Principles Applied by UUFNN COVID Safe Task Force and Board of Trustees in Revising COVID-19 Safety Protocols

February 24, 2022

In adopting incremental changes to UUFNN’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols, the Task Force and the Board have acted under the following principles and beliefs:

  1. Vaccination (including boosting) and wearing high quality masks (N95, KN95, KF94) provide the most effective protection against acquiring COVID-19, suffering serious illness from it, and transmitting it to others.
  2. Social distancing provides the third most effective protection.
  3. Few people, anywhere, consistently socially distance, in spite of best efforts to do so.
  4. If given a choice between ending masking and ending social distancing at worship services, UUFNN members would rather continue masking in order to safely end social distancing with one another.
  5. UUFNN’s COVID-19 safety precautions should be reduced incrementally, so we can monitor potential impacts, enable members who are unsure time to determine their level of comfort with the changes, and provide relief to members who prefer that we move faster to remove precautions.
  6. UUFNN’s congregation is vaccinated at a higher rate than Washoe County as a whole, but also has a higher proportion of members over age 65.
  7. UUFNN wants our sanctuary to be a place that is medically safe for as many of our members and friends as possible, while fulfilling the emotional needs of our members and friends for physical, face to face contact and togetherness.

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP OF NORTHERN NEVADA

REVISED COVID19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS FOR WORSHIP SERVICES

(EFFECTIVE:  03/06/2022 AND UNTIL REVISED BY BOARD OF TRUSTEES)

Note:  This policy applies to, and may be revised to address, a variety of public health issues.

Governor Sisolak’s February 10th, 2022 order lifting the statewide mask mandate transferred to local governments, businesses and organizations the responsibility to decide whether to continue to require masking. The UUFNN COVID Safe Task Force performed a comprehensive review of the current COVID-19 safety protocols for worship services. Based on that review, the Board of Trustees has modified the protocols. In order to maximize safety for everyone attending, we are maintaining full vaccination and high quality masks (N95, KN95 or KF94), which provide the two greatest protections against transmission of COVID-19.

With those protections in place, mandatory social distancing is no longer required. This means that folks can sit together, shake hands, hug, or stand close if they wish to. The use of seat placards to distance and limits on the number of people in the restrooms are also removed. In addition, we will resume passing the offering basket and providing Cares and Concerns forms to complete and submit.

These are incremental reductions in the COVID-19 precautions. The Task Force and the Board will continue to monitor changes in the COVID situation and CDC guidelines and revise these protocols as warranted, with the hope that we can remove more of the precautions soon and eventually end all of them.

The Board of Trustees welcomes your questions and comments about the protocols. Please send email us at President@UUFNN.org or call any member of the Board.

  1. Vaccinated:  Everyone who attends worship services in-person must be fully vaccinated, including a booster, if eligible to be vaccinated.
  2. Masks:  Please wear a N95, KN95 or KF94 mask it at all times, because the CDC has advised that surgical and cloth masks are inadequate to limit the transmission of COVID-19. Pull it down only to drink and then move it back up.  UUFNN has some N95 masks in stock, so if you come to an event without a high quality mask, please ask and a greeter will provide you one.
  3. Social Distancing:  Is no longer mandatory. Please recognize that many will want to continue to social distance. We ask that everyone respect the wishes of members and friends who choose to social distance, actively practice open communication with one another, and be intentional about honoring personal boundaries. We can do this by:
    • Requesting permission from someone before sitting immediately next to them;
    • Requesting permission from someone, either verbally or otherwise, before shaking hands, hugging or otherwise physically contacting them; and
    • Honoring and supporting their decisions.
  4. Room Capacity:  We will keep the 65-person Great Room attendance cap in place for the time being, in order to ensure that folks who want to social distance while seated will be able to do so.
  5. Sign-in Slip:  When you arrive, please complete a sign-in slip. We use these to notify folks when someone who attended an event tests positive for COVID-19 or experiences symptoms within five days of having attended.
  6. Singing:  We ask that folks continue to refrain from singing aloud, for the time being, while we continue to monitor the downward progress of COVID-19 statistics. We encourage responsive readings and humming.
  7. Food and Beverages:  You may drink a beverage, being sure to replace your mask in between sips. Eating is not permitted indoors, for the time being.
  8. Gathering Room:  We may again congregate in the Gathering Room, with masks on.
  9. HVAC System:  UUFNN will continue to operate the HVAC system and open doors in a manner designed to keep the air circulating throughout the worship service.
  10. Please Attend by Zoom If:  You feel sick, have a pending COVID-19 test or suspect you may have been exposed to someone in the previous 10 days who was COVID-19 positive or if you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  11. If You Develop COVID-19:  Please follow the COVID-19 Reporting Protocols below.

