Reopening Task Force

Update 11/13: Per state of Vermont recommendations, no in-person meetings at the church until further notice.

Update 11/12: Per state of Vermont recommendations, meetings are limited to 10 people, regardless of what appears below.

Phase 2

Adopted by the Reopening Task Force on September 3, 2020, and forwarded to the Board of Trustees with recommendation for adoption.

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Because medical/scientific information, safety recommendations, and other details about COVID-19 response are constantly changing and being updated, this plan may be modified at any time.

Scope and Purpose of Task Force

The All Souls Church Board of Trustees voted to convene a Task Force to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic threat. The Task Force is charged with gathering information and making recommendations to the Board regarding operating procedures, employee safety, closures, cancellations, postponements, and any other pandemic related response.

The complete Task Force Mission Statement is available here: https://ascvt.org/virtual-church/reopening/reopening-mission/

Background Information

 

The task force has settled on a phased re-opening plan, because we believe it is the most prudent and flexible model. Understanding that the conditions caused by the virus, as well as local and national response, are highly variable, we believe that dealing with C19 is a long-term process. It appears from all scientific models we have consulted that cases will ebb and flow over the next months or year(s) and the church’s response will need to shift and change as well. We predict that re-opening will not be a linear process, and that we may go back and forth between phases (or levels of closure) more than once during this time. 

We are committed to putting the health and safety of staff and members of the Fellowship at the forefront. None of this is simple or easy, but we have a great team of leaders to work with, and believe ASC can weather this challenging time with characteristic fortitude and cooperation.

Currently All Souls Church is in Phase 1 of this process.

Phase 2

This phase goes into effect on the date approved by the Board. The Task Force suggests that the Board set the effective date as September 10, 2020.

Summary: Phase 2 supports small meetings of 20 or less outdoors or indoors. The preconditions, limitations and protocols are very similar to those in Phase 1.

The Task Force foresees this Phase lasting for some time while it evaluates increasing the number of people in a meeting.

Preconditions:

  1. That none of the preconditions listed below change for the worse. If they do, All Souls Church may change the limitations and protocols in this Phase.
  2. That there is nothing in the state regulations that contradicts the recommendations for this phase.
  3. That to the knowledge of the Task Force and the Board, no member or person who regularly attends All Souls Church is currently infected with the coronavirus.
  4. Task Force members will monitor infection rates in the area as they apply to these Preconditions and the Task Force will convene a meeting as quickly as possible to determine if changes are needed for this phase.
  5. That there is no increase in cases in Windham County, Vt., exceeding 35 per 10,000. The current rate is 28 per 10,000 as published by Vermont Department of Health here:    https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19/current-activity-vermont
  6. Cheshire rates will also be monitored by the Task Force. Cheshire county information is available here: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/restart/cross-state-travel
  7. That hand sanitizer supplied by All Souls Church is available just inside the main doors.
  8. Risk waiver is in place, if required by the Board.

Limitations:

  1. Outdoor meetings may have up to 20 people, plus the administrator and the minister if needed.
  2. While outdoor meetings are preferred, indoor meetings are permitted with up to 20 people. The office administrator and the minister may also be in the building, either working separately or attending the meeting.
  3. If any of the people noted above are living in the same household they are encouraged to sit as a single group. 
  4. The convener of the meeting will be responsible for ensuring that the time and location of the meeting are posted on the church calendar as soon as possible, but at least 48 hours in advance.
  5. The Board will ensure that Miss Martha’s daycare will be responsible for checking the calendar daily to ensure that outdoor use by the congregation and by the daycare do not overlap in location. 
  6. Attendees may use the bathroom off the foyer only.
  7. Any and all staff and volunteers who are symptomatic are required to stay home. If symptoms develop while on the property, the symptomatic person and any family members must leave immediately.
  8. Essential personnel and ASC staff should work from home as much as possible, except Home Gnomes for cleaning
  9. No food preparation allowed
  10. No singing or playing of brass or wind instruments is allowed, or any other similar activity that is likely to generate a larger than normal volume of aerosols. 
  11. MS Martha’s ECE Center is open and currently serving the children of essential employees. The Center is using the west wing and the chapel. The  board will ensure that the center is not using the bathroom off the foyer.
  12. Access by employees and congregants is limited to the foyer, the parlor, the offices, the balcony and the main hall. On weekends access is also allowed to the chapel.
  13. There is no access to the area past the stairs that give access to the rooms and bathrooms used by Ms. Martha’s ECE Center, including the stairs, hallways and rooms above Ms. Martha’s. (If something needed is stored in this area it can be removed from the area when Ms. Martha’s ECE center is closed.)
  14. Although access to the kitchen is allowed, food preparation is not.

Protocols

  1. Any and all staff and volunteers who are symptomatic are required to stay home. If symptoms develop while on the property, the symptomatic person and any family members must leave immediately.
  2. All present should assume at least one other person present is infected without symptoms and is contagious and should conduct themselves accordingly.
  3. If someone attending a meeting brings a child, they will insure that the child does not interact with any of the children with Ms Marthas or toys and outdoor playground equipment used by Ms Marthas. 
  4. Those using the building should clean their hands immediately as they enter the building using the hand sanitizer on the table in front of the main door.
  5. Those in the meeting — indoors or outdoors — should observe social distancing, wear masks and limit proximity and duration of contact time between personnel. If the masks are disposable, the wearer will take them home for disposal and not dispose of them at the church.
  6. Meeting organizers are responsible for making appropriate accommodations for accessibility. This includes arranging for online attendance for those who choose not to attend in person.
  7. If the meeting is outdoors attendees must bring their own chairs.
  8. Meeting organizers are responsible for cleaning, or arranging for the cleaning of the bathroom after the meeting is over. If the organizer is doing the cleaning, appropriate PPE will be used. The PPE will be supplied by the meeting organizer.
  9. Bathroom use spaced out and exhaust fan left running whenever the building is occupied.
  10. Toilets should be flushed only after the lid is closed.

Examples

  • Any of the formal “Small Groups” can meet indoors or outdoors. Membership in these groups is already limited to 20.
  • Most committees.
  • Current minister or office administrator dealing with something that cannot be handled remotely.
  • Current minister meeting with the church administrator and/or organizing the ministers’ office.
  • Arts subcommittee reviewing and categorizing a collection of donated art.
  • The group preparing meals for the unhoused hand off the food in the parking lot that they have cooked at home. No food is prepared in the church building.
  • Theatre Adventure sending up to two people into the building to use the copier in the committee room/bookkeeper’s office which they access on an occasional basis and to access their storage cupboard.

Special Notes:

  1. If/when construction starts on the new bathroom, access other than MS Martha’s ECE center should be avoided.