COVID-19 Plan (Rarig & Barker)

Rarig Center 


Rarig Center, UMN

Rarig Center Building Hours

The Rarig Center will be accessible to all University students, faculty, and staff with an active U Card, but will​ not​ be open to the general public. An active U-card will be necessary in order to swipe into Rarig Center during university hours (weekdays 7 am – 11 pm and Saturdays from 7 am – 7 pm.) Rarig will be closed all other times, including Sundays. All students, faculty, and staff should make sure they have their U Card with them at all times as you will need to swipe for access to most, if not all buildings on campus. ​Please ensure that you do not allow unauthorized (non-university) people into the Rarig Center. You must enter the building by yourself, allow the door to close, and others who may be behind you, must enter with their own U Card.


A majority of Theatre classes normally offered in Rarig are being offered virtually. A select few will be in-person or a hybrid blend of virtual and in-person. Synchronous and asynchronous virtual technology will be utilized to assure distanced delivery of courses as requested and necessary, including to our international student population. The instructor’s preferred mode of curricular delivery will be noted in our online course catalog, and instructors send students information regarding fall semester plans. Seating for in-person sessions will be structured so that social distancing guidelines can be followed. ​Studios for in-person movement, performance, and vocal classes will be gridded, taped, and/or marked out so that social distancing guidelines can be followed. ​Absolutely no in-person instruction is to take place off-campus at any time.

Classroom and Studio Safety Protocols

Specific cleaning and sanitizing protocols for each classroom/studio, theater, and conference room in Rarig have been created. Instructors will be responsible for ensuring that all protocols are followed before, during, and after all in-person classes. Checklists specific to each space will be provided and posted, and instructors will need to initial to indicate successful completion of each task. ​Following guidelines established by the University, we are asking all students to come to Rarig no more than 5 minutes before class and request students leave Rarig as soon as class is dismissed. Please, no in-person gatherings or meetings should take place before or after a class​. ​No student, faculty, or staff may use any Rarig space outside of academic classes, including any class-related group projects or faculty research. Additionally, all rental and Astra requests for any UMTAD space will be turned down until further notice.

Production Shops

Specific cleaning and sanitizing protocols for each shop have been created and will be shared with students working in their respective shop. Communal “break room” items (I.E. microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers, electric water kettles, etc.) may only be used by the staff members with offices in the specific shop and are not available for student (undergraduate or graduate) use. Personal lockers and storage cubbies in specific shops will NOT BE AVAILABLE. Shop managers are looking for replacement facilities that would only be available for staff while working. Students will not be allowed to congregate or use shop areas outside of scheduled work hours. This includes use of the 3rd floor elevator lobby, scene shop mezzanine, etc. If you need to use a computer as part of your shop employment you must bring your personal laptop. Students (undergraduate and graduate) will not be allowed to use any shop computers. Supervisors will create specific cleaning guidelines for shop specific equipment as needed. ​Students should arrive 5 minutes prior to the start of their shift and leave immediately once they are dismissed.

HVAC​ (copied from Facilities Management Sunrise Support website)

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have issued guidance for operating HVAC systems while pandemic conditions exist. A special work group reviewed this guidance and developed a list of strategies that can reduce the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 in University facilities.

HVAC Specific Recommendations:

  • Operate ventilation systems continuously
  • Provide no less than design minimum ventilation
  • Disable demand control ventilation
  • Increase the outdoor ventilation beyond the design minimum as much as possible
  • Open windows in naturally ventilated rooms when used for group activities

These recommendations will be implemented as applicable across the Twin Cities campus by Facilities Management.

The work group’s efforts were focused on instructional spaces, open office spaces, housing, dining, libraries, and other indoor spaces used by large groups for extended periods. Additional space types including housing (sleeping rooms), conference rooms, corridors, toilet spaces, and private office spaces are not considered large group settings and are excluded from the scope. It is expected that ventilation systems serving these space types will continue to operate normally. CDC guidelines should be followed in non-large group settings including physical distancing, face coverings, and enhanced sanitation practices (where appropriate).

Laboratory and clinical spaces were not a focus of the work group’s scope due to the different code requirements for those spaces which exceed the CDC and ASHRAE guidance related to COVID-19 risk. It is expected that laboratory managers will develop plans for maintaining physical distancing and issue guidance to lab personnel regarding the use of face covering.

