The Executive Board of International Chapter has continued to monitor the information provided by the Canadian Public Health Agency and the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as national and regional restrictions which governments and public health officials have placed on anyone living in our two countries.
Our number one priority with every emergency decision made by our executive board has been the health and welfare of our sisters and their families. The temporary overarching guidance for in-person business meetings and gatherings has been updated, effective July 1, 2021. All decisions regarding modified in-person meetings and gatherings should include input from all chapter members and be determined at your chapter’s discretion, based on local area health authority and government instructions.
Current scientific data, and experience of nations around the globe, strongly indicate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is reduced when close indoor contact is managed carefully, contact time is limited and individuals are vaccinated. The following decisions have been made by the Executive Board of International Chapter:
- All P.E.O. meetings and gatherings should follow local area health authority and government instructions for physical distancing, congregating and other related actions recommended to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus during in-person meetings or gatherings.
- Respect each sister’s individual comfort level and well-being when meeting or gathering in person. An updated personal Self-Check form is available on the P.E.O. International member website for each sister considering if she should attend a meeting or gathering in person.
- No member may be asked about her vaccination status nor is a member required to be vaccinated to attend an in-person P.E.O. meeting or gathering.
- Provided that chapters are following local area health authority and government instructions, a chapter may decide (with input from all chapter members) that masks are optional. Any member may continue to wear a face covering or mask as her choice.
- Food and beverages may be served.
- Programs, including those given by outside speakers, may be given.
- Program speakers and guests must observe proper protocol and follow current local area health authority and government instructions.
- When selecting in-person meeting or gathering venues, careful consideration of the meeting space should be given. If possible, have windows open for increased fresh air and position chairs at physical distancing recommendation.
- Due to the continued concern of aerosolization, no singing or group recitation is allowed at indoor venues. Singing and group recitation is allowed at outdoor venues.
Our hearts and minds continue to be with each of you during this generational and multi-country pandemic emergency. Indeed, P.E.O. is a resilient organization with the strength of the bonds of friendship to bring us together and forward.