Well, you can whoop it up all you like at The Grand Opera House’s performances now that the venue has suspended its COVID-19 mask mandate and other rules.
Following the lead of Gov. John Carney, the Delaware Division of Public Health and Delaware courts, The Grand announced Wednesday that it too will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new recommendations. They say masks are not necessary in areas that have low to medium spread of cases.
New Castle County now is designate a low-spread area as the Omicron variant continues to wane.
The Grand said it would still recommend masks in areas where a lot of people are packed together, such as the concert halls and theaters, but patrons will no longer be required to wear a mask to attend a performance at Copeland Hall, the baby grand or the Playhouse on Rodney Square.
“Although we have removed the requirement, patrons are strongly encouraged to continue to wear masks for their own comfort and peace of mind,” said Executive Director Mark Fields.
He said the institution was thankful to its patrons who adhered to these policies during the last six months, allowing it to start indoor performances again.
“Your support and patronage throughout this time has kept the arts alive in our theaters and throughout Wilmington’s Market Street arts corridor,” he said. “We have consistently maintained that we would lift these temporary requirements when health authorities assessed it was safe to do so.”
The press release pointed out that The Grand draws a large and diverse patron base from a wide geographic region with differing levels of COVID risk as assessed by the CDC.
Therefore, it said, caution concerning the safety and comfort of its artists, audiences, volunteers and staff is still advisable for the time being.
The Grand reserved the right to adjust the rules again should conditions warrant it. It that happens, patrons will receive an email and text message prior to their scheduled performance.
Resident companies such as the First State Ballet Theatre and the Delaware Symphony, and those who rent or use the space at one of The Grand’s three theaters may still choose to enforce their own COVID-19 mitigation rules.
The Grand’s press release said that patrons who are not comfortable attending a performance based on the new rules may call its box office at 302-652-5577 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday to discuss it.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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