As an experienced PPE supplier that also provides COVID-19 testing, disinfecting and sanitizing services, Community Attire has created this PPE and equipment guide for CCOs. It includes information about the expected burn rates for supplies to help keep your cast and crew safe. It also includes a checklist of supplies based on the safe set guidelines outlined by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and Teamsters’ Committee reports.
The impact of COVID-19 has been felt by every industry in the United States. In some cases, they have almost been forced to shutter and furlough employees, while others have been able to adapt to new industry standards and guidelines. The film and television industry is no exception. In Hollywood and across the US, film and TV productions have made dramatic changes to ensure that cast and crew members are safe even as “the show must go on!”
During the early days of the pandemic, numerous film and TV organizations, including the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, Teamsters, and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, created whitepapers, reports, and guidelines on how to run a safe set. They also created recommendations for new on-set roles, including a Health Safety Supervisor (HSS), Health Safety Manager (HSM), and COVID Compliance Officers (CCOs) to insure that every set follows the new safety protocol. Their reports and guidelines have been adopted as industry standards and allow productions to keep their people safe and comply with state, local, and CDC regulations. The following is a brief overview of some of the biggest changes required onset that are outlined in these reports.
According to The Safe Way Forward: A Joint Report of the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and Teamsters’ Committees for COVID-19 Safety Guidelines, requiring strategic testing is key to keeping sets clear of the Coronavirus. The report concludes that to lower the risk of acquiring infection on set, testing frequency needs to be increased. They note that testing once a week will make an enormous difference. It dramatically changes the infection model from an instance of a single infected person almost certainly infecting others on set to their being a very high chance that a single infected person will not infect others on set. The report also notes that testing every three days reduces the risk further, while testing daily largely eliminates it.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers: Industry-Wide Labor Management Safety Committee Task Force recommends the use of face coverings at all times when on set or at production or studio. These can include medical masks, cloth masks and face shields and are used to reduce the transfer of respiratory droplets between people in the same workspace. They also require appropriate training in donning, doffing, cleaning and safe PPE use. In addition to face coverings, their report notes that hand hygiene is a cornerstone of infection prevention and will need to be practiced widely on set. Cast and crew need to have access to well-stocked wash stations and hand sanitizing stations.
Both reports also emphasize the importance of following the social distancing rules to help ensure a safe work environment. Following distancing guidelines at all times when possible and wearing PPE when not possible is critical to keeping the set safe and infection free
The task force report describes the importance of a heightened cleaning and disinfection routine that adheres to guidance issued by public health authorities. They outline a routine that covers the disinfection of high-touch and high traffic areas including industry-specific concerns like props, costumes, and craft services.
In The Safe Way Forward, a zone system is recommended to guard against contact between those in the main company and other untested individuals. There are three zones: Zone A is “any perimeter within which activity occurs without physical distancing or the use of PPE,” e.g. actors during a scene on camera. Zone B is anywhere “the production has a footprint that is not Zone A,” e.g. other crew moving about set behind scenes. Zone C is everywhere else in the outside world where cast and crew may go when not working. According to these guidelines, no one can be admitted to zones A and B without passing a COVID-19 test with a negative result within the last 24 hour period.