Our Covid Safety Team met via Zoom on 8/30/2022 to discuss recommendations for the congregation when services resume for the coming year. While the official CDC community level for Sedona and the Verde Valley is rated as Low, we are continuing to see frequent cases occurring in our area, most of which are mild but do pose a significant risk for more susceptible individuals. Since there are a number of our fellowship members who do fall into this category because of age and medical conditions, our committee believes we have an obligation to do what we can to protect everyone for the immediate future.
Therefore we strongly recommend that everyone attending our services should continue to be masked and be vaccinated against Covid to the fullest extent advised in consultation with medical professionals. Because of the highly contagious nature of the latest Covid variant, we ask that anyone experiencing symptoms that might represent an infection, or who have been exposed to Covid, should not attend services. In accordance with current public health policies, our committee recommends wearing masks during services but will not make this mandatory. We also advise setting up separate seating areas for those who choose to wear masks and for those who don’t.
We believe it will be reasonably safe for our minister or other speakers to remove masks while speaking as long as an adequate distance from the rest of the congregation is maintained. This provision should also apply to musicians while performing. Members of the fellowship who choose to join in group singing while in close proximity with others in the congregation should continue to wear masks to minimize potential risk to others. The choice about participation in after-service fellowship and in other group activities such as Friendly Feast occasions will be left up to the individuals.
Since the future of this pandemic remains uncertain with the potential for evolving viral variants that pose different transmission and risk characteristics, our committee recognizes that these recommendations may have to be revised in response to such changes. We will continue to meet monthly and will maintain in close communication the SUUF Board of Directors.