COVID-19 Guidance: January 3, 2022 Update
The sharp spike of Covid-19 cases driven by the highly contagious Omicron Variant has prompted numerous phone calls and emails requesting guidance as well as concerns for the wellbeing of our Brethren.
As I stated at the initial outbreak of Covid-19 I continue to reaffirm the following:
• We as citizens are under the authority of varying degrees of restrictions, rules, regulations by local law as well as state and federal laws, often not in concurrence.
• All Masonry is local. Every member and their needs are unique.
• I believe in the autonomy of our institutions and the importance of letting our leaders lead.
• EVERY INDIVIDUAL LODGE MEMBER SHOULD BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO DECIDE FOR HIMSELF IF HE FEELS SAFE AND COMFORTABLE ATTENDING MEETINGS AND OR EVENTS.
• AS AN ORGANIZATION WE DO NOT REQUIRE THAT YOU PARTICIPATE IN ANY MEETING OR EVENT THAT YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE ATTENDING BUT DO AFFORD THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO ATTEND.
While the current situation is fluid, I continue to support the premise that our leaders know their lodges best. With that in mind, I have the following expectations:
• If your membership is willing to meet, you should do so. Unless an overwhelming core of your membership is not willing to meet you should continue with in person monthly communications.
• Hybrid meetings are encouraged to allow inclusiveness.
• Until such time as the immediate threat ceases, no “significant” business should take place unless all members have the option to weigh in by vote on “significant” decisions. See all previous guidance for every situation that we faced during the previous surges. This information is available on Massmasons.org.
USE COMMON SENSE
While the current Omicron Variant surges, consider the following as you make your decisions as to whether you attend a meeting and or event or not:
• Symptoms of the Omicron Variant are like that of a cold or flu:
o Fever, cough, fatigue, headache, nasal congestion, sore throat, and muscle aches/pain.
• The Delta Variant also persists with above symptoms as well as loss of sense of taste and smell.
• At indoor events it is highly recommend that all participants wear a mask.
• If you are not fully vaccinated, you are at the highest risk.
• If you have any symptoms of either the flu, Covid-19, a fever, and the related variants, stay home.
• Please follow all federal, state, and local guidelines.
The following is partial list of the current CDC information about exposure and infection with Covid-19. Go on the CDC site for additional information (www.cdc.gov).
Consider “exposed” as the same as “close contact” as defined by the CDC; “within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period with someone who has COVID-19”.
If you test positive for COVID-19:
• You should isolate regardless of vaccination status.
o Stay home for 5 days.
• If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
• Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.
If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19:
• Wear a mask when around other people, for 10 days after exposure.
• If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home.
• If without symptoms, get tested on day 5 after the exposure. If positive, follow the guidelines above. and your doctor’s advice.
• If testing is negative, even without symptoms, continue wearing a mask when around others until day 10 after the exposure.
Hopefully, our latest Covid-19 issues pass soon. I wish you and your loved ones a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
Cordially and fraternally,
M.W. Richard Maggio