UUCSS Covid Guidelines

UUCSS Covid guidelines are being reviewed monthly. UUCSS Covid guidelines are more restrictive than CDC or local county guidelines; this is by design. UUCSS restrictions are lessening as the pandemic eases; however, they may continue to lag behind CDC and local guidelines in terms of lifting restrictions. These guidelines follow metrics set in March by the Transitioning to In-Person Task Force. The updates below reflect that the targets allowing both outdoor and indoor events have been met. The numeric metrics (incidence, test positivity, and infection rates) will continue to be monitored; future updates will be determined, in part, by what happens with the numbers.

Vaccination status does not always predict the comfort level that individuals have with reduced or eliminated precautions. Besides vaccinations not being 100% protective, we may have individuals in our congregation who will not or cannot, for a variety of reasons, take a vaccination, including our under-12-year-old children. For these reasons, we are not using vaccination status at this time as one of our criteria to determine who may participate in an event or the precautions to be used.

As with all church policy, UUCSS Board of Trustees has the duty to set guidelines regarding Covid. This includes the timing of when certain types of events can reasonably safely resume, how to conduct the events, and how to balance the needs of all, especially the most vulnerable among us.

Off-campus church events. At its meeting June 23, the Board decided to treat off-campus events such as meetings and auction events differently than on-campus events. Here are the guidelines for off-campus events:

  • No more than 20 people at the event, including the host(s).
  • Events may include singing if UUA guidelines are observed (https://www.uua.org/safe/pandemics/gathering-guidance/singing).
  • Reduced precautions
    • Hosts of off-campus events who do not wish to use certain precautions (masks and distancing) should specify precisely what precautions will or will not be taken for the event and should check confidentially with each invitee or auction buyer separately, through phone calls or email. (Sample language is provided below.) The host will check on the comfort level of each invitee with the proposed reduced precautions but will not ask about vaccination status.
    • If an invitee expresses discomfort with reduced precautions, the host should take the reply at face value and not press the invitee in any way, either to convince them to change their mind or to ask them to justify their discomfort or to explain their reasons.
    • On receiving confidential replies from every individual, the host should
      • Take such precautions as would allow the most cautious individual to feel comfortable to participate; or
  • If this is a 2020 auction event, hold the event as originally described; or
    • Postpone the event.
    • The host should not reveal or discuss the preferences/replies with the invitees.
    • If the event will proceed without masks and distancing, the host should inform invitees that they will be asked to sign a waiver (see below). Because the church would be liable if someone should become sick with Covid because of attending the event, only those who sign such a waiver are allowed to attend. The host will collect the signed waivers at the start of the event, and send the signed waivers to the Board Secretary (boardsecretary@uucss.org) within a week of the event.

Sample Language for Off-Campus Events

Hi Guest,

I’m contacting you about the auction event I’m scheduled to host on [date]. While I had originally described delivering dinner to your house and then we’d all eat together via Zoom, I’d like to know whether you would feel comfortable if we gathered inside my house instead, and dispensed with face masks and social distancing. I will keep your response in complete confidence. I will not ask any of the guests about their vaccination status.

If you or any other guests are uncomfortable with the proposed arrangement, I will either stick to the original idea (delivering dinner to you + Zoom call) or postpone the dinner. If we go ahead with dinner at my house with no face masks or social distancing, you will be asked at the beginning of the event to sign a waiver and release of liability to UUCSS in case you were to contract COVID-19 due to exposure during this event.

Please reply to this email, or call me at [number], by [date]. All the best,

Host

On-campus church events

On-campus OUTDOOR and INDOOR church events

General guidelines

All church events, whether off-campus or on-campus, must comply with local regulations at a minimum.

You should not take part in any in-person events if you:

  • Have traveled to any current COVID-19 hot-spot in the last 14 days;
  • Are exhibiting possible COVID-19 symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea);
  • Are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test or have tested positive in the last 14 days; or
  • Have a member of your household who is exhibiting possible COVID-19 symptoms, is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test or has tested positive in the last 14 days.

Anyone under 18 years old should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Hosts should report any major safety violation to the Communications Administrator, administrator@uucss.org.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after an event should alert the Communications Administrator at administrator@uucss.org.