As we have entered into the next phase of the Economic and Covid-19 restart it is time to review how we can safely resume activities at the Lodge level. After careful deliberation of conditions that affect reopening of Lodges it is apparent that we must remain cautious and ever mindful that the virus remains active within segments of our community. We must acknowledge in our deliberations that some percentage of our membership will through existing health conditions or age remain at risk and therefore must be protected, whatever decision we arrive at. In addition, please recognize that what we have arrived at is the minimum standard to preserve the health and safety of our members.
With the above statements being considered the moratorium prohibiting some degrees is now lifted, all degrees presentations can resume observing the following precautions:
- – AHS and Provincial guidelines must be adhered to; the maximum indoor attendance is currently restricted to 50 individuals but is subject to change at any time and may be limited by facility owners. In the event of a meeting being oversubscribed, the Lodge (W Master, principal officers & Secretary) should decide who attends and should do so equitably;
- – All Facilities where lodge meeting are to be held must have hand sanitizer and wipes present and available for use by the Brethren;
- – Lodge furniture is to be wiped with sanitizer prior to assembly where possible and if prudent antibacterial sprays be applied to soft furnishings;
- – All participating Degree personnel in contact with candidates are to be masked and wear white gloves, other officers & members should be encouraged to wear gloves. As a note: the wearing of gloves does not
reduce or preclude the transfer of the virus, if you touch your face with a gloved hand the gloves are easily contaminated if you are a carrier;
- – Members wishing to wear protective masks are permitted to wear them. Disposable/medical gloves should not be worn. They are far more likely to spread the virus (if any is present) unless used correctly as they are in medical circumstances by trained professionals. Regular handwashing and avoiding touching your face are far more effective;
- – Seating at events will have effective separation between all members to effect ‘social distancing’;
- – Festive boards may be held at the discretion of the Lodge and Hall Management, buffet meals are not permitted at this time unless served by staff (no self-serve). Above all we must observe the fundamental policy where anyone that feels ill for any reason must remain at home, if anyone believes that they are in a “at risk group”, prudence says to remain at home. If a member has been sick within the last 14 days prior to a meeting they are to remain at home. These terms for assembly are not negotiable and by observing them we may remain and stay healthy.
Alberta Health Services maintains a website with links and updates to Covid-19 and should be reviewed prior to any scheduled lodge gathering: https://www.alberta.ca/restrictions-on-gatherings.aspx
- – It remains critical that Tyler’s Register be accurately maintained with clear entries in case follow-up is necessary.
- – A separate sign in sheet should be utilized to facilitate AHS trace outs in the event of a positive case. Where all names are printed and a contact number is included for each member. As many lodge buildings in the jurisdiction remain closed until effective Covid-19 measures can be put into action, Lodges may consider relocating to a facility within their
district that is open and can host their meeting. Such moves will require consent from the lodge members and dispensation from their DDGM as per the Regulations.
Any Lodge wishing to exercise the option to hold a meeting in August outside of their regularly scheduled meeting can do so but must request dispensation through the Grand Secretary (no fees are to be applied). All scheduled meetings must adhere to and follow the criteria for 7 (seven) days clear notice. Recognize, that to do so, Lodges must have shown that their members have agreed to the request to hold this special meeting as we are stretching the limits of C&R Part II, 3.F. Lodge Meetings.
Any Lodge within the jurisdiction that does not believe that they can in good faith consider reopening will apply through the Grand Secretary for dispensation (no fee will be applied) to suspend regular meetings on a month by month basis beginning September 1, 2020.
Reg Karbonik, Grand Master
John Girvan, President, Board of General Purposes