We are delighted to come together again as a community, and are determined to do so in a way that mitigates health risk. We will follow all protocols laid out by the Maine CDC and will keep abreast of those recommendations as they continue to change in response to conditions.
After reviewing information from public health officials, medical professionals, national choral organizations, and in keeping with other choral groups in the area, our board has adopted a COVID policy with the following provisions as of Wednesday, March 1, 2023 effective March 6, 2023:
For all rehearsals or sectionals masks will be optional when:
● sanctuary or other windows can be opened (above 40 degrees outside temperature); AND
● COVID rates for Knox County are low as published by the Maine CDC the day of rehearsal
Masks will continue to be required for all rehearsals or sectionals when:
● sanctuary or other windows are closed (outside temperature below 40 degrees), OR
● COVID rates for Knox County become above low (e,g, moderate or high) as published by the Maine CDC the day of rehearsal
For all rehearsals, it should be clearly understood that we strongly support the expectation that all members be vaccinated and expect that individual choristers:
● will not show up to rehearsal if they have COVID symptoms or test positive;
● must test negative before coming to rehearsal if they have been exposed to someone within the past two weeks who has had COVID symptoms or someone who has tested positive for COVID.
Reminder notices to this effect will be posted on the entry doors to the church and to the sanctuary prior to each rehearsal. In addition, to further our intention to be a supportive community with each other, we also expect that no one will be shamed or criticized for their decision to be masked or unmasked based on the above guidelines. Individuals are responsible to make those decisions in accordance with the above policy combined with their own assessment of their individual vulnerabilities.
As future pandemic conditions change, this policy may also change during our first season. While we realize that some people may be disappointed in this policy, the Board feels that our responsibility is to the overall group and therefore must take what we feel are the appropriate steps to safeguard everyone’s health to the greatest extent possible.
Prior to Wednesday, March 1, 2023, our COVID policy was:
• We will require the use of masks for all rehearsals• Full vaccination is strongly recommended • We will assess ventilation during rehearsals at the First Congregational Church using an air monitoring system.