Hallways and Stairways 

Due to egress requirements, hallways and stairwells cannot be restricted to one-way traffic. Stay to the right as you navigate the building.


Observe physical distancing particularly at restroom entrances and at close quarters.


The South freight elevator has been designated as 4 person capacity. The north elevator has been designated as 3 person capacity.

Hand Sanitizers

Hand Sanitizers have been distributed through Rarig Center. Most notably you will find them inside each of the two main, public entrance doors on the north and south sides of Rarig. There are also dispensers on every floor outside the south elevators. If you feel like others are needed elsewhere please reach out to Christine Swartwout or Jason Allyn-Schwerin. (All contact information is located further down on page.)


Regular housekeeping practices are being enhanced by Facilities Management. Frequent cleaning and sanitizing is being conducted in high-touch areas, such as controls, door handles, elevator panels, railings, etc. UMTAD faculty and staff will be responsible for cleaning of their own office work areas and placing any garbage and recycling containers in the publicly distributed locations. Surplus can liners are located in the 580 storage closet.

Water Fountains / Dispensers ​

Water fountains with bottle fillers in Rarig have been flushed and sanitized and are part of Facilities Management's enhanced cleaning plan to help keep “high-touch” areas safe. All other water fountains will be taken offline. Any water dispensers using delivery service water canisters (the “bubblers” located on the 5th floor) will be removed from service until further notice. The department is working with CLA and Facitilities Management to get at least one additional water fountain with a bottle filler installed on the 5th floor.

Common Areas

All communal gathering places located in Rarig are closed till further notice. Gathering, meeting, and/or loitering in Rarig is not allowed. (Including the lower level “PIT” area.) Students should arrive 5 minutes prior to class beginning and leave as soon as class(es) has completed. Public use microwaves will be removed from service until further notice. ​THIS INCLUDES ALL SHOP “BREAK-ROOMS”

5th Floor Shared Graduate/PhD Offices and 3rd Floor Lighting MFA Offices​ 

Due to occupancy restrictions imposed by University Health and Safety, students using Shared Office Space will create a timeshare arrangement. At no point can immediately adjacent (side by side) work spaces be occupied. Students must agree to follow all distancing guidelines dictated by Health and Safety. All Students using the space will need to sanitize prior to and after every use of space. Students may only use desks assigned to them. Shared microwaves and refrigerators must be cleaned prior to and after each use by the user. Shared coffee will be removed from service. Department will be communicating with graduate students with instruction duties about how and where instructor/student meetings can be held.

Dressing Rooms and Shower Facilities​

Closed until further notice.

Office Hours

No in person office hours. You should plan for remote meetings using Zoom. Faculty and staff should plan on holding virtual office hours. All Rarig Center Theatre Offices (including the Main Theatre Office, Box Office, and Peers Offices) will move to a virtual office setup. These public offices will have postings outside their doors listing pertinent contact information

UMTAD Truck 

Department truck use is to be limited and users will need to sign off on sanitizing and disinfecting guidelines. Only the driver and one passenger are allowed in the vehicle. Both driver and passenger must wear face masks at all times. NO RIDERS ALLOWED IN BED OF TRUCK. CDC recommends traveling with windows open to help dilute the interior air of the vehicle. The following high touch areas must be cleaned before and after each use:

  • Door levers/knobs (both inside and outside of truck)
  • Steering wheel
  • Gear shift
  • All dashboard surfaces and knobs/buttons including but not limited to:
    • Radios
    • Turn signal
    • Light Switch
  • Seatbelts
  • Glove box
  • Center console

Lockouts/Forgot Keys

In the event you are locked out of your office you should contact Christine (or Jason if Christine is not available) for access to the key safe in Rarig basement. A spare key specific to your office can be used and immediately replaced once you retrieve your original key from inside your office. You must contact Christine directly for access and let her know when the key has been replaced.

