May 7 COVID Policy Update

Each quarter, the NBCDS Board considers revisions to our COVID Safety Policy. At our May 7, 2023 meeting, we decided to remove the masking requirement at the green CDC Community Level*. We will retain the current masking protocols for yellow and red levels, and we’ll continue collecting participant contact info at sign-in and request that participants alert us in case of positive Covid cases within a week of the event.

* After the Federal Health Emergency Declaration ends on May 11, 2023, the CDC will no longer maintain the green/red/yellow Community Level indicator of risk posed by COVID-19. Instead, “Weekly COVID-19 hospital admission levels and the percentage of all COVID-19–associated deaths will be primary surveillance indicators.NBCDS will be considering additional metrics we can use to track trends in COVID transmission that could best inform our health protocols. Stay tuned!

The programming/management team for each venue can opt to require stricter protocols. We will make a concerted effort to communicate masking requirements for each event on our online calendar, in email announcements, and on social media posts. If we determine that a significant COVID transmission has occurred at one of our dances, the Board and/or management team may decide to return to stricter protocols.

Thanks to the over 90 community members who responded to our Spring 2023 Community Survey. While many people in our community dance both contra and ECD styles, there was a noticeable difference between respondents who mainly attend contra dances and those who mainly attend English Country dances. About 90% of contra dancers would like to have a mask-optional policy, at least at the green level.  About 50% of ECD dancers who responded to the survey would prefer mask-optional, and just under 50% would prefer to retain the current policy, requiring at minimum well-fitting cloth or surgical masks at the green level.

For this transition period, dance manager/programmer teams have the prerogative to set stricter protocols for their dance series and events.  It is likely that the Sebastopol ECD will continue the current policy requiring masks at the green level.  The San Rafael contra series will be moving to mask-optional — if the Marin level remains green — as of this Saturday, May 13. If attending a mask-optional event is a concern for you, please check online or with the dance organizer ahead of time.

NBCDS strongly encourages vaccinations and booster, and we welcome you to choose to wear a mask at the green CDC Community Level. Please support others in their choices, and if you are feeling unwell, please refrain from attending events. Thanks for your support in keeping transmission of illnesses to a minimum and in creating a welcoming community.

San Rafael Contra: 2nd Saturdays

The San Rafael Contra series is moving back to the pre-pandemic timing of 2nd Saturdays..we’ll start on Saturday, February 11 from 7:00-10:00pm with calling by Susan Patrick and music by Corwin Zekley and Grace Fellows at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin at 240 Channing Way in San Rafael. See you then!

Join the NBCDS Family

Support the organization that creates these great dance events by becoming a member or renewing your annual membership. North Bay Country Dance Society members receive a $2 discount to most NBCDS and BACDS dances. Regular membership is just $25, which pays for itself if you go to only one dance a month, and you can proudly sport your 2023 NBCDS Membership button. Your funds support outreach to bring in new dancers, hall rental, insurance, and equipment upgrades: we recently purchased a new small sound setup for Wischemann Hall and a new Yamaha keyboard for use at Wischemann and elsewhere. Thanks for your financial support and presence at dances and events.

NBCDS Board 2022-2023

At the May 18 Annual Meeting, we confirmed the NBCDS Board for 2022-2023. We welcome Jen Bamesberger as NBCDS Board President for the current year. Craig Meltzner will remain as Vice President and Assistant Treasurer as well as resuming representation of our community as a member of the national CDSS Board. Hideko Oga remains as Treasurer and Bonnie Richardson as Secretary. Michael Martin and Marlene Mahan have again committed to service, and we welcome Sarah Lee back to the Board. We are enthused at the prospect of a return to more in-person events and are working to keep our community members safe and healthy as we gather again.