UPDATE CCA policy regarding COVID-19, 4/21/20

UPDATE to CCA Closure Plan, April 21, 2020

The Chelmsford Center for the Arts has been closed now for 40 days. In that time we have seen COVID-19 sweep the world, our nation, and our state. We have been working on a plan to reopen safely for our patrons, our volunteers, and our staff. Our original plan to reopen after 4 weeks running of no new COVID-19 cases, remains in place, although we will no longer be reporting numbers. We have been advised by emergency preparedness experts that the earliest we can have appropriate safety measures in place would be a minimum of two months after all other businesses, schools, transportation, etc. are open for all. Currently there is no treatment for COVID-19, nor is there as yet a vaccine. There is no cure. We have not given up hope, we are working with the Town of Chelmsford’s Municipal Safety Specialist on our plan. We are consulting with multiple professional organizations that include venues like the CCA. This will take time, but keeping the arts alive in our community for you is worth the fight. Take care of yourselves, wash your hands, wear a mask when in public, and keep in touch on our Facebook pages where we will post performances, links to artists, and words of inspiration. You are important. Arts matter. We will join together again.

UPDATE To CCA Closure Plan, March 15, 2020

10:15 pm: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) just announced no groups of 50+ should meet for the next 8 weeks. This means the CCA will now be closed through May 9. Please continue to practice hand washing, coughing into your sleeve, and most importantly staying home and not associating with others if at all possible, and only going to the grocery, pharmacy, and bank. If 4 weeks before May 9 there are no new cases of COVID-19 reported in Massachsuetts, we will reopen on May 11. We will post as planned on Saturdays the number of cases that have occurred.

7:28 pm: Governor Baker has just instituted banning of gatherings of 25+ beginning March 17 through April 6 . Therefore our closure plan remains the same as we originally posted. We will still follow the 4 weeks of no new COVID-19 cases in MA plan before we reopen. We thank Gov. Baker for his leadership on this serious issue.

We know there is much uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and how everyone should respond to our national emergency.  This is not easy for anyone.  We are seeing a rise in new cases in Massachusetts and much of New England and we have not seen the peak yet.  Much will depend on the response to the call for people to stay home and out of the public to stem the spread of the virus.

We want our audience and staff to be as safe as possible.  With that in mind we have an updated plan.  We have canceled all events through May 9, 2020.  The cancellations going forward beyond that date will depend on whether there are any reported new cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts.  If in a given week there is a reported new case, we will continue to cancel events 4 weeks in advance.  This is the best thing we can do to protect you, your family, and the rest of the community.

Nothing in life is 100% without risk.  While we do not have a date certain for reopening, we do know that once there are no new COVID-19 cases reported for several weeks, the risk to the public attending our performances will be minimal.  We will still ask that people who are ill remain home, for everyone to wash their hands, not touch their faces, and to cough into their arm.  These may be the best things we have learned for the general public health.  Should there be any change in the situation, we will reevaluate.

Special thanks to Town Manager Paul Cohen and State Representative Tami Gouveia for their support and advice.

I will update our closure date each Saturday on our Chelmsford Center for the Arts Facebook page and on our website www.chelmsfordarts.org.  

Stay safe and healthy,

Susan Julian Gates

Executive Director

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