Page 1 of 12 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 170

Thread: Preparing halls for re-opening

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    240
    Thanks
    29
    Thanked 54 Times in 40 Posts

    Preparing halls for re-opening

    It might be helpful to have a thread to brainstorm about what measures halls might take to ready their hall for opening. I'm particularly thinking about groups that own their hall and hire it to other users.

    (I have a feeling that this topic could be prone to going off at controversial tangents, so could I ask that we try to stay on-topic?)

    Opening is clearly far from imminent, both because the government is unlikely to consider community halls to be a priority and because the demand might not be there.

    But demand might depend on the type of users the hall has. Government policy is that they encourage early years childcare (nurseries) to resume in June (though I imagine many might take longer), so a hall might be allowed to open for a nursery. (Though of course some nurseries will not wish to do so.)

    At the other end of the spectrum, I would guess that bridge clubs, whose members tend to be elderly, and who sit four to a small table, are unlikely to resume hiring scout halls until the country has been vaccinated. Other types of hirer (yoga and Pilates, for instance) might be able to keep people 2m apart, so might at some stage want to restart, once they judge the virus to be sufficiently under control.

    There's another thread about resuming section meetings, so can we leave that topic to that thread? (Though I agree with the general view on that thread that groups of children and social distancing are unlikely to be compatible).

    So, I imagine that some halls will not reopen until the country has been vaccinated, but others might open earlier, at least for some uses. This thread is for those that might be in the latter category.

    Here are the issues that have occurred to me. It is all very tentative and I'm just thinking out loud, so comments welcome. Perhaps we will be given firm guidance by govt (or even TSA), though I doubt it, so it seems worth starting to think ahead.

    1 Hire agreements

    It seems likely that when halls are first allowed to open, social distancing will still be required. I would think that this will primarily be the responsibility of the hirer and it is not the duty of an absent hall owner to police social distancing. I'm wondering about amending our hire agreement to require hirers to consider whether, and how, they can operate their event whilst maintaining social distancing, and to warrant that they are satisfied they can do so. I would include a disclaimer that we, the landlord, do not make any representation that the hall is suitable for social distancing in any context and that it is entirely for the hirer to judge this and to accept full liability for the consequences should it turn out that they were not able to maintain a safe environment.

    On balance, I think it would be a bad idea to require hirers to provide written Covid-19 risk assessments, because this might imply that we have vetted and approved their plans. I have no expertise to do any vetting, and even if I did, it would probably be unwise from a liability point of view.

    2 Ventilation

    I wonder about requiring [edit: better, encouraging] doors and windows to be left open. One of the few things experts seem to agree on is that a breeze is safer than still, enclosed air (though perhaps that depends on whether you are downwind!). The practicality of such a rule might depend on the time of year. (And open doors might be impossible for, say, a nursery.) It won't make the hall safe, but it would probably be better than being enclosed.

    3 Face mask requirement

    I'm thinking we should probably make face masks are compulsory [edit: not in the sense of being a hire condition that they must agree, but just something that is encouraged]. They don't guarantee safety, but it seems pretty likely that they reduce transmission risk somewhat. (If only because they slow down any air leaving a mouth or nose, so they limit droplet travel.)

    I'm a little uncomfortable telling people how to behave, but I'm sure most people would probably intend to wear a mask and would appreciate knowing that anyone else in the building should be doing this too. Some clear signage would empower people to ask the maskless to mask up or leave. But if a hire group decided to flout this rule, there would be no practical way to stop them.

    4 Grid lines

    I'm thinking of laying tape on the floor, in a grid of lines forming 2m x 2m squares. This will help users judge how far to spread out.

    It will also give a clear indication of when the hall is too full. Our main hall is about 11m square, so I think I can fit a square grid of lines, each 10 metres long, in 6x6 formation. So, with a person at each line intersection, that would be 36 people, all 2 m apart. Allowing for some gaps to allow some movement, I'm thinking capacity 25 for the hall.

