Original published date: March 13, 2020 – 7:00 pm
Dear students and parents of our students,
Over the past few days, we have observed a growing public-health
concern regarding the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19.
We are, and will remain, committed to providing the highest
level of Jiu-Jitsu instruction in a healthy and safe environment. As of now, we have no immediate plans to close our
school, however, if the virus should spread through our region,
we will have to consider this option.
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus is a global concern, we
have been researching preventative guidelines issued by the World Health
Organization and the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, Gracie University Headquarters
has been in close communication with health care providers and local public
health authorities to create a comprehensive plan to ensure the highest level
of safety to both: our students and instructors.
Initially, we aimed to gain a better understanding of the
Coronavirus and the potential threats the virus may pose to our students as
well as the identification of best practices in ensuring our school maintained
the highest level of cleaning standards.
As we learned more about COVID-19, it became clear that our
school must not only implement every preventive measure possible but must also
serve as a source of information to create more awareness about this virus and
its potential risks.
What have we learned about the Coronavirus
It is widely accepted in the medical community that the first
human case of the Novel Coronavirus was
detected in Wuhan, China, and has been spreading globally
since December of 2019. It is concerning because it is a new
strain in the family of Coronaviruses that is showing a very
high rate of transmission (R0 Value) for which we have no
The current data coming in from over 100,000 cases around
the world has shown that the novel Coronavirus
symptoms and health risks can be mild in most cases, however, the burden of
a significant number of cases requiring medical interventions can be a
growing burden on an already taxed health care system.
Medical researchers are clear that Novel Coronavirus
brings a more serious health risk to elders, immunocompromised individuals,
those with respiratory disease and/or preexisting health conditions.
The medical community agrees that approximately eighty percent of the
individuals who contract the virus only experience mild symptoms and recover quickly.
The data also indicates that healthy children are the least vulnerable to
this new virus.
With our student population built primarily by children and
adults ranging from 25 to 45 years of age, the risk of severe health
complications is not a concern. What is a concern is how quickly the
Coronavirus can be transmitted if proper procedures are not put in place.
Recent evidence suggests that the virus may live on certain surfaces at room
temperature for several days which makes it imperative that proper cleaning and
disinfecting occur on a regular basis.
What can you do?
There are many things you can do as an individual to help
prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus. Additionally, there are things
you can do to raise the level of awareness of this virus, reduce unnecessary
fear, and create a level of engagement directed at the prevention of the
illness with those closest to you.
BE SMART – Stay informed, be aware of risks, but don’t panic.
Use the discipline you learn in Jiu-Jitsu to create enhanced personal hygiene
routines in your life. Wash your hands frequently, wash your uniform, and take
a shower after practice, avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and
practice responsible respiratory etiquette. The CDC has put
together an excellent website with plenty of information on the
STAY HEALTHY – This is a crucial time to make your health a
priority and do all you can to boost your immunity. This means eat well, sleep
well, consider taking additional supplements to boost your immune system.
TRAINING HYGIENE – To protect yourself and your training
partners, make sure to sanitize your hands when entering the school before
shaking anyone’s hands or touching anything. Instructors and staff will require
all students to sanitize their hands before and after every class.
BE A GOOD TEAMMATE – If you are feeling under the weather, if
you are coughing or sneezing, if you have a mild fever, headache, or any other
cold / flu-like symptoms, take a break from Jiu-Jitsu. Stay home, rest, eat
well and see a doctor in case the symptoms worsen.
Remember, if you must miss training, you can log on to GracieUniversity.com and
watch the lessons you’re missing through your CTC Family Member
account. If you need help accessing your account, just let us know.
TRAVELING FROM AFFECTED AREAS – If you have been in contact with
someone who has travelled internationally or you, yourself, have recently
traveled internationally, avoid contact with others for the recommended
14 days, observe cold or flu symptoms, and seek medical advice if
What are we doing?
We are focusing on implementing all preventive measures
recommended by the World Health Organization, the CDC, and local public health
departments. Some of our actions include:
RAISING AWARENESS – Knowledge is power. Our goal is to empower
students, and parents by sharing the most updated information about the
Coronavirus and effective preventative measures they must take to maintain a healthy
and safe training. environment.
TRAINING HYGIENE – We require all students and staff to sanitize
their hands when entering the school before shaking hands or touching anything.
Instructors and staff will be requiring all students to sanitize their hands
before class. We will also be reminding all team members about the obligation
to wash their uniforms after class. Remember, always use footwear when going to
EXTRA CLEANING – Since there is research that suggests that
the Coronavirus may live on surfaces for days, all mat space, restrooms,
front desk space, couches, and other high traffic areas, handles, and surfaces
of the schools are being cleaned multiple times a day before and after classes.
These areas are cleaned with appropriate disinfectants or alcohol solutions
with at least 70% alcohol.
SCREENING – Screening protocols will be implemented at the
beginning of work shifts and before classes. If any employee or student appears sick
or is visually displaying flu-like symptoms, such as
coughing, sneezing, fever, headache, or any other cold /flu-like
symptoms, they will be required to
immediately leave the training areas and self-isolate at home until fully
As the Coronavirus situation continues to evolve, we will be
regularly communicating with our students to offer updated guidance based on
new guidelines issued by the World Health Organization, CDC, and local health
Keep training, don’t be afraid or panicked but also don’t be
indifferent to the risks. Stay off the mats if you are
not feeling well or suspect that you might be a carrier, until you are deemed
We must continue to work together as a team and in collaboration
with our local health departments. We must remain engaged to slow down
the transmission of this or any other disease to ensure a
healthy and safe learning environment.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to
JC and Jess Coakley.