Labor union details precautions while setting up stage for AEW Dynamite in Jacksonville


The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) in Florida posted on Facebook that they are back safely to work at Daily’s Place to set up everything for All Elite Wrestling’s return to live TV tonight in Jacksonville.

“A COVID-19 Rapid Test was given to every stagehand, road crew, venue staff and talent before entering the venue,” the post said. “Portable wash stations, Hand Sanitizer stations, mandatory masks covering, social distancing (especially at breaks) at all times. We didn’t ask to be the first but we are and we are working to keep it SAFE!”

THE BEST WAY TO AVOID contracting the coronavirus, experts say, is through safe personal hygiene practices. The first step is with social distancing – staying at least 6 feet away from others, which is beyond the distance that the virus can travel from person to person. The second step is cleaning your hands – a lot.

The reason is simple: The coronavirus – and all other viruses and bacteria – get into your body primarily through your nose, mouth and eyes. It gets there when you are closer than the recommended 6 feet to an infected person who breathes, coughs or sneezes in your direction. It also gets there when you touch your face with infected hands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that, “hand hygiene for infection prevention is an important part of the U.S. response to the international emergence of COVID-19.” And the two best ways to keep your hands clean are with soap and water or with hand sanitizers that contain alcohol – specifically, at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol, the CDC says.

The old-fashioned way is the preferred method, says Dr. Gary LeRoy, MD, a family physician from Dayton, Ohio, and president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “Hand-washing with soap and water is the gold standard. You should do that for 20 seconds,” he says.

Dr. John Swartzberg, clinical professor emeritus of infectious diseases and vaccinology at the University of California—Berkeley School of Public Health, says soap and water are best for two reasons: “Soap can damage the virus, and it lifts the virus off the skin so it can be washed down the drain.”

But what’s your next best option when soap and water aren’t available? Hand sanitizer.

It takes a good 20 seconds of vigorous hand-washing with soap to be sure the virus lifts off the skin, and a thorough rinsing to flush it away. Nothing works better than that, says Dr. Jeffrey A. Linder, professor and chief of the division of general internal medicine and geriatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Hand sanitizer, he says, “is better if it’s in lieu of doing nothing.”

A recent Hand Sanitizer Guide by the American Society for Microbiology, compared soap and water to hand sanitizer containing 80% alcohol on the flu virus in mucus. It found that soap and water thoroughly removed the virus after 30 seconds in both wet and dry mucus. It took hand sanitizer the same amount of time when the mucus had dried for 40 minutes, but up to four minutes when it was still wet. Hand sanitizer products work differently than soap and water. “The alcohol in the sanitizer basically breaks up the virus,” Linder says, by destroying the outer membrane of the virus cell, effectively killing it or making it unable to reproduce. But there has to be enough alcohol in the product to be effective, so be sure to check hand sanitizer labels carefully. Effectiveness drops off significantly when the alcohol level is below the minimum. Higher levels are only marginally better.

Also use a generous amount of hand sanitizer, LeRoy advises, and rub it into your skin for 20 seconds, until it evaporates. “Remember that 20-second rule,” he says, with both hand sanitizer and soap and water. (Though the more recent study looked at 30-second intervals, most experts still recommend a minimum of 20 seconds.) To ensure hand sanitizer is effective against germs, the CDC warns against rinsing or wiping off hand sanitizer before it’s completely dry.

AEW is back in Jacksonville after last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis deemed wrestling as an essential business.

The IATSE is the labor union representing technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live theater, motion picture and television production, and trade shows.