    4 One way system

    Our foyer is little more than 2m wide. I'm wondering about floor arrow stickers to impose a convention to walk on the left. The country's sign entrepreneurs seem to have risen to the challenge and have lots of suitable stickers available.

    A step up would be to make the foyer one way entirely, so it can only be used in the direction from outdoors to main hall. The exit would be the side doors from the main hall. I'm pretty sure compliance would be poor, but it might help a bit. (Obviously, this is very specific to our hall, but the generic point would be to consider narrow areas.)

    5 Signage

    Perhaps some signs at the door, stressing social distancing/masks, etc? It should be pretty obvious to most people, without any signs, but there are always a few idiots who need reminding.

    6 Cleaning

    I think more frequent sanitising of handles and surfaces will be required. Pre-lockdown, we paid for nightly cleaning. (Our hall is, or was, used about 8 hours per day.) This might not be sufficient, if we have more than one user a day. Paying for extra sanitising might, however, leave little net income from an extra hire.

    More importantly, experience with cleaners shows that they just cannot be relied on to turn up every time they should and if we need this in a narrow time slot between two hires it is even less likely to be reliable. I'm therefore starting to think that we may have to stipulate that each hirer must arrive early and sanitise handles and surfaces themselves, because I cannot promise them that the hall will always have been sanitised. So, cleaning materials will have to be provided.

    7 Party hires

    I find it hard to see how a children's birthday party could be held whilst maintaining social distancing. So, there ought to be no demand for hires for parties unless/until we are all vaccinated.

    However, will all parents share my view on this? Folk are funny, so I'm guessing some people will take a different view to me on whether the risk outweighs the loss of their little one's special celebration. I'm therefore wondering if hall owners ought to think about how they will respond, should someone demand to be allowed to hire for a party.

    Do we have the obligation to second guess someone else's judgement on this? Do we have the right to do so? Are we liable if we don't? In my view the answer is no for all three questions (though IANAL). So, I'm currently thinking we should not solicit party hires, but we should be willing to allow them, if adequately caveated.

    Any other things to think about?
    Last edited by IvanOpinion; 24-05-2020 at 01:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    10
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 29 Times in 7 Posts
    One word - Legionella. Run all taps for 2 hours before letting anyone use the hut. Incidentally, anybody else have regular Legionella RAs or testing?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to jameeez For This Useful Post:

    IvanOpinion (23-05-2020)

  4. #3
    Scout Leader (Bosun) Nick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Thatcham, Berkshire
    Posts
    844
    Thanks
    31
    Thanked 143 Times in 83 Posts
    Our hall is only hired to Explorers and to Girl Guides so I assume we will all go back together and with similar requirements on Social Distancing to be observed.

    For us I think the parents will have to wait outside for collection - at the moment they wait in the lobby in the warm. Thinking that we need to insist that all hall users wipe door handles and toilet taps etc. at the end of each session. We might also need to change times to ensure that there is an actual break between consecutive hires to allow for wiping handles and also to allow one group to fully leave before the next arrives. Also thinking that we need a hand sanitiser station in the entrance for everyone to use as they come in.

    Good point about Legionella, does this apply only to water systems with header tanks or also to mains fed taps? We now have a combi boiler and direct mains feed to all the taps. I need to go to the hut in the next few days so will open all the taps whilst I'm there.

    All the U bends will need filling as the water can evaporate if sinks and toilets aren't used for a while. The stink of of the sewers is not pleasant!

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    1,092
    Thanks
    141
    Thanked 439 Times in 278 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Our hall is only hired to Explorers and to Girl Guides so I assume we will all go back together and with similar requirements on Social Distancing to be observed.

    For us I think the parents will have to wait outside for collection - at the moment they wait in the lobby in the warm. Thinking that we need to insist that all hall users wipe door handles and toilet taps etc. at the end of each session. We might also need to change times to ensure that there is an actual break between consecutive hires to allow for wiping handles and also to allow one group to fully leave before the next arrives. Also thinking that we need a hand sanitiser station in the entrance for everyone to use as they come in.

