As you are all aware, on June 15th the State of California "re-opened", restoring most businesses to the pre-covid operating standards. We rejoice that the vaccine has proven effective and is taking hold in our communities! There's still a ways to go, especially since a vaccine for young children will not be available for a few months. There are also some adults who haven't been vaccinated --some for very good reason. The Re-Opening Team continues to diligently keep up with local and state requirements and, with the approval from Council, is now adopting an “easing of our protocols” that will go into effect immediately.
There are still some safety protocols that the Council and Re-Opening Team has deemed important for us to maintain, particularly the wearing of masks. The National CDC guidelines recommend the loosening of mask restrictions, but largely in group settings where all group members are fully vaccinated. Going forward, for the time being, the following protocols will apply to our congregational settings:
1. Masks will still be required during indoor worship services. Social distancing is not required but is still encouraged.
2. Masks are no longer required for:
3. Signing in, temperature checks, and Covid waiver signings will be eliminated. We encourage you to monitor your own health.
4. We will scale back the cleaning and sanitizing of commonly touched surfaces, while maintaining our regular cleaning schedule.
5. Food has long been an important component of our fellowship time together. Going forward, individually packaged food and beverage items may be consumed indoors or outdoors. For the time being, Sunday refreshments will continue to be on hold.
6. As for greeting one another, we urge you to be respectful of another's personal space. If you're a hugger, it is a good idea to ask: "May I give you a hug?" Some may still be at the elbow or fist bump stage of greeting; others are no longer comfortable shaking hands. The important thing is for us to respect one another and to be assertive in indicating what we are most comfortable with.
We understand that many members, for a variety of reasons, are still not comfortable gathering in person, whether indoors or outdoors. We will continue to serve those members with our on-line worship content.
The Re-Opening Team will review the “easing of protocols” frequently during the summer and make changes based on updated state and local guidelines as well feedback from the congregation. You have all been wonderful in following our safety protocols. As we adjust we will continue to invest in the well-being of one another, our faith community, and the larger community as well.