There is definitely an uptick of COVID Delta cases in the area, and we’re all seeing grocery stores and other indoor locations return to masks. I don’t think this is welcomed news for anyone, but it’s also not entirely a surprise – especially with Back to School shift in progress. A lot of people have asked me what I’ve heard/think, thus this update:
The goals of the Market remain the same: keep our participants safe, and keep the Markets open. At this time, we are not planning to self-impose a mask mandate or other measures, but will certainly follow orders from the State/Governor and if they decide the measure is warranted. I do think there is a reasonable chance that our indoor Holiday Market may be masked, based on the current trend, although I don’t see that happening in the outdoor settings.
A few things relevant for the short-term:
you’ve certainly seen more of our guests return to wearing masks; individual thinking is a great thing, and we encourage and support their decisions. Everyone should feel safe and accepted at our Markets.
if you have a weakened or compromised immune system, or one of the other various factors listed by the health officials as “at higher risk” – by all means, take care of yourself first. The Market can wait; we want you back and healthy.
Masks are available to our staff, vendors and the public upon request. If you get a bit uncomfortable in the crowds, come get a mask - we have plenty.
Hand-washing is a life-long skill, and we certainly do encourage keeping a clean area and perhaps a bit more vigilant/defensive on that front. Odds are 100% that at least one person with COVID or a variant visits every event we hold.
The current CDC guidance is shared in the graphic above; more information is published here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html
Bottom line: if the State of Tennessee (or by extension, County Mayor Coppinger) issues policy changes, we will immediately publish those changes and adapt. I do not feel that we will be shutdown again, but we might need to make some adjustments.