    Good point about Legionella, does this apply only to water systems with header tanks or also to mains fed taps? We now have a combi boiler and direct mains feed to all the taps. I need to go to the hut in the next few days so will open all the taps whilst I'm there.

    All the U bends will need filling as the water can evaporate if sinks and toilets aren't used for a while. The stink of of the sewers is not pleasant!
    Its a lower risk but there will have been static water in the pipes so it's best practise to assume there may be legionella present.

  6. #5
    Escouts Team Bloory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    3,453
    Thanks
    249
    Thanked 146 Times in 87 Posts
    Masks - what about children with asthma?
    Jonathan Bloor
    Escouts Team
    Group Scout Leader - 4th Ashby de la Zouch

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Bloory For This Useful Post:

    IvanOpinion (24-05-2020)

  8. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,757
    Thanks
    3,011
    Thanked 2,442 Times in 1,530 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Bloory View Post
    Masks - what about children with asthma?
    Quite apart from that the OP seems to be suggesting setting rules for hirers, which should not be set in those sort of terms as it's edging us towards being responsible for their actions. Rules for hirers should purely be about keeping the building itself safe (including not annoying neighbours) and about payment of dues. Conduct of another organisation's members to each other is their business and not something you want to get involved in.

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Neil Williams For This Useful Post:

    boballan (24-05-2020),IvanOpinion (24-05-2020)

  10. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    1,092
    Thanks
    141
    Thanked 439 Times in 278 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Quite apart from that the OP seems to be suggesting setting rules for hirers, which should not be set in those sort of terms as it's edging us towards being responsible for their actions. Rules for hirers should purely be about keeping the building itself safe (including not annoying neighbours) and about payment of dues. Conduct of another organisation's members to each other is their business and not something you want to get involved in.
    I was thinking along the same lines as you to be honest.... limit the rules to things that affect safety of other hirers (e.g. cleaning after use) and encourage users to produce a risk assessment. Don't ask to see it. Just make it clear that it's their responsibility to do one.

  11. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to campwarden For This Useful Post:

    boballan (24-05-2020),IvanOpinion (24-05-2020),Neil Williams (23-05-2020)

  12. #8
    ASL and YLUL wealdbrook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    2,245
    Thanks
    49
    Thanked 546 Times in 234 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    I was thinking along the same lines as you to be honest.... limit the rules to things that affect safety of other hirers (e.g. cleaning after use) and encourage users to produce a risk assessment. Don't ask to see it. Just make it clear that it's their responsibility to do one.
    Agree - don't set any onerous rules unless you know how you are going to revoke them (that is the problem Boris has - the stay home was very effective and now {whether the science is right or not} how do you begin to relax it).

    If an organisation can meet without causing risk to other users (and real risk not imagined) then it is up to them to decide their rules.
    John Alexander,
    ASL and Assistant Webmaster
    1st Weald Brook
    http://www.1stwealdbrook.org.uk
    ESL(YL) Brentwood District

  13. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to wealdbrook For This Useful Post:

    boballan (24-05-2020),IvanOpinion (24-05-2020),Neil Williams (23-05-2020)

  14. #9
    Escouts Team Bloory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    3,453
    Thanks
    249
    Thanked 146 Times in 87 Posts
    Yes, as a tenant group, we would not want to be governed by out landlord.
    Jonathan Bloor
    Escouts Team
    Group Scout Leader - 4th Ashby de la Zouch

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to Bloory For This Useful Post:

    IvanOpinion (24-05-2020)

  16. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    1,092
    Thanks
    141
    Thanked 439 Times in 278 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Bloory View Post
    Yes, as a tenant group, we would not want to be governed by out landlord.
    Face Masks in particular remain a controversial subject - the science for them is still very mixed, and the recommendation is still very much that they are advised in places where social distancing may be difficult - public transport, supermarkets, etc. I would be rather miffed if a landlord was insisting on them being worn.

