Proof of COVID vaccination will no longer be required and masks will be optional at Eugene contra dances
The EFS Board of Directors has changed the EFS health (COVID) policy for contra dances. Proof of vaccination will not be required and masks will be optional at future events, including our dances on May 13 (Bandwidth with William Watson calling) and on June 10 (Rodney Miller & Sue Songer with Shell Stowell calling).
Since last year, when the COVID risk was high, the Eugene Folklore Society has required proof of vaccination and use of masks at Contra dances. However over recent months the CDC and the Oregon Health Authority have noted reductions in COVID risks. On May 11 the Federal Public Health COVID Emergency is scheduled to end. Throughout daily life, vaccination and mask requirements have been dropped.
The EFS Board has followed these changes and last month emailed our entire Contra dance contact list to request participation in an online survey asking for your opinions on changes to EFS vaccination and mask requirements. We emailed those who have been attending EFS dances as well as those who have not attended since the vaccination and mask requirements were adopted last year.
The survey results showed that, while 19% of survey respondents said they would likely attend dances whether or not vaccinations and masks were required, others have differing opinions on these requirements. Altogether, including those who would attend whether or not EFS policy were changed, 61% of all survey respondents said they would attend just as often or would be more likely to attend a contra dance if the vaccination and masking requirements were eliminated. In contrast 43%, including the 19% who would attend regardless of the requirements, said they would attend if the vaccination and mask requirements stay in place. Recognizing that everyone does not agree on these issues, the survey results show that a greater number of survey respondents will continue to attend or be more likely to attend Contra dances if we drop vaccination and mask requirements.
The EFS Board has reviewed these survey results and has decided that, effective immediately, EFS will no longer require proof of vaccination at contra dances. Masking at dances will be optional, not required. Individual dancers will decide about vaccinations and masking at dances for themselves. We ask all members of our Contra community to respect the personal choices of other dancers concerning attendance, vaccinations, and masking. EFS will continue to provide masks for those who choose to wear them as well as hand sanitizer at our dances.
Regardless of these changes, please remember to stay home if you’re feeling ill, to show consideration for other dancers. The EFS Board will continue to monitor community health risks and CDC and Oregon Health Authority guidelines.
the EFS Board of Directors: James Gregg, Bob Fraley, Cheryl Hunter, Larry Hill, Kelly Throw, DIane Binnings, Jacque Klas