COVID Protocols for 2023

Dec 24, 2022 | Beacon, COVID, News, Top News

As we prepare for the holiday season and the New Year we are reaffirming the ways we show our love and compassion to this community.

We also are aware of the Tridemic (Covid, RSV, and Flu) and how it is already impacting our community. We want to ensure all those who come through our doors feel safe in this space. With that in mind, we are planning to keep our mask requirements inside buildings into the new year. We recognize not every place is requiring masks, and we hope you can respect this one hour a week request.

We encourage all of you to get your Omicron booster and flu shot this year.

If You Are Sick, Please Stay Home

In an effort to be proactive, we are asking if you or anyone in your household exhibit the following symptoms, please stay home:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing, excessive mucus

If you have been exposed to or test positive for COVID, the flu or RSV, please stay home.

Coffee Hour in the New Year

While we have loved the outdoor coffee hour in the warmer weather, we know many of you don’t like to be cold. We are offering two options for coffee hour in the new year! One option is to grab your coffee in the Sanctuary foyer, and head outside. The North Room patio is equipped with some electric heaters and is a great option for those who still feel more comfortable in a space with good airflow. The other option is to grab your beverage and head into the North Room, this area will be designated as mask optional. One thing to keep an eye on… on the wall by the kitchen we have a CO2 monitor. The monitor will be green when there is still fresh air, but will turn red if it gets too high. We hope this will help those in the room self monitor.

Why Do We Still Require Masks?

While many places are lifting this requirement, we will continue to require masks inside buildings. This is partly because of a lack of airflow in our Sanctuary, but more importantly it is because we are a beloved community. The CDC’s guidance is about individuals. As congregations, our decisions about masking or un-masking need to include the needs of our whole community. We are in covenant with one another to act not just as a collection of individuals, but as a body that works for the good of all.

Because our Unitarian Universalist faith is grounded in values that call us to care about one another and our interdependence, we must continue to make our decisions by centering the needs of the most vulnerable among us. The UUA encourages congregations to maintain a culture of indoor masking when they gather in person.

Practicing Consent and Compassion

Part of being a beloved community is respecting others and showing compassion. When making decisions, always practice covenantal consent—taking time to listen deeply to one another’s concerns and fears before making any decisions that might put members of the community at risk, either physically or mentally.

We need to acknowledge everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to risk. Please remember, these are your fellow East Shorians and we want to respect people’s decisions on how they participate in worship.

We also want to talk about hugging, handshakes, high fives, etc. As we teach our youngest children in Our Whole Lives (OWL), consent is very important. Even those friends who you may have always shared a hug with before may not feel up to it yet. Let’s show our children and each other we understand consent. Before hugging, please ask… AND be prepared to hear “no.” This includes members of the staff. We all love you… and we want to stay safe too.

by Staff Leadership Team