Reopening Task Force

Adopted by the Reopening Task Force on June 26, 2020, and forwarded to the Board of Trustees with recommendation for adoption. The board adopted it on July 9.

Note that due to the time constraints of the Board schedule, the signage and other parts of Phase 1 were implemented at the church building on Saturday, June 27.

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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 1 Details

This is the situation in effect at the adoption of these recommendations for Phase 1 on June 26, 2020. In short, four people indoors, six people outdoors.

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. That there is no increase in cases in Windham County, Vt. exceeding 26 per 10,000. The current rate is 22 per 10,000 as published by Vermont Department of Health here:*  https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19/current-activity-vermont
  5. That the counties of Cheshire, N.H., and Franklin, MA, are still on the Vermont list of places where infection rates are less than 400 cases per million. That information is available here: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/restart/cross-state-travel
  6. That hand sanitizer supplied by All Souls Church is available just inside the main doors.
  7. That a plan is in place to equip all toilets in the building with lids as soon as possible.

Limitations:

  1. These meetings are allowed only if there is no other way to accomplish the goals of the meeting.
  2. Access by employees and congregants to all of the building is allowed, except that 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.
  3. To be clear: the bathrooms on the lower level used by MS Martha’s are not to be used by anyone not associated with Ms Martha’s
  4. MS Martha’s ECE Center is open and currently serving the children of essential employees. It is envisioned that there is no foot traffic between the ECE Center area, bathrooms and hallways and the rest of the building.
  5. From this point in this document going forward, until described differently, this document refers to all of the church building not being used by MS Martha’s.
  6. Essential personnel and ASC staff should work from home as much as possible, except Home Gnomes for cleaning
  7. While outdoor meetings are preferred, indoor meetings are permitted with up to four people. The ASC office administrator and the minister may also be in the building if not part of the meeting.
  8. Outdoor meetings may have up to six people, plus the administrator and the minister.
  9. If any of the people noted above are living in the same household they count as one person.

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.
  3. Those in the meeting — indoors or outdoors — should observe social distancing, wear masks and limit proximity and duration of contact time between personnel.
  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. All in the building will wear masks that they supply themselves if there is anyone else in the building. If the masks are disposable, the wearer will take them home for disposal and not dispose of them at the church.
  6. Bathroom use should be spaced out 10 minutes.
  7. Toilets should be flushed only after the lid is closed.
  8. Any hard-surface chairs used need to be cleaned with cleaning supplies found in the kitchen before putting away.
  9. If someone attending the meeting brings a child, they will insure that the child does not interact with any of Ms. Martha’s children or toys and outdoor playground equipment used by Ms. Martha’s. 

Examples

  • Current minister or office administrator dealing with something that cannot be handled remotely.
  • Current minister and incoming minister meeting with the office administrator and/or organizing the ministers’ office.
  • Arts team reviewing and categorizing a collection of donated art.
  • The group preparing meals for the unhoused hand off the food they have cooked at home in the parking lot. 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

(*) The number of active cases in the county is not immediately clear from the state data. We will be working to clarify.