UU Society of Amherst Covid-19 Building Use Policy (updated August 2022)

This policy is based on the following principles outlined by the UUA:

As a faith community, we root our decisions in the values of inclusion and consent.

  • We follow the science.
  • We will go slow and be flexible.
  • We remain humane and realistic with expectations of ourselves and others.

Stages are determined by looking at the CovidActNow.org status in Hampshire County.

As of April 2022, Covid Act Now’s community level framework follows the CDC’s Community Level framework. The community level framework looks at three key metrics to assess COVID across the U.S.: weekly new reported cases, weekly COVID hospital admissions, and percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID patients.

Learn more about COVID risk levels here.

Increased risk category will prompt immediate implementation of more stringent limits. When the risk level lowers, we will wait for two weeks to implement the less stringent limits for the new category. All decisions about such changes should be made by a consensus of the Response Team, consisting of the following: Minister, Congregational Administrator, Director of Religious Education, and one of the Co-Presidents.

We will balance the need to be together with the need to take care of one another.

Now that young children can be vaccinated, it feels like time to start singing again. Masks and ventilation continue to be our best strategy for preventing transmission. We will keep wearing high-quality masks (n95, kn95 and similar) and providing opportunities for online engagement.

This is what our responsibility to take care of each other will look like as we apply it to the CovidActNow risk levels:

● Wear high-quality masks in worship–we are a community with many risk levels
● Perform a rapid test before the service if you choose to unmask to speak
● Wear masks in small meetings (<12 participants), unless everyone present consents Use air purifiers, open windows, increase ventilation
● Sing wearing masks
● Prioritize mask use and ventilation
● Check in with participants for their needs. Would they be more comfortable online or outdoors? What do they need from the group to be present?
● Consider moving programming online or outdoors or postponing. Even if we go ahead as planned, people change their plans to meet their comfort level.
● Move eating and drinking outdoors

● Expect vaccination of all who are eligible
● Provide high-quality masks
● Require vaccination for staff and anyone who works with children
● Offer meaningful engagement online for those who cannot attend in person
Please don’t come to the building or to programming if you
● Are exhibiting possible Covid-19 symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) 
● Are awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test (due to symptoms or being in close contact with a person with Covid-19) or have tested positive in the last 10 days 
● Have a member of your household who is exhibiting possible symptoms, awaiting the results of a test (due to symptoms or being in close contact with a person with Covid-19), or has tested positive in the last 10 days
If you test positive for Covid-19
● Please let us know! We will notify those who were present at programming with you without sharing your name.
● Notify your close contacts directly (small groups, committees you met in person, people you sat next to or had a long conversation with, etc)
● Please stay home until your symptoms have stopped AND you test negative with an antigen test for at least 10 days
Vaccination Policy 
We expect that all eligible persons are vaccinated as eligible.

Covid-19 Vaccinations are required for: 
● All staff 
● Anyone who will be working with children or youth 

Vaccination status will be verified for anyone working with children by showing a Covid-19 Vaccination Card to a member of the staff
It is expected that all eligible persons are vaccinated.
Building use by outside parties
● These policies shall be provided to all rentals and other outside building users, but non-UUSA organizations may have their own policies to which their membership will be expected to comply
● Renters and UUSA may cancel a rental reservation without sacrifice of deposit due to change in covid risk levels
● Renters must make masks and hand sanitizer available to all who enter the building

This policy shall be reviewed and amended as needed, with review scheduled for increased vaccination eligibility and participation rates and revision of the CovidActNow metrics.

August 2022 revision prompted by CovidActNow’s adoption of the CDC’s metrics in April and new vaccination eligibility for young children.