550/580 Suites

  • Both the 550 and 580 suites will be locked at all times. If you do not have a key, you will need to request one from Christine.
  • Katie and Millie will be working remotely.
  • Mail will be distributed in 580 mail boxes as usual. If you are not regularly working from Rarig you should arrange to have ​packages​ delivered to your home. If you have deliveries sent to Rarig you will not receive an email notification from staff upon delivery. You should set up notifications from the carrier.
  • Interdepartmental/campus mail drop off procedures will be communicated when available.
  • 580 refrigerator and microwave will be accessible for faculty/staff - users are responsible for cleaning and sanitizing prior to and immediately after use.
  • Conference rooms may be made available for instructors to use as part of a “home” for remote class sessions. Conference rooms are closed to in-person meetings (greater than two people) until further notice. Per University guidelines, all group meetings should be arranged via Zoom.

PPE and Cleaning Supplies

  • PPE, cleaning, and sanitizing supplies will be managed and distributed by the Scene Shop. Contact Zeb Hults and Jason Allyn-Schwerin for refill requests.
  • No PPE can be purchased on a T Card or P Card. All purchases must be made through U Market. Assign all U Market cart orders to Millie.
  • Please send requests for PPE supplies to Zeb Hults and Jason Allyn-Schwerin who will coordinate with existing PPE supplies and order more if needed through U Market.

Theatre Arts in Rarig Virtual Office Notice

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff in Theatre Arts are working remotely. For assistance please contact:

  • Theatre Arts Main Office & General Inquiries: | 612-625-6699
  • Department Chair, Matt LeFebvre: | 612-625-5398
  • Department Administrator, Millie Reid Rivera: | 612-624-1581
  • Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, Katie Willer: | 612-624-9183
  • Director of Graduate Studies, Margaret Werry: | 612-625-6783
  • Head of Design/Tech Program, Chelsea Masteller Warren: | 612-625-7013
  • Head of BA Performance Program, Luverne Seifert: | 612-624-0269
  • Head of BFA Actor/Training Program, Aaron Todd Douglas: | 612-625-0894
  • BFA Actor/Training Program Administrator, Deb Pearson: | 612-625-7461
  • Production Stage Manager/Building Manager, Christine Swartwout: | 612-625-6819
  • Technical Director/Rarig Safety Officer, Jason Allyn-Schwerin: | 612-625-3872

Barbara Barker Center for Dance Fall 2020 Reopening Plan

To view the Barbara Barker Center for Dance Fall 2020 Reopening Plan on a document, click here.

Report prepared by: Mike Grogan, Technical Coordinator and Building Manager, Barbara Barker Center for Dance


Barbara Barker Center for Dance


This document will outline policies and procedures the TAD Dance Program intends to implement for in-person instruction for fall semester 2020.
The following policies and procedures have been assembled from various information sources:

  1. Guidelines created by The National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).
  2. Procedures being used by local dance organizations such as the St. Paul Ballet, Zenon Dance School, the PIM School, and Northrop Auditorium.
  3. Procedures being employed by local gyms such as Lifetime Fitness and the YMCA.

These policies and procedures fall into three categories:

  1. Physical plant and distancing procedures
  2. Instructor and student conduct policies
  3. Sanitation procedures

Note: This document outlines all current plans but the Barker Adminstrative Staff continue to explore additional safety measures.

Physical Plant and Distancing Procedures

In addition to all building related steps outlined by University Policy, the Facilities Management Sunrise and Enhanced Cleaning Plans, and the Facilities Managment study group on HVAC procedures, the Dance Program plans to undertake the following steps:

  • Students will not be allowed to congregate in the the Barker Center lobby space. This policy may need to be reviewed as the weather gets colder. Lobby furniture and microwaves (normally provided for student use) have been removed and/or rendered inaccessible.
  • Students will be asked to come five minutes before class and to leave immediately when class is done
  • Students will be asked to leave via routes indicated by signage to minimize cross traffic in hallways and stairwells. This plan has been crafted to be consistent with codes for ADA compliance and emergency egress as communicated by Facilities Mangement.
  • Use of the showers in the second floor locker rooms will be eliminated.
  • The doors to all studios will remain open during class to facilitate increased air circulation and to limit contact for users with door handles, etc.
  • Studio and classroom spaces will adhere to a reduced occupancy rule:
    • Studio 100: 20 people maximum (this includes instructors and accompanists)
    • Studios 200 and 300: 12 people max (this includes instructors and accompanists)
    • Classroom 301: 5 people maximum (this includes instructor)

In the studio spaces this rule will be enforced by physically marking out safe space on the floors. (See following pictures)


Studio 100 Reduced Capacity Layout Barbara Barker Center


Studio 200 Reduced Capacity layout Barbara Barker Center for Dance

These spaces are laid out on the following plan, based on protocols created by the NDEO:

  • a six-foot square separated from the other squares by six feet.

