After months in COVID red, or orange, as the CDC seemingly now designates it, Albany County was designated in COVID yellow as of November 3. Other counties in the metro area, such as Schenectady and Saratoga, have been yellow or green during most of that time.
It was frustrating. “As of November 3, 2022, there are 78 (2.0%) counties, districts, or territories with a high COVID-19 Community Level, 614 (20.1%) counties with a medium Community Level, and 2,525 (77.5%) counties with a low Community Level.” So MOST of the country is in green. There are a few patches of red in eastern Montana and western North Dakota and a few other clusters. Why have my county’s numbers run so stubbornly high?
As we were rehearsing in the choir masked one week ago, one of the basses got a message on his phone indicating the change. There was an audible cheer as about 75% of the masks immediately came off. Fist-pumping may have taken place. While singing with masks is better than not singing at all, it still rather sucks.
The Session did it
My church’s Session met to update the orange/red COVID guidelines just the day before. As my wife is in the Session, I can attest that the online meeting was LONG. Among the new policies, choir members and soloists may take a COVID test on Sunday morning and, if they are negative, remove their masks for the service. The choir was THRILLED by this.
“In addition, Session voted to allow masked congregational singing in the orange/red level.” This is great because the church sounds dispirited without it.
The fact that the FPC Session hashed out these new guidelines with the huge assistance of an ad hoc practically ASSURED that Albany County would finally move to yellow. It’s the power of Presbyterians operating in good and decent order.
So if/when Albany sinks back to orange/red – which COULD happen again as early as 8 pm tonight – the church will have a new, somewhat less restrictive procedure. I still have a few COVID tests gathering dust.