Below are the guidelines used by UUCWC when COVID ActNow levels are at “HIGH” risk for both Mercer and Bucks Counties. The UUCWC Staff and Board of Trustees continues to recommend a gradual process of resuming in-person activities guided by information about the risk of COVID-19 infection in the communities surrounding UUCWC as reported by COVID ActNow; we are currently at Medium Risk Level according to COVID ActNow. Note virtual live worship will always be available.
Process for Resuming In-Person Activities on Sundays
Vaccination: We are a covenantal community bound by the sacred promises we make and keep. To attend in-person services, vaccination, including boosters, for those who are eligible, is expected.
Masks: N95 or KN95 masks indoors will be required for those over the age of 2 regardless of vaccination status per current CDC guidelines. If medical reasons prevent you from wearing a KN95 mask, a cloth mask fully covering mouth and nose is acceptable.
Distancing: Our nametag lanyards will help you indicate the level of distancing with which you are comfortable.
Attending services: All attendees to in-person worship will remain fully masked with N95/KN95 masks while in the building. Masked singing is welcomed. If medical reasons prevent you from wearing a KN95 mask, a cloth mask fully covering mouth and nose is acceptable.
Restrooms: Restrooms will be available.
Fellowship Hour: Coffee cart will be set up by the Crossings Room door to encourage fellowship outdoors as weather permits. If weather restricts outdoor fellowship, we will offer coffee/tea in the Crossings Room and ask people to mask unless actively drinking/eating. Masks will remain required in all other spaces of the church.
Choir: When at worship services, choir members will be masked and distanced from the congregation.
Children’s Faith Engagement: Children are welcomed into services online/in-person. Children and Youth Faith Engagement programs will be offered on Sundays during worship. Outdoor programming for our tweens and teens is also offered, weather permitting.
Process for Resuming In-Person Activities other than Sundays
Attendance Options: When possible, leaders of meetings/events will provide a streaming option for those who are unable to attend in person. Public events, regardless of size, must assume attendance by, and provide for, vulnerable persons and implement appropriate protocols (Special events will be treated on a case-by-case basis, considering the above guidelines.
Food Sharing: Food may be shared when in small groups if agreeable to the entire group. We ask that masks be worn unless actively drinking/eating, and masks are required in all other spaces of the church.
Theology: As Unitarian Universalists, a celebratory diverse body, one way we practice our faith is by expressing solidarity for all who are still threatened physically and psychologically by COVID-19. We take seriously the long and cruel history of systemic racism in our country, that was often expressed through medicine, and specifically in vaccines. We seek to protect those of our children who cannot yet receive a vaccination, as well as the immuno-compromised, transplant recipients and many cancer survivors who cannot be vaccinated. We acknowledge the enormous inequities and lack of access in communities and work forces that have made vaccination difficult or impossible. We also recognize that isolation is a public health concern and is detrimental to some members of our congregation. Called to a life of humility and wonder, we acknowledge that this document must always be considered and revised depending on the science and circumstances.
Safety: At a minimum, UUCWC will strive to follow all restrictions and guidelines from government authorities. The approach to understanding the risk of COVID-19 transmission is based in science. The current scientific consensus is that the primary risk of contracting COVID-19 is from airborne transmission of the virus, not from surfaces. Masks help prevent transmission. The risk of transmission outdoors is low. Risk of transmission indoors is higher. Crowded spaces indoors with poor ventilation are at highest risk. Singing or yelling are higher risk activities.
Overall Principles for Regathering
Because we are a community of care, we encourage everyone to regather gently, thoughtfully and incrementally.
1. Start with the easy gatherings · Non-public before public events · Small before large events 2. Move slowly · Start small, announce tentative schedule for bigger events 3. Communicate clearly · Clearly communicate expectations and restrictions early and often 4. Evaluate often · After action – how did the event go? Did any situation arise that was unexpected? Should our approach be adjusted for that type of event? 5. Look ahead · Watch the health metrics · Prepare ahead of time to scale back events as health conditions indicate
Staff and Board of Trustees will review these guidelines monthly and will update/ make adjustments as needed.