UUCJ COVID-19 Guideline 063021
The New Normal Team has tried to create reopening guidelines that provide safety for members and are as inclusive as possible. Local and State government guidelines tend to focus on reopening the economy and get back to usual activities. CDC guidelines focus on safe ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 infections. UUA guidelines focus on maximum safety and not excluding vulnerable members of the congregation.
Numbers of new COVIC-19 cases have decreased sharply nationwide, although the number of cases in Duval and adjacent counties has remained relatively high. The decrease in cases is attributed in part to effective vaccinations that prevent infections in most people and severe disease and death in almost all people. 99% of current severe infections and death are in unvaccinated people. So unvaccinated people are still at high risk for serious infections.
The New Normal Team has used guidelines from the CDC and UUA. The restrictions are meant to protect those in the congregation who are unwilling or unable to be vaccinated (including children) without stigmatizing them. So, at all gatherings, inside or outside, masks are required except when eating. Food and beverages should be served and consumedoutdoors.
Specific CDC and UUA recommendations are:
The UUA suggests covenantal consent, taking time to listen deeply to one another’s concerns and fears before making any decisions, even if everyone is vaccinated. Covenantal consent considers inclusion of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons of all ages, changing slowly, getting consent from others before unmasking, respecting personal space, and respecting thechoices of others.
Everyone should have a vaccination, but those who have not been vaccinated should not be excluded, labeled, or blamed. If everyone is masked, the most people possible are protected.