We want to start by acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and that it has had a disproportionate impact on the trans and nonbinary community, particularly communities of color, over the last few years. We also recognize that singing in person is not safe and accessible for those who are at highest risk (or living with someone who is) at this point in the pandemic. STANCE will do our best to make it as safe as possible for singers and we ask singers to do as much as possible to keep each other safe as well. No in-person singing will be risk-free, but we also recognize the positive mental health value in singing together and gathering for community.
While the pandemic continues, all singers will be provided with N95 quality singer’s masks and we will require them at all times in the rehearsal space except when taking a sip of water. We encourage you to bring drinks with straws because they are easier to drink without having to fully remove your mask. Eating is not allowed in the rehearsal space. If you need a snack, we ask that you take it outside.
For concerts, we similarly plan to require masks and spacing for attendees and singers in most cases. Any exceptions to this (such as small ensemble performances) will be with full consent of those involved, communicated well in advance, and all unmasked parties will have a recent negative COVID test result.
All singers are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have received their updated BA-variant Moderna or Pfizer booster after September 2022. That means having at least 3 vaccines 2 weeks prior to attending rehearsals. We will not be allowing vaccine exceptions at this time due to the exponential risk posted to the other singers by unvaccinated people.
We will have HEPA air purifiers in the space to circulate air, and we have chosen a rehearsal and performance venue with a large airspace. We ask that all singers sit at least 3 feet apart from each other unless you are already in frequent unmasked contact with a specific singer.
If singers are feeling unwell, particularly with symptoms that could be contagious such as coughing, sneezing, sore throat, fever, or other cold/flu/COVID-like symptoms, we ask you to stay home and join virtually if you can. We will have a livestream of the rehearsal available and recorded for virtual attendance.
We encourage all singers and staff to sign up for the Washington Notify exposure notifications through iPhone or Android and report all positive COVID diagnoses through the app to notify fellow singers anonymously if they may have been exposed. Please also notify your section leader or the Executive or Artistic Directors if you have a positive COVID test result within 3 days of attending a rehearsal.
If we receive more than 3 positive diagnosis notifications in one week, we will implement a safety pause for 1 week. If you or a household member have had COVID, please stay home from rehearsals for at least 10 days, even if you no longer have symptoms.
The Board of Directors will continue to monitor the current science and public health directives and if conditions become significantly more dangerous for high risk individuals, we will consider adding additional requirements or moving to virtual rehearsals temporarily. If you are uncomfortable with the current COVID requirements, please reach out to a Board member.
These mitigation measures will be in place until the Board of Directors determines that the risk of death and hospitalization from acquiring COVID-19 is lower than the risk posed by the annual flu, or epidemiologists and public health officials agree that we have moved into an endemic state (no longer an acute pandemic and we have reached equilibrium where the virus is no longer disrupting our daily lives). This decision will be communicated prior to the season start so that singers who are uncomfortable with moving to an unmasked situation can make a fully informed decision to continue.