July 26, 2022
As we respond to changing conditions around Covid-19, we continue to adjust our policies to keep congregants safe while allowing for individual choice about how to maintain personal safety.
We have been meeting in person for Shabbat morning services and gathering after services for kiddush, often indoors but outdoors as well when the weather permits. At kiddush and when we host dinners indoors, we require that attendees wear a mask unless they are seated at a table and eating.
We have two other significant restrictions that we are now relaxing.
- We implemented a vaccine requirement in early spring. Given the increasing prevalence of Covid-19 even among vaccinated individuals, we are no longer making vaccination a requirement to enter the building. We strongly encourage everyone to follow CDC guidelines and get vaccines and boosters as they are eligible – this is important for your personal safety.
- We required mask-wearing for everyone in the sanctuary, but we are ready to introduce mask-optional seating when community conditions are favorable, i.e. when the CDC rates the Covid-19 Community Level for Essex Country as “Medium” or “Low”. Community Levels are updated on Thursdays (viewable at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/community-levels.html), and our weekly Friday e-mail announcement will alert you about our Community Level and whether we will have mask-optional seating.
We want to preserve options for people to stay safe through the Covid-19 pandemic while also offering congregants who cannot wear a mask comfortably the option of worshiping together. We value and support our congregants who attend our services via Zoom/Livestream and we are committed to maintaining that option. We will also maintain sections of the sanctuary where both masking and social distancing are required and masking will still be required to enter and walk about the building. We are taking opportunities to ventilate our indoor space as much as possible and looking for more ways to hold outdoor services and events.
We would love to see you at services and events, but please do your part to keep our community safe. Per CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html), please follow recommendations not to attend in-person during the first 5 days after diagnosis, onset of symptoms or close contact with Covid-19 and use continued diligence and masking for at least 10 days. If you are comfortable wearing a mask at services, you can continue to do so even in the mask-optional section – I plan to do so myself.
Wishing everyone continued health and safety,