Protocols for Reporting COVID-19 Positive Test or Symptoms

  1. If you test positive for COVID-19 or begin to experience COVID-19 symptoms within 5 days of attending a UUFNN event, please inform UUFNN immediately by contacting Kristin Famula by email, kfamula@uufnn.org.
  2. Please provide the following information in your email:
    • Your name and phone number;
    • The date you tested positive or, if no test has been taken, the date you began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms;
    • The names of persons you can identify who sat closest to you – on either side, or directly in front of or behind you; and
    • The names of other persons with whom you otherwise had close contact the event, during conversations or in some other manner.
  3. UUFNN will contact you if any further information is needed.
  4. UUFNN will call persons who had close contact with the reporting person and tell them that someone they had close contact with at the event tested positive or experienced COVID-19 symptoms.
  5. UUFNN will email everyone who attended the event and notify them that someone who attended tested positive or experienced COVID-19 symptoms within 5 days of the event. 
  6. Your identity will not be revealed, and your privacy will be protected.

Revised Requirements for UUFNN Outdoor Events

  1. Mask wearing will be required outside.
  2. We ask that everyone always carry a mask when you come to the Fellowship even if you only plan to be outside, so that we can put them on if necessary.
  3. Social distancing is still required and encouraged.
  4. With continued social distancing, we will continue singing outside.

Revised Requirements for Small Group Indoor Meetings at UUFNN

  1. Groups of up to 10 people may meet in the Great Room.
  2. Social distancing and face masks are required, and the outside doors to the Great Room must be opened to provide greater air flow through the room
  3. One change is that if all the meeting participants are vaccinated, all the meeting participants agree, and no other person who is unvaccinated (including children of meeting participants) will be present, then face masks are not required and eating is also permitted, but meeting participants should carry a face mask with them, in case it becomes necessary to put one on.

Covid-19 Safety Requirements For All UUFNN Affiliated Events Held Outside At UUFNN or Off-Campus

The following requirements must be complied with by all persons who participate in any Event held outside at the UUFNN facility and any Event authorized by or affiliated with the Fellowship and held in private homes or other locations. Events include worship services, meetings, UUFNN Auction events, social gatherings, or any other activity that is held outside at UUFNN.

For all Events, the following requirements apply:

  1. Every Event must have an Event Organizer and an Event Monitor.
  2. Meetings are not to be scheduled at UUFNN before speaking with the UUFNN Office Administrator. A signed “Event Information” Form must be provided to the Office Administrator before the Office Administrator will confirm the Event.
  3. The Event Organizer shall make their best efforts to create a list with the names of all Event participants. This is important so that contact tracing can be performed in the event a case of Coronavirus is subsequently determined to possibly have been transmitted at the Event.
  4. Participation in outside Events will not be capped, but strict social distancing must be maintained throughout the Event.
  5. Face masks must be worn by all participants aged 2 and up, regardless of vaccination status. A mask may be removed to drink or eat, but only if the wearer is socially distanced from others, and the mask must be put back on after drinking or eating.
  6. All participants who are not part of an established social pod must continue to maintain a distance of at least six feet from one another at all times. This means continuing the practice of not hugging or shaking hands. Any Event participant may request seating that is further distanced from other participants. UUFNN will accommodate any such request to the maximum extent possible.
  7. The “Event Organizer” must appoint an “Event Monitor(s)” or perform that role. The Event Monitor’s tasks include ensuring all the requirements outlined in this document are followed by all Event participants, including observing the required social distancing, creating a list of all Event participants, to the best of the Event Monitor’s ability. At the conclusion of the Event, the Event Monitor or Event Organizer shall deliver the list of Event participants to the office administrator.


Additional Requirements for Outside Events Held at UUFNN

For Events held at the UUFNN facility all of the requirements above and all of the following additional requirements must be met:

  1. Only one such Event at a time may be held at the UUFNN facility, so each Event Organizer must schedule the day and time of the Event with the Office Administrator well in advance. (775) 851-7100, ext. 101, office@uufnn.org.
  2. The Event Organizer will make best efforts to create a list with the names of all participants, in order to ensure that contact tracing can be performed in the event a case of Coronavirus is subsequently determined to possibly have been transmitted at the Event.
  3. The use of UUFNN chairs shall be at the discretion of the Event Organizer or Participants may bring their own chairs.
  4. The use of UUFNN tables shall be at the discretion of the Event Organizer. Typical plastic fold-out table seating shall be limited to six (6) people, with two (2) per side and one at each end of the table.
  5. Restrooms: Only the restrooms in the Main building will be available and shall be used with the following precautions.
    1. Social distance while waiting to use restrooms.
    2. No more than two persons shall be in a restroom at a time.
    3. Exception: If family members need assistance, they can go in together, provided no one else uses the same restroom at the same time.
    4. Wash hands or use hand sanitizer before leaving the restroom.
  6. The Event Organizer(s) shall be responsible for ensuring that proper signage is displayed in the Event area. The signage shall reiterate the requirements for masks and social distancing and to not attend the Event if a person is experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19.
  7. The Event Organizer is responsible for ensuring that the restrooms are cleaned, all trash is removed, all chairs and tables are returned to their place of storage, and the list of attendees is provided to the UUFNN office administrator.