Dealing with our policies on COVID 19 have been a significant part of my efforts this month (year!), so the updates are my President’s article!
Thank you to the 87 of you who completed the survey on our COVID policies. Your feedback is really helpful in making these tough decisions. If you are interested, the results are here. The Task Force feels 87 is a great response rate and represents us well. We have decided to make a few tweaks to our policies to reflect the survey results and our continuing improvements in OC COVID statistics.
MASKS - A strong majority still prefers requiring masks. In addition, our Religious Education parents are willing to have children back in Daniels Hall (starting April 17th) only if everyone is masked including their children over two years of age. Masks will still be required on Sun-day Mornings in Daniels Hall and the RE/Admin Building. However, we know some people are anxious to be together without masks or are comfortable being with unmasked people. For this reason, our new meeting room in Suite 7 will be masks optional.
NON-SUNDAY MORNINGS - Masks are optional on site. We encourage each other to be considerate of others and wear masks if re-quested.
SINGING - Masks continue to be required whenever we are singing.
COURTYARD - Masks continue to be optional.
VACCINATIONS - We didn’t specifically ask this question on the survey, but the Task Force has noted that the current data shows infections are not significantly different by vaccination status. The severity of illness is greatly affected, but not the infection rate itself. In addition, just one person responded that they will not be vaccinated. We have decided to remove the vaccination requirement to be on site. However, unvaccinated people should always wear masks.
We are all in this together with a variety of opinions and preferences. We are trying to balance everyone’s needs to be safe with the realization that COVID will probably be active in some form indefinitely. At some point, we may all just take it as part of life and be willing to live without most restrictions. Masks will always be optional, never forbidden, as we have all seen the additional health benefits, and we hope “stay home if you are sick” will be permanent. We did hear the feedback that most are not ready to give up most mask requirements yet.
The Returning to Onsite Task Force will meet again on April 28 to review whatever happens next! We will get there!
Task Force Members: Nancy Loughrey, Rev. Sian Wiltshire, Karen Magoon Pearson, Beth Syverson, Marilyn Giss, Debra Quam, Meg Wilson
I know I hope I am not wearing masks indefinitely. I expect most of you will agree. However, we are not there yet even if it is hard. We are all in relationship and doing our best to get through this together.
Nancy Loughrey is Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church's Board President.