Our COVID precautions as of March 8, 2023:
Everyone is expected to be vaccinated and have received their recommended number of booster shots (2 boosters for those 50 or older and those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised; otherwise, 1 booster).
Masks fully covering the mouth and nose will be required unless instructed otherwise. Surgical masks will be available if anyone forgets to bring one.
The board will purchase a limited number of test kits to have available at rehearsal. Please see our more comprehensive policy and recommendations on test kits below.
Anyone who tests positive or finds out that they've been exposed to COVID should indicate this on their attestation form (if required, see below) or notify firstname.lastname@example.org and stay home from rehearsal that week.
The COVID subcommittee will be composed of two or three members and shall rotate for each concert, with at least one returning member to provide some continuity. The subcommittee can be reached at email@example.com.
Future members of the subcommittee do not necessarily need to come from the board, so we may ask you or other members if you would be willing to spend a concert cycle or two as part of the subcommittee.
Other precautions will be determined by the current risk level for Middlesex County as reported by the CDC and published on the members’ area of our website.
Medium or high risk level
If the county is currently in the medium or high risk category, or has been in the medium or high category for either of the past two weeks:
In addition to masking, everyone must test negative for COVID before entering the rehearsal space. There is no need to show the test result at rehearsal. We recommend testing as close to the time of rehearsal as possible.
Everyone will complete an attestation form prior to each rehearsal to be completed no later than 1 PM on the day of rehearsal. Attestation forms can also be submitted the evening prior to rehearsal. (If circumstances on the form have changed since submission, you may resubmit an updated form or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Low risk level
If the county has been in the low risk category for each of the past two weeks:
Masks will still be required for rehearsal, but no testing or attestation forms will be necessary.
However, if you have been exposed or have any symptoms, you will be expected to test negative and contact the COVID subcommittee before attending rehearsal.
Attending rehearsal with minor symptoms
Singers with minor symptoms (no coughing, sneezing or fever) may attend rehearsal in the following circumstances:
The county is in the low or medium risk category.
The singer tests negative for COVID as close as possible to the time of rehearsal.
The singer sits in the back of the hall away from the rest of the group.
Returning to rehearsals after testing positive for COVID
Singers who test positive for COVID may return to rehearsals after at least five days from their positive test and after testing negative twice over a 48-hour period.
Unfortunately, with our limited budget, we do not have the means to purchase the number of test kits required to supply to all of you for the entire season. On the other hand, we don’t want to shift the financial burden of obtaining test kits to all of our members, either.
So we are asking as many of you as possible to claim the eight test kits per month that most of us are entitled to via our health insurance plans. If you’re unfamiliar with this benefit, or have trouble with the process, we will be glad to help you through it. (For example, I go to https://www.cvs.com/shop/home-health-care/home-tests/home-covid-test?icid=coronavirus-lp-nav-home-testing to order kits online and pick them up at the store. The link for Walgreens is https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/otc. The first order requires you to enter your health insurance info, but then it’s saved for subsequent orders. Other pharmacies should have a similar process, and you should also be able to call in an order if you’re not comfortable doing so online.)
Alternately, you may be able to take advantage of any testing provided to you, say, by an employer. Testing kits may also be available for free through your local town offices or library.
We understand that obtaining tests regularly may not be feasible for all members, or may cause significant hardship for some of you. In those cases, we’re happy to help with the process of obtaining your free test kits, and in cases where that’s not possible, the board will maintain a moderate supply of test kits for anyone who is unable to obtain their own. The hope is that enough of us will be able to take advantage of the health insurance benefit that the chorus budget is not overwhelmed by purchasing tests.
As we have done since returning to in-person rehearsals, the board will continue to monitor the current environment, guidelines and recommendations and adjust our policies so we can safely enjoy making beautiful music together.
Photo: Edward J. Hynes, 2017