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The Grand lifts all COVID-19 restrictions

Delaware Public Media

The Grand Opera House in Wilmington announces it’s lifting all COVID-19 restrictions at its venues, following CDC guidance.

Theaters were some of the hardest hit businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic — with close quarters and packed houses the enemy of public health strategy.

But with a relaxing of federal guidance last week, the performing arts are returning to normal, including The Grand’s Copeland Hall, baby Grand and Playhouse on Rodney Square.

Executive Director Mark Fields is glad to finally announce the suspension of all COVID-19 measures, including vaccination and mask requirements.

“I think there are gonna be a lot of people who are gonna be grateful for the opportunity to sit through a performance and not have to be wearing a mask the entire time,” he says.

While patrons will no longer be required to wear masks at any of The Grand’s theaters, Fields says they still strongly encourage the practice.

Fields says this follows updated CDC guidance.

“Just as on a national level we are shifting from a response to a pandemic to an endemic,” says Fields. “I think this policy change reflects the same understanding here — that we’re leaving it up to individual people to monitor their own safety.”

And while the theater has been running at full capacity since it’s reopening, Fields says the place doesn’t usually get packed, only around half the seats are filled for any given performance.

He says the support of the arts community helped to keep The Grand alive through this tumultuous period. The theater produced innovative projects in the past couple years, including a holiday light show back in 2020 on the Wilmington Riverfront.

Roman Battaglia is a corps member withReport for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.