Saturday, July 25, 2020

IMPORTANT BAND CAMP UPDATE

I have been actively following both the COVID-19 numbers for Cook and surrounding counties and the weather for next week.

I follow several official Coronavirus trackers, and all of them are showing that COVID-19 numbers are still on the rise in Cook County, and that the percentage of infection is as high or higher than many counties surrounding us. Over the last few weeks, as I have tried to plan what our band camp would look like, I have been on several Zoom calls with band directors from counties in our area. Some directors are having band camp with a few restrictions, some are having band camp with many restrictions, and some have cancelled band camp completely depending on their bands' size, local COVID-19 infection rates, and their facilities. I know how important band camp is to our students, and how we're all looking forward to trying to get back to something as "normal" as possible, so I decided to set a number of strong restrictions and go forward with camp while still monitoring.

As I said in a previous post, I am following the guidelines from the NFSHA, GMEA, and GHSA, and at the current time they recommend only outside rehearsal if we're playing instruments. The weather is therefore important, because they recommend cancelling practice if there is the possibility of rain. Currently, there is a 50% or higher chance of rain for every day that we have scheduled camp this coming week.

Because of both infection numbers and weather, I've decided to postpone camp for a week to August 3rd - 6th. I currently plan to follow the same divided schedule that was posted for this week if/when we meet. Over the course of this coming week, I plan to work on some newly available safety measures and continue to monitor numbers and weather. I know that this may be inconvenient for some of you who have made plans based on camp being this coming week, and I'm really sorry for that, but as always the health and safety of everyone is my first priority.

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