The UUCW Health & Safety Team met on Thursday, January 27, 2022, to discuss the ongoing responses and plans related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Staff and Health & Safety Team at UUCW has been steadfast in their mission to maintain as safe an environment as is possible without hampering the ongoing ministries and mission of the congregation. After reviewing local data and response protocols in place in our City and region the Team has recommended that we continue Sunday Morning Worship and Religious Exploration Programming online-only through February 13 and return to our multi-platform, in-person and online programming beginning February 20th. The team will meet the week of February 13 to discuss further metrics and indicators by which to measure future responses to the pandemic.
This decision was not taken lightly. No one relishes the idea of continuing a digital-only format for worship. The H&S Team and Staff continue to frame this not as a return but a pause to our normal operating methods in order to protect the health and wellbeing of those in our community who have been diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19. This act of solidarity is a visible sign of our mission to “inspire people to take on the challenges of a changing world.”
At this time we have n building continues to be open to small group to meetings. We ask that those small groups gathering in the building continue to mask, arrange their gathering to maximize social distancing between participants, and disinfect those spaces they occupy before leaving the premises. Should any group using the facility be notified that a group member has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please report this to the church immediately so extra disinfectant efforts can be done. UUCW also has the capacity to provide methods for groups to gather online if such technology is desired. To inquire about access to online platforms, please email or .
Local and national authorities are strongly advising that people wear N95 masks instead of cloth or other types at this moment in the pandemic. There is substantial evidence that non-N95 masks are a much less effective barrier to the spread of the dominant strain of disease at this moment. UUCW has a small stock of N94 masks for those who want them and the office has a very small supply of at-home test kits should you or your family need access to such.
If there is any positive news to be highlighted during this difficult time it is that the numbers as reported suggest that the current viral surge peaked near the beginning of the new year and numbers of positive tests and hospitalizations seem to be trending down. The H&S Team, Staff, and church leaders continue to monitor the progress of the pandemic and will meet again in mid-February. Further decisions about the coming month(s) will be determined at that time and communicated directly to the congregation and our community partners.
If you are a member of your family test positive for COVID-19 or are in quarantine because of possible exposure, please let us know so that we can respond pastorally and provide whatever resources are necessary for our health and safety. Email or .
We know that this is not the way any of us would choose to enter the new year. However, we are confident that we have the capacity to weather this part of the storm and that we will return to in-person Sunday morning gatherings in the near future.
Blessings to all of you.
Rev. Aaron Payson and the UUCW Health & Safety Team