Health & Safety Procedures

Connect, learn, and create in a safe and welcoming environment

COCA Classes Ballet Dancer

The health and safety of our COCA community is of the utmost importance. COCA’s Health & Safety Procedures are outlined below. We continually monitor current COVID-19 conditions in our region, and protocols are subject to change, as necessary, to address the conditions.

Current Health & Safety Procedures

Updated August 29, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines concerning COVID-19 for both St. Louis City and St. Louis County. COCA has continually followed the guidance of the CDC the past two years, and our health and safety guidelines have been revised to match their current recommendations.

Face masks are strongly recommended at COCA, not required. We highly recommend that all patrons wear face masks, especially those who are unvaccinated and those who remain vulnerable to COVID-19.

Before You Visit

When You Arrive

For Camps & Classes

For Theatre Productions & Public Events

Ongoing Cleaning & Sanitation

If you’re a current student and received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis: Please call Patron Services at 314.725.6555.

If you have concerns you might have been exposed to COVID-19: Please use your best judgment and CDC guidelines, and utilize our virtual make-up class resources or contact Patron Services at 314.725.6555 to coordinate the option to livestream your class.

Before Visiting COCA’s Campus


  • Students and families are encouraged to review COCA’s Health & Safety Procedures prior to the start of camp or class.
  • Students and families will agree to adhere to these health and safety protocols during the camp and class registration process.

When You Arrive


  • Guests may accompany students into COCA. Classes may be observed from outside of the studio or guests may wait in the Centene Commons.
  • Students also may be dropped off and picked up in the circle drive in front of COCA on 6880 Washington Avenue (between Trinity Ave and Kingsland Ave).

Protocols for Camps & Classes

  • Outside Visitors:
    • COCA’s building is an active space for camps, classes, and performances.
  • Elevator(s):
    • Hand sanitizer will be available for use before and after elevator access.
    • When operating the elevator, using elbows to push the buttons is encouraged.
  • Hand Washing:
    • Hand sanitizer will be available in the classrooms, with its use supervised in young children.
  • Food:
    • Drinking fountains and touchless water bottle filling stations are open; students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle.
    • There will be no microwave, ice, dishes, coffee, or utensils for student use.
    • There will be no food sharing in classrooms or at lunchtime.
  • PPE:
    • COCA will have masks available for visitors who wish to wear one.

Protocols for Theatre Productions & Public Events



Face masks are optional.

Enhanced Cleaning Procedures

The Catherine B. Berges Theatre, Staenberg Performance Lab, and all high touch areas, will be sanitized in between performances. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the COCA campus.

Guest Experience

  • Guests who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 5 days and guests who are experiencing any symptoms, such as cough, loss of taste/smell, temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, should not attend events at COCA.
  • Event planners (internal and external) will work in collaboration with COCA’s Audience Services & Rentals Manager and Director of Facilities & Operations to develop an event experience plan. Event planners must ensure their guests are aware of all guidelines before arrival and signs should be prominently displayed as a reminder.
  • Event planners will maintain a log of guests that includes email addresses to assist public health officials with contact tracing as necessary. For external event planners, this log will be provided to COCA’s Safety Officer.

Performance Ticketing & Seating

  • Ticket holders can display digital tickets on their mobile device or print their tickets at home.
  • Ushers will scan tickets when entering the theatre with a touchless scanner. 
  • Digital programs and playbills will be available on COCA’s website. 

Payment Procedures

  • Guests are encouraged to pre-pay for tickets online or over the phone.
  • For in-person payments, cash and credit cards are accepted.
  • Receipts will be emailed only.

Food Service

  • Catered functions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with catering companies. Catering companies must be approved by COCA’s Operation or Rental Manager.

Performers and Crew

Performers, Creative Team and Stage Management: Rehearsals and Performance 

  • Dancers will follow costume and fitting procedure guidelines as outlined.
  • All mics will be sanitized by the wearer following use.

Fittings and Costume Production Procedures

  • If dressing rooms are utilized, performers will follow capacity guidelines and no items will be shared.

Scenic Builds and Shop Use

  • Capacity restrictions will be followed.
  • Equipment will be sanitized before and after use.

Partnerships and External Producers

  • All partners and external producers must agree to follow guidelines and set forth in this plan.
  • If rehearsals are planned outside of regular building hours, partners will designate one person to check in all external artists, including performers, stage management, and technicians and keep a log for contact tracing.

Front of House Staff

  • COCA House Managers are trained in the following:
    • Executing modifications/risk
    • In identifying the symptoms of COVID-19
    • Actions to take if COVID-19 symptoms are identified
    • Trauma awareness training
    • De-escalation
  • COCA Ushers are trained in the following:
    • Executing modifications/risk
    • Identifying the symptoms of COVID-19
    • Actions to take if COVID-19 symptoms are identified

Ongoing Cleaning and Sanitation

HVAC and Ventilation Systems

COCA’s HVAC systems improve ventilation in the building and increase the percentage of outdoor air.

  • COCA utilizes a professional cleaning company that deep cleans and disinfects the facility every night.  During the day, in addition to daytime porters, COCA’s Operation team sanitizes all high-touch areas and floors in each studio using Electrostatic spray equipment twice daily.  The sanitizing spray from this equipment is electrically charged, allowing the appropriate sanitizers, mold preventatives and disinfectants to wrap around and evenly coat all types of surfaces for a more complete clean.
  • A porter will be at COCA when programming is happening on weekends during the school year. During the summer, COCA will have a full-time porter. Porters will sanitize all high-touch areas including, but not limited to: Barres, Door knobs, Light switches, Bathroom faucets, Tabletops, Stair rails, Elevator buttons, Cubbies, Piano keys, etc.