Students will be asked to stay in these squares, or if the pedagogy requires them to move, to use these squares as a visual guide for safe spacing.

Instructor and Student Conduct Policies

In addition to all personal conduct outlined by University policy (wearing of masks, social distancing, self-monitoring, etc.), the Dance Program plans to undertake the following steps:

  • In addition to masks and/or face-shields, instructors and students will be required to wear shoes at all times, socks will not be considered a sufficient covering.
  • Equipment which is normally provided by the Program but is difficult to clean, such as yoga blankets, will need to be provided by the students.
  • Students will be asked to wash and/or sanitize their hands before class. Additional hand sanitizers have been installed by Facilities Management and bottles of the same will be present in all studios.
  • Instructors will be expected to minimize floor work (student physical contact with the floor) and eliminate partnering (direct one on one contact with each other) for the time being.
  • Instructors and students will be expected to assist in cleaning of studios and equipment that falls outside of those procedures outlined by the Facilities Management Enhanced Cleaning Procedures document. (More on this below.) Time will be made for this at the beginning and end of classes.
  • Efforts will be made to accommodate the needs of instructors and students considered “high risk” (those with pre-existing health conditions, higher risk due to age, etc.) through the use of remote learning/instruction strategies provided these accommodations do not impair the live instruction experience for others. These cases will be dealt with on a case by case basis until such time as the Dance Leadership Team feels that a blanket policy is needed.

Sanitation Procedures

In addition to all building related steps outlined by University Policy, the Facilities Mangement Sunrise and Enhanced Cleaning Plans and the sub-group study on HVAC procedures, the Dance Program plans to undertake the following steps:

  • Class times will be shortened so that cleaning of space and necessary equipment outside the scope of Facilities Management’s responsibilities can take place. This may include (but is not limited to) the following: Studio sound systems, ballet barres, musical equipment used by accompanists, etc. Cleaning of these items will be accomplished through a combination of using the disinfectant wipes provided by FM and also through spray bottles containing a disinfecting cleaning solution. These bottles will contain a hydrogen peroxide based non-toxic cleaning solution called Oxivir TB. This is a hospital grade cleaning solution found on the EPA’s list of COVID-19 killing cleaners. It is particularly useful for us because it has a very rapid response time (it only has to be in contact with the surface for one minute to kill the virus) and it evaporates leaving little or no residue, thus quick cleaning in between classes becomes practical.
  • As part of the between class cleaning procedure we will be making use of sanitizing misters, a device which converts a sanitizing chemical into a fine mist and distributes it rapidly over a wide area. This tool is being widely used in the physical fitness world and also amongst many dance studios. The goal of using these devices is two-fold:
    • 1.) To sanitize surfaces more rapidly than methods like mopping or hand cleaning could accomplish.
    • 2.) Dispersal of these sanitizers in the air does have at least some sanitizing effect on the air itself, since this is now acknowledged as the primary transmission mode for the virus, this effect (however small) adds to the overall safety of our students and instructors.
  • As part of the research into sanitizing procedures we have also been examining the efficacy of air filtration beyond the procedures recommended by the Facilities Management HVAC Study Group through the use of portable HEPA air filtration units. Filtration of Studio 100 may not be feasible given the cost of a unit capable of filtering a space this large (3750 square feet) but it is likely we may employ filtering units in our classroom (Room 301) and Main Office and possibly in the smaller studios.


The goal of the policies and procedures outlined in this document is not to fully eliminate risk, indeed it must be accepted as a fundamental premise that we cannot do so, particularly given the enhanced risk presented by the athletic nature of our discipline. Rather our goal is to mitigate risk to the maximum extent possible to our students, instructors, and staff by implementing a strategy with layers of protection which interact with each other and with protocols put in place by the larger institution. None of these measures is sufficient in and of themselves, but with all acting in concert, we feel we can provide a safe environment for live pedagogy this Fall.