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BHS updates pandemic guideline documents

BHS updates pandemic guideline documents

Recent updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that fully vaccinated people can gather without masks for most activities — including singing. When, how and should your group proceed to return to meeting in person?

Vaccinations are currently being distributed around the world. In the United States, anyone over the age of 16 is eligible to receive the vaccine at no cost, and the 12-16 age group is next.

  • As of May 14, 2021, nearly 60% of adults in the US have received one shot, with 45% being fully vaccinated.
  • In Canada, 34% of the population have received one shot, with 3% being fully vaccinated.

Although the CDC has stated generally, “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” that broad statement does not account for variations in local ordinances, variations in specific pandemic hot spots, and so forth. Reopening or congregating is not equivalent to safely singing together in the same physical space, and it may be a while before it is safe for everyone to sing together.

Barbershop is coming back, friends. But we all want to do it safely. How will your group do it safely, equitably, responsibly?:

  • How will you navigate questions of mixed vaccination status of people singing together? What is the appropriate timetable for getting together again?
  • How do you handle situations where some people may not be able to be vaccinated, or choose not to?

Recent updates to the COVID-19 Resources Guide

Recommendations from the Barbershop Harmony Society to its singing communities are evolving.

This latest update adds

  • More information about vaccines
  • CDC and Government of Canada COVID guidance, transmission rates, and data tracking links
  • Mask updates
  • Insurance updates; and more.

This guidance is not a step-by-step process. It’s intended as a reminder of things that individuals, chapters, and districts should consider as they plan a safe return to singing together. Choices may differ widely. The important things are to build plans based on facts, and to act intentionally.

This guidance is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Conditions vary widely depending on where you live in North America. Case counts, vaccinations, hospitalizations, transmission and death rates - all of those things need to be considered locally, on a case-by-case basis. With tools provided in this document, you can find information down to the local level in most cases, that should help your singing community make a well-informed decision.

General Guidance for All Singing Communities -- read complete details here

  1. Get a COVID-19 Vaccine.
  2. Follow local guidelines and laws.
  3. Evaluate the risks, including age, health status, underlying medical conditions, exposure to other individuals, community transmission and local infection rates, vaccination status, death rates, and more, using CDC data tracking tools and Government of Canada tools to find more information about your area.
  4. Be flexible.
  5. Be responsible.
  6. If you feel sick, stay home.

Next steps

BHS continues to collate information from leading sources, and will add further resources and decision-making tools in the coming weeks. Watch Livewire and this site for updates as they emerge.