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Only for the Professional Development Retreats in Frankenmuth this month, MTA requires a proof of vaccination for attendees. For Board of Review training in January and February, MTA plans a choice of sessions: Open to all comers or separately for people who prefer to be with a vaccinated group. Virtual sessions will also be offered for both programs.
Trying to do two sets of events on short notice for the retreats is not possible because of the availability of speakers, hotel rooms and session rooms -- all of which have to be booked many months in advance. The surprise September surge in the Delta variant cases, the failure of our masking request at the UP North Summit, and several MTA chapter events being canceled due to infections among members prompted our temporary policy. Canceling the retreats was not considered. The Delta variant is now forecast to be back to low transmission levels by the end of the year.
We know that some members are deeply disappointed and frustrated by this policy for the retreats. We are, too. We wish that we could gather safely together—as we had hoped and planned, without precautions, and regret that this policy has impacted some plans for attendance. We all look forward to when we can put the pandemic fully behind us and such precautions are no longer necessary to hold safe events. Thank you, to our members, for your continued support and all that you do for your communities.