Covid-19 Task Force

About the GMCW Covid-19 Task Force

GMCW is as excited as everyone – members, patrons, and our supporters – to return to in-person performances and events as soon as it is safe to do so. To help us make that return, the GMCW COVID-19 Task Force was created in June 2020.

The purpose of this Task Force is to advise the organization’s leadership on the effects of the virus on the chorus and its performances, events, and activities. It is comprised of chorus and community members representing the Board of Directors, Staff, Membership, Production, and Medical and Mental Health Professionals.

The Task Force is working to create a Plan for GMCW’s Return to the Stage, which will outline a set of principles for what a safe return looks like, consider the science for large singing groups like ours, and define the necessary guideposts to help leadership decision-making.

The organization’s leaders take very seriously the health and safety of our community as well as the science (particularly on singing) to guide protocols. While we’re eager to return, we will not rush to the stage. The plans and ultimate return will take time. We appreciate everyone’s patience and adaptability as we develop this Plan.

We continue to encourage everyone to stay vigilant in their health and safety. Stay physically distant. Wear a mask. If you have the opportunity and are willing, get vaccinated.

Task Force Members

Chipper Dean, he/him/his (production, mental health)
Mark Dumais, he/him/his (health)
James Ellzy, he/him/his (board, health)
Justin Fyala, he/him/his (staff – Executive Director)
C. Paul Heins, he/him/his (staff – Associate Conductor/GenOUT Artistic Director)
Michael Hughes, he/him/his (staff – GMCW Outreach Manager)
Thea Kano, she/her/hers (staff – Artistic Director)
Paul Negron, he/him/his (membership)
Nicole Streeter, she/her/hers (board)
Steve Whitehead, he/him/his (health)
Micah Yarbrough, he/him/his (membership)

Principles for the Plan for GMCW’s Return to the Stage

Put People First

  1. The health and safety of our volunteers, staff, and larger community is our top priority.
  2. Compliance with all current federal, District, and local orders is an essential element of this plan and will always supersede this document.

Manage Risk

Approach risk management in this plan by prioritizing:

  1. Development of a risk assessment strategy
  2. Risk mitigation to reduce the organization’s exposure to potential risks
  3. Protection of volunteers, staff, and larger community by planning for and mitigating hazards
  4. Administrative and task-based controls
  5. Acquisition and use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  6. Creation of procedures for coordinated decision-making

Be Simple and Realistic

  1. Ensure balance between the desire to resume artistic activity and social activities with the need to maintain health and prevent disease.
  2. Base all decisions on the available science and the ability to implement and enforce workable controls.

Be Adaptable

  1. Ensure the plan is flexible and nimble so that it can quickly be adjusted for internal and external developments
  2. Include plans for potential pauses or returns to earlier levels of activity when the virus is surging



  1. Integrate a communications plan to ensure regular, appropriate, transparent, and effective communications of progress, updates, and changes.
Next Steps

Moving forward, the Task Force will continue to meet monthly.┬áBe sure to check this page for updates on GMCW’s Plan to Return to the Stage. If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to Executive Director Justin Fyala at

Thanks very much!