The following Covid-19 directive is from the SGIG, Ill.: Michael Wiggins:
I trust each of you and your families are well and healthy as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. These are definitely trying times for our society in general and our Fraternity in particular. As our Nation and some States begin to consider options for “re-opening” activities, I thought it was important to update the COVID-19 directives that I issued on March 19 and revised on March 23. First, these directives are not being issued lightly and were based on recommendations by the CDC, our Governor, local governmental authorities, and our Grand Master. Next, I realize that each of our Valleys operate in different areas, has different practices, and are subject to different county and city authorities. I do not assume one shoe fits us all; however, I do believe that a unified approach to our Scottish Rite activities in Texas is best at this time. Finally, all my decisions in this matter are being driven by consideration for our membership, its demographic, and limiting the potential exposure and transmission of this virus through our membership and our local communities.
First, I have extended the cancellation/postponement of all reunion related activities through June 30, 2020. This essentially makes the Spring Reunion period mute for those Valleys who had not started or completed their Spring Reunions prior to my March 16th directives. I anticipate that we will complete the Spring Reunion cycle in conjunction with our Fall Reunions. However, with the strain of this unique period on our economy, I would not anticipate large reunion classes in the Fall but we might be surprised.
Second, I have extended the cancelation of all in-person Scottish Rite meetings through May 31, 2020. This is being done in an abundance of caution as I am sure our members will want to gather as soon as possible; however, I want to give plenty of time to be sure that our meetings are safe. All Valley business can be conducted with the consent of the Personal Representative, General Secretary, Treasurer, and Master of the Lodge of Perfection or presiding officer of any foundation, learning center, or library & museum, as appropriate.
Third, most of our Scottish Rite buildings will remain closed but they may open for limited Scottish Rite business subject to social distancing measures and the restrictions imposed by local authorities. Our buildings will remain closed to the public through May 31, 2020.
Fourth, I am providing initial directives on hosting virtual meetings in our Valleys. During this last week, I have been provided information related to three different Masonic-related virtual meetings that were recorded and then posted on public websites like u-tube, Facebook, etc. These meetings included esoteric work and/or very detailed discussions of our Masonic and Scottish Rite esoteric work. One of these virtual meetings occurred in Texas. Effective immediately, I am prohibiting all virtual Scottish Rite meetings except for social gatherings and limited educational meetings subject to the restrictions that are included in the attached directives. I realize that these instructions may be lacking but I have made my best effort to capture the need to maintain our “privacy” in these meetings.
I ask that you post the attached directives on your website and distribute them to your membership in an appropriate format. I appreciate your continued service to the Scottish Rite. If you have any questions regarding these updated directives or any matter, feel free to contact me.
Michael L. Wiggins, Ph.D., P.E.