    To me, the list of things a community hall board of trustees should be concerning themselves with would be:

    - A general risk assessment (with the key findings being made available to the hirers)
    - A cleaning procedure
    - A requirement for hirers to produce their own risk assessment

    Marking the hall floor with 2m squares may be useful... but then let your hall users decide how to make use of this facility.

    Possibly a standard sign on the door - the "do not enter if you or anyone in your household has had these symptoms in the last 14 days" type thing... but i think most people have got the message about staying home if they've got a temperature, cough, etc now and don't need to be patronised about it - in much the same way as "No Smoking" signs really have become rather pointless now because everyone knows its illegal to smoke inside a public building. Possibly some "proper hand washing process" signs by the sinks. I would avoid putting out hand gel because in a community hall proper hand washing facilities will be available.

    Other things to consider are contact points. I would actually go around and make a list of high risk contact points. If there are some that you can reduce yourself then do so, otherwise make the list available to your hirers. A few ideas:

    Taps - these could be replaced with sensor taps or push button taps to ensure they dont have to be turned off by hand after use.

    Toilet door handles. If you have the traditional toilet layout of cubicles within a room, ideally the outer door should open outwards and not have a catch so it can be opened by foot (consider a kick plate), or be secured open. If you have individual rooms with a sink and toilet in them, provide paper towels which can be used to touch the lock/handle.

    External doors - provide hooks so these can be fixed open where appropriate

    Kitchens - consider removal of cups etc from general use and encourage use of disposables for now. Yes its the opposite of what we've spent the last few years moving towards for environmental reasons, but biodegradable disposables are available. Unless of course you have a dishwasher in which case set it to its highest temperature.

    Light Switches - replace with sensors where appropriate. Remove "please turn off the lights" signs from toilets and encourage hirers to turn them on at the start of hire and off at end to reduce touch.

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to campwarden For This Useful Post:

    IvanOpinion (24-05-2020)

  18. #11
    ASL and YLUL wealdbrook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    2,245
    Thanks
    49
    Thanked 546 Times in 234 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    Face Masks in particular remain a controversial subject - the science for them is still very mixed, and the recommendation is still very much that they are advised in places where social distancing may be difficult - public transport, supermarkets, etc. I would be rather miffed if a landlord was insisting on them being worn.

    To me, the list of things a community hall board of trustees should be concerning themselves with would be:

    - A general risk assessment (with the key findings being made available to the hirers)
    - A cleaning procedure
    - A requirement for hirers to produce their own risk assessment

    Marking the hall floor with 2m squares may be useful... but then let your hall users decide how to make use of this facility.

    Possibly a standard sign on the door - the "do not enter if you or anyone in your household has had these symptoms in the last 14 days" type thing... but i think most people have got the message about staying home if they've got a temperature, cough, etc now and don't need to be patronised about it - in much the same way as "No Smoking" signs really have become rather pointless now because everyone knows its illegal to smoke inside a public building. Possibly some "proper hand washing process" signs by the sinks. I would avoid putting out hand gel because in a community hall proper hand washing facilities will be available.

    Other things to consider are contact points. I would actually go around and make a list of high risk contact points. If there are some that you can reduce yourself then do so, otherwise make the list available to your hirers. A few ideas:

    Taps - these could be replaced with sensor taps or push button taps to ensure they dont have to be turned off by hand after use.

    Toilet door handles. If you have the traditional toilet layout of cubicles within a room, ideally the outer door should open outwards and not have a catch so it can be opened by foot (consider a kick plate), or be secured open. If you have individual rooms with a sink and toilet in them, provide paper towels which can be used to touch the lock/handle.

