The PDF of this notice is available here: The PDF is available at https://www.nhgrandlodge.org/nhgrandlodge/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/COVID-19_Continued_Guidance_Nov_29_2020.pdf
I am sending this very important notice in an abundance of caution to the Membership. The number of COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire has sharply increased. Brethren are reminded that they must comply with all laws and are strongly encouraged to comply with all guidelines of their Federal, state, and local governments.
Please also adhere to the following guidelines previously established by me:
• Lodge Member Safety: Masks are to be worn at all times while in the Lodge. Proper handwashing, hand sanitization, and social distancing are to be maintained at all times. All Brethren should be reminded that if they are feeling sick and are exhibiting any of the following symptoms or conditions, they should not attend Lodge Communications or in-person activities:
- Shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Have potentially been exposed through direct and close contact to someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, per CDC guidelines.
• Meetings: Lodges are still allowed to meet in person. However, I wish to reinforce that the Worshipful Masters of all Lodges should use their own discretion on whether or not to meet. There is NO REQUIREMENT to meet in person. I am continuing my Edict that the Worshipful Master can cancel any Stated Communication. No approval is needed from me to do this, I would only insist that you consult your Lodge officers prior to this decision being made. Once the decision to cancel has been made, I would ask that your Lodge Members, your District Deputy Grand Master, and I be informed.
• Member Attendance: No Brother should feel forced to attend any meetings. The Worshipful Master should reinforce this in your Trestleboard notice to your members.
• Degree Work: I am still allowing Degree work with the guidance previously given. However, in a continued abundance of caution, Worshipful Masters must review the guidelines and assure that they are followed. If there is any doubt that the Degree cannot be safely performed, it should be postponed.
• Veterans Programs: Due to the increasing cases of COVID and the high-risk potential of older members I am discouraging Lodges from holding Veterans Programs currently.
• Meals: Any meal service that is held should be in full compliance with the previous direction by me. These guidelines are for the safety of all and they are the minimum requirements for any meal service or collation. There is to be no indoor, seated dining that includes members of the general public.
• Hall Usage: Lodges should be cleaned before and after every Lodge, meeting to limit any potential spread of the virus. Lodges should assure that if their buildings are being used for non-Masonic purposes, they confirm that these organizations are following the same guidelines related to individual safety and building cleanliness listed above.
Brethren, I am asking for your continued vigilance in adhering to the local, state and Federal laws along with the guidance set forth by applicable government agencies.
Thank you for your patience and vigilance during this time and remember that “Freemasonry, notwithstanding, still survives.”
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Kenneth A. Clay, Jr.