Updated January 7, 2021
As CDSS Board member Pam Paulson has said often in the past few months, “We stay apart and wear masks so that when we come together, everyone is here.”
As COVID-19 continues unfolding on our continent, we all need to continue making adjustments in our actions and expectations. Although we don’t know everything about this virus, the medical community is learning more and more every month. Since March of 2020, for example, we’ve learned that it is very important to prevent aerosol transmission, particularly prolonged exposure in places with poor or internal ventilation. Reference. We’ve also learned that some people are asymptomatic carriers and that people who have COVID-19 may not all experience the exact same symptoms. Reference.
The introduction of vaccines to the picture gives us great hope—there is a light at the end of this tunnel! However, it’s extremely important not to rush back to large in-person gatherings too soon. We must be patient a bit longer in order to preserve the most lives. We will get there!
Listed below are our current recommendations for participants and organizers, along with links to helpful information. The most important thing is for everyone to take care of each other, prepare for events being cancelled or postponed, and actively monitor WHO, CDC, Canadian Public Health, and State Health Department recommendations.
In line with CDSS’s own plans, we recommend that all in-person participatory dance events originally scheduled through the end of March 2021 be suspended or cancelled. It may be necessary to extend this period. For those organizing no-contact, socially-distant music or song events, we recommend outdoor or open-air settings only.
As we’ve already seen during the course of the pandemic, the dance, music, and song traditions we love will not go away because we need to hit the pause button for a while. They’ve made it through population migrations, world wars, the rise of digital entertainment, and are now weathering a modern worldwide pandemic. Dancing and singing together in person will continue with gusto after the initial virus has run its course, just as it did after the Spanish Flu pandemic 100 years ago. Be kind and understanding with the dancers, singers, musicians, callers, and organizers around you. Keep reaching out to each other and checking on the people in your community. We are all aching with the loss of togetherness, but we will get through this!
Be prepared for in-person events to continue to be cancelled or postponed. Remember that having to cancel an event can be a financial hardship for your local organization. If a special event you care about is cancelled and you’re in a position to do so, consider allowing the organization to keep all or part of your registration fee to cover non-refundable facility deposits and provide support for cancelled callers, musicians, and sound engineers, and other talent. You can also support artists by purchasing their merchandise. And please consider making a larger donation to your local organization this year.
Please initiate self-quarantine and refrain from social interaction if:
- You have any flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- You returned from travel in the last 3 weeks to an area with sustained local transmission (not just a travel ban/warning). Read the travel advisories from the CDC and Government of Canada.
- You have had close physical contact with a person currently under investigation for COVID-19, or who is a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Many people in our fold are at higher risk, by virtue of their age, their compromised immunity, or other issues. Even if you are not at risk yourself, diligently adhering to these preventative measures could save lives.
Please check the Resources for Organizers in the Resource Portal for our current recommendations.
All in-person CDSS programs and events have been cancelled through the end of 2020. We are continuing with all 2021 summer camp plans for now, but are actively monitoring the situation and will adjust as necessary. In the event that we need to cancel one or more programs or any camper must cancel because of COVID-19, we will offer a full refund of registration fees. We will communicate in the weeks leading up to camp, and at camp, to explain any procedures that will be put in place for safety.