    External doors - provide hooks so these can be fixed open where appropriate

    Kitchens - consider removal of cups etc from general use and encourage use of disposables for now. Yes its the opposite of what we've spent the last few years moving towards for environmental reasons, but biodegradable disposables are available. Unless of course you have a dishwasher in which case set it to its highest temperature.

    Light Switches - replace with sensors where appropriate. Remove "please turn off the lights" signs from toilets and encourage hirers to turn them on at the start of hire and off at end to reduce touch.
    Why?
    How long might any of the items be "needed"?
    Does the cost justify trying to open before the "requirements" are relaxed.
    A little bit of patience may avoid a lot of panic
    John Alexander,
    ASL and Assistant Webmaster
    1st Weald Brook
    http://www.1stwealdbrook.org.uk
    ESL(YL) Brentwood District

  19. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to wealdbrook For This Useful Post:

    boballan (24-05-2020),pa_broon74 (24-05-2020)

  20. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    1,092
    Thanks
    141
    Thanked 439 Times in 278 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by wealdbrook View Post
    Why?
    How long might any of the items be "needed"?
    Does the cost justify trying to open before the "requirements" are relaxed.
    A little bit of patience may avoid a lot of panic
    I did say "consider". I did not intend my post to come across as a suggestion that any group should rush out and change their hall.

    It will be different for every hall. If a hall is, for example, being used for something essential (a nursery or blood donations are the examples that come to mind) then making it safe to open will be more of a priority than if the hall is used by the scout group and the bridge club. If once things like Yoga and fitness classes are able to return a couple of hundred pounds expenditure allows several hundred pounds of bookings to resume, then yes the expense is probably worthwhile.

    I'm quite a big fan of keeping "touch" to a minimum in toilets anyway - Covid 19 completely aside. Although I appreciate sensor flush/taps/lights are an expense.

    None of us know how long any of these processes might be needed. All I was doing was listing potential contact points that, as a hall owner, the group might wish to consider as the risk would go beyond an individual hirer's session. I'm very much a believer that sensible risk assessment and small modifications to the way we do things will allow us to move back towards something resembling "real life", rather than remaining in lockdown until a vaccine is found.

  21. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,757
    Thanks
    3,011
    Thanked 2,442 Times in 1,530 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    I'm quite a big fan of keeping "touch" to a minimum in toilets anyway - Covid 19 completely aside. Although I appreciate sensor flush/taps/lights are an expense.
    Sensor lights are cheap and reliable. Sensor taps and flush are unreliable (and the latter gives rise to what I've referred to before as the "Euston bidet service"), I'd prefer these were not used. A push-tap allows handwashing without contact afterwards provided the delay is set properly.

  22. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    115
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts
    Concussive taps are ok but do need maintenance and can stick on in cold Scout hq with little use
    http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/ste234/necker-1.jpg

  23. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    1,092
    Thanks
    141
    Thanked 439 Times in 278 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Sensor lights are cheap and reliable. Sensor taps and flush are unreliable (and the latter gives rise to what I've referred to before as the "Euston bidet service"), I'd prefer these were not used. A push-tap allows handwashing without contact afterwards provided the delay is set properly.
    Even surgical-style taps, which can be turned off using the elbow, would be an improvement on the traditional taps (often separate hot and cold, with boiling water in one and ice cold in the other) that many scout HQs have

Similar Threads

  1. For those who hire their halls out...
    By pa_broon74 in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-01-2019, 10:06 AM
  2. [Answered] "PREPARING TO LEAD: DELIVERING THE YOUNG LEADERS’ SCHEME" book incomplete
    By Lister in forum UK Chief Commissioner Questions (CLOSED)
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-06-2015, 07:11 PM
  3. Outdoor Challenge - Preparing for visit
    By silverhairedbeaver in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 25-06-2013, 11:43 AM
  4. HQs/ halls
    By Reese in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-10-2010, 06:09 PM
  5. Preparing to Hike!
    By Skip Ian in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 22-07-2008, 05:38 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •