March 13, 2020
Dear Sorors, Rhoers, Philos, and Rhosebuds,
The Sorority's leadership has been closely monitoring the status of COVID-19, including, but not limited to, reviewing guidance by the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization (that recently declared COVID-19 a pandemic), and decisions made by state and local authorities throughout the United States to cancel events and limit or public gatherings. Additionally, health experts have advised that social distancing is an effective tool to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
The safety and health of our members, affiliates, stakeholders and families, are of the upmost priority. We understand and appreciate that the entire Sigma family is committed to supporting the execution of our mission; however, in light of the circumstances, we must remain mindful of our activities and the potential adverse impact on our local communities. In light of the above, we are providing the following update related to the Youth Symposium and chapter operations.
Chapters are encouraged to consider postponing the Youth Symposium, if able, until at least after March 31, 2020, subject to future updates and advisories from health and governmental authorities. This is particularly important if your chapter resides in one of the states where the government has declared a state of emergency, your local municipality has closed schools, or your local government has strongly discouraged or is preventing gatherings.
We recognize this is a difficult decision for chapters to consider and appreciate there may be a financial impact to your chapter. We hope the venues you are working with will appreciate the exigent state of this situation and your chapter's desire to protect the community from spread of COVID-19.
, chapters should operate virtually to the fullest extent possible, until at least March 31, 2020, subject to future updates and advisories from health and governmental authorities. Meetings and community service programming should be postponed if a virtual format is not possible. Guidance related to T.O.R.C.H. activities will be provided in a separate communication.
We will update this guidance as information about the impact and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic continues develops.
Thank you for all you do to support the sisterhood and serve the communities in which you reside.
Deborah Catchings-Smith, Board Chair
24th International Grand Basileus
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.