SAG-AFTRA, in an effort to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, is canceling, postponing or re-configuring national and local in-person meetings and will not reschedule any new national group meetings in the immediate future “to help reduce the possibility of potential exposure or transmission through travel and attendance at face-to-face meetings.”
Also Monday, the union’s non-profit SAG-AFTRA Foundation announced it is temporarily suspending all in-person classes, screenings and workshops for performers, effective immediately. That includes the foundation’s “Conversations” series, “The Business,” “Casting Access,” small group sessions, voiceover workshops in New York and Los Angeles, and the New York computer lab. Performers can still use lab facilities in both cities for audition recordings only. “The staff will continue to disinfect the equipment after each use,” the foundation said in a statement.
Earlier today in a message to members, SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White said that the new policies for business meetings are effective immediately. “This is a dynamic and fast-changing situation,” they said. “We are closely monitoring public health advisories and will continue to work with member leaders, staff, employers and community partners to provide updates as conditions evolve.”
According to the union, its local presidents “unanimously agreed to cancel, postpone or reschedule nonessential face-to-face meetings in all locals across the country until further notice. This includes membership, board and committee meetings, as well as local educational workshops, panels, mixers, conservatory and film society events.
Here’s what SAG-AFTRA said today:
“Essential SAG-AFTRA meetings shall be conducted remotely where physical attendance is not required. Nonessential travel by SAG-AFTRA leadership and staff is strongly discouraged. This includes all travel not related to mandatory in-person events or meetings. Members and staff are expected to adhere to the following safety protocols and social-distancing practices:
a. If you or a member of your household are unwell, do not come to a SAG-AFTRA meeting or office. If you have any symptoms, but especially if you have a fever or breathing problems, stay at home and seek appropriate medical advice if warranted. Please note that if you come to SAG-AFTRA and you appear unwell, you will be asked to leave.
b. If you or a member of your household has traveled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea or any other country or location on the CDC’s list of “Level 3/Avoid Nonessential Travel” countries in the past 14 days, please plan on participating in meetings and events virtually. You can check the CDC’s list of travel alerts here.
c. SAG-AFTRA national and local facilities teams are disinfecting high-touch surfaces and door handles several times throughout the day and have provided hand sanitizer in all offices. Procedures to limit the spread of the disease have been provided in all offices.”