for our out-of-work students to earn some additional income. https://www.vinology.com/support-the-wine-school-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

 

Disinfection Protocols

 

Section added 4/20/2020

All surfaces are disinfected daily using hospital-grade antiviral and antimicrobial sprays. 

The entire school is sterilized every night the same industrial-grade machines used to sterilize ambulances)

Hand sanitizer stations at positioned at the entrance and bathrooms. 

Two HEPA air filtration systems scrub the air during class. 

Each seat is outfitted with a sneeze guard to protect students. 

 Class is specifically designed in a way to ensure face-to-face distancing.

The classroom size is fewer than 25. 

Instructors wear face masks and gloves while pouring wine. 

For the most part, these are standard protocols we have in place every winter. We’ve always been very cognizant of these issues and had these protocols in place long before the covid-19 pandemic. We do this every year to prevent any flu virus to !*#&#  with our classes (and your health).

 

 

 


Philadelphia and ALL Schools have Closed (this includes us)

Section added 3/16/2020

Philadelphia ordered all nonessential businesses to shut down by 5 p.m. on Monday (3/16) and will halt all nonessential government operations on Tuesday, in the city’s most aggressive steps yet to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Restaurants will have to be take-out only. Most retail stores will shutter through at least March 27. City government offices will be closed to the public, and only essential government employees will report to work. Only businesses classified as “essential” by the city, like supermarkets, gas stations, banks, post offices, daycares, and veterinary clinics will be allowed to remain open, officials said.

Cancelled Classes Information

Section added 3/17/2020

If you are attending a single-session class in March, your class has been cancelled. The purchaser of the tickets was sent an email with all details. This is the blueprint of the email  that was sent:

John Doe,

I hope you are safe and staying healthy. It’s with a heavy heart that we can’t host classes right now. We will reopen as soon as the Governor allows us to, and the pandemic is over.

You have tickets to [name of class] on [date] which has to be postponed. You will be receiving a gift code for the full amount of your purchase. If you purchased these seats for someone else, please let them know the class has been canceled.

We ask only one favor of you: If you have any questions, please wait until after the pandemic is over. By that point, we should have some breathing room.

Postponed Courses Information

Section added 3/16/2020

If you are attending a multi-day course at the school, you were emailed the following:

I hope you are remaining safe and healthy. Its a difficult time for everyone.

Classes will resume once the Governor has given us permission to do so and the pandemic has ended.

Please be assured that, we are doing our best to accommodate you and all your students. We want to make sure that your experience at the Wine School is a fruitful one. We are currently building out contingency plans and will relay them to you as soon as possible. This is not an overnight process and will take weeks.

We ask only one favor of you: If you have any questions, please wait until after the pandemic is over. By that point, we should have some breathing room to answer questions.

 

 

 

 

If You (or anyone you know) Have Been Exposed to COVID-19

We take the well being of all our students very seriously. We currently have zero known students who have the virus and attended classes. We track everyone who has attended classes at the school. If you or anyone you know has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus and have attended classes at the Wine School, it is your ethical duty to report this information to us. Please do so on this form.

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Hand Sanitizer Station at Entrance

Hand Sanitizer Station at Entrance

Hospital Grade Disinfectant Used on All Surfaces on a Daily Basis

Hospital Grade Disinfectant Used on All Surfaces on a Daily Basis

70% Alcohol Wipes in Bathroom

70% Alcohol Wipes in Bathroom. Used for Removing Perfume AND for sanitization.

70% Alcohol Wipes in Bathroom. Used for Removing Perfume AND for sanitization.

70% Alcohol Wipes in Bathroom. Used for Removing Cologne AND for sanitization.

Purell Sanitizer Outside Bathrooms

Purell Sanitizer Outside Bathrooms