In Person Health and Safety Policy

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Board revised and approved May 15, 2022

The global Coronavirus pandemic has forced our congregation to reinvent ways to be in community.  We are learning and growing.  We continue to hear the call to truly care for one another as part of our mission to inspire love, seek justice and grow in community.   We don’t have all the answers but we will find our way together.  We have created these policies and guidelines based on science and government recommendations, the guidance of the UUA, and a desire to be as inclusive as possible.  Our goal is to help keep ourselves and our community safe and healthy and continue to practice the care for one another that is one of the values of our congregation.  Please be gentle with one another recognizing that  we are fragile; there is anxiety, anger, and exhaustion.  Please think of each person’s inherent worth and dignity and follow these policies with care and kindness, knowing that there are vulnerable persons among us who depend on us to make health care choices to protect all of us. We encourage all who can to be vaccinated.

POLICY

Campus rentals are excluded from this policy.

Effective with this policy, the Board will advise staff, congregants, and visitors about all church-sponsored gatherings, large and small, (whether on the UUCK campus or off campus) observing the following guidelines and restrictions (based upon CDC, Ohio Health Department and UUA guidance):

  1. Stay Home when Appropriate
    • If you are sick, please stay home. Staff, congregants and visitors should stay home if they have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
    • If you have recently had close contact with a person with symptoms of or diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Staff, congregants, and visitors should follow CDC guidelines for isolating and quarantining when sick or tested positive for COVID-19.
    • UUCK leadership (staff, committees, teams, social coordinators) agree to offer, wherever possible, virtual alternatives to gatherings so that those who are not feeling well or don’t feel safe being in person can still participate in the life and work of our community, e.g., multi-platform Sunday service, RE classes, committee meetings, other gatherings.
  2. Masking
    • All staff, congregants and visitors will wear a mask that covers the nose, mouth and chin:
      • When inside any building on the UUCK campus (the church, Eldredge Annex, or Hobbs Hall) until a “Low” status is indicated on the CovidActNow.org  website for Portage County.
      • Masking is not required outdoors.
      • Due to health concerns, there will be no food or beverages consumed where masks are mandated.
    • Exempted from the requirement is anyone who is:
      • Younger than 2.
      • Living with a medical condition that makes it unsafe to wear a mask. This includes respiratory conditions that restrict breathing, mental health conditions, or disabilities.
      • Communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has a disability that makes it difficult to communicate if the mouth is covered.
      • Alone in an enclosed space, such as an office.
      • Vaccinated individuals who are leading a religious service (officiant, worship associate, other speakers).  When not speaking they will wear a mask.
  3. Hygiene
    • UUCK will endeavor to protect staff, congregants, and visitors by
      • Routinely disinfecting high-contact surfaces, desk workstations, restrooms, and equipment per CDC guidelines.
      • Making hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available throughout the campus.
      • Where possible, post clearly visible signage at all entrances, with text indicating masks are required and encouraging social distancing at all times on the premises.
      • Maximizing ventilation, including opening doors and windows, as well as providing air purifiers for small meeting rooms upon request.
      • Encouraging alternate forms of greeting besides handshakes, hugs, and kissing. 
  4. Mask Requirements will be adjusted according to the following scale based on the Covidactnow.org website:
    • High – no in person services; Zoom only
    • Medium – wear a mask
    • Low – mask optional
    • Singing follows the mask guidelines above. Soloists are permitted to sing without a mask.
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