Update on Our Transition

Following the Policy Board's approval of a multi-phase plan for resuming in-person programming --- as reported in the previous update from the Transition Task Force here: https://uufp.org/update-from-the-transition-task-force-2/ --- the Board has now also updated the Limited Building Use Policy that restricted in-person activities during the pandemic. This is an important step toward resuming in-person programming because it allows us to move forward with the multi-phase plan.  This update is intended to explain both policy and plan, which you can view here: https://uufp.org/wp-content/uploads/policies/LimitedUUFPCampusAccessUnderCOVID19_20210720_approved.pdfand here: https://uufp.org/wp-content/uploads/phased-plan-for-resuming-in-person-programming.pdf respectively.
 
First, the updated Limited Building Use Policy allows for in-person activities without requiring that permission be obtained from the Board.  Here are some pertinent parts of the updated policy:
  • Indoor UUFP activities, both one-time and recurring (such as committee meetings), involving ten or fewer individuals are permitted; as in the pre-pandemic era, these should be coordinated with the Office Manager via the space reservation form: http://bit.ly/UUFPSR
  • Outdoor activities are permitted and as in the pre-pandemic era should be coordinated with the Office Manager.
  • Independent of vaccination status, groups of two or more individuals are required to wear masks for indoor and outdoor activities.
  • Rentals for indoor spaces will be limited to groups of ten or fewer individuals meeting in the Sanctuary Building.
  • Outdoor rentals are permitted.
Furthermore, it is recommended that anybody: who is not fully vaccinated; who has cancer or HIV, has had an organ transplant, is diabetic, is over eighty, is pregnant, has rheumatoid arthritis or any auto-immune disease; or who comes into frequent contact with someone who has any of these conditions, should continue to participate in activities and meetings on-line rather than in-person for the time being.
 
Second, the multi-phase plan charts a course from where we are now under the Limited Building Use Policy to something like our pre-pandemic "normal".  Specifically, based on data reported by CovidActNow.org, we may move from our current Red phase to Orange (limited in-person activities), then to Yellow (in-person services and forum masked) and finally to Green (unrestricted programs) when certain metrics fall below specified thresholds: the number of daily new cases; the number of covid tests that are positive; and the number of people that each infected person in turn infects.  April Kelsey has created this helpful graphic to present the multi-phase plan visually:

Return to worship graphic

Note that our target date for Orange was July 15th, and as of the end of June that seemed likely. Unfortunately, the spread of the Delta variant meant our metric thresholds were not met as we had hoped. (As Dr. Fauci and other experts have repeatedly reminded us, it's the coronavirus that sets the timeline, not human expectations.) Here, in fact, are this week's numbers, color-coded according to the phases of the plan:

COVID metrics 07/20

(These numbers are the highest values for each metric during the last month; this table is posted at uufp.org and is updated every Tuesday.) As a much more transmissible variant, Delta has spread rapidly amongst the unvaccinated population, but there are indications that the infection rates are now peaking.  If that is the case, then the other metrics, though they may rise a little more, will soon come down, too.
 
Finally, if you have not yet responded to the Transition Task Force's survey, there is still time to do so here: https://forms.gle/QsjZBebGDMr5gA82A . So far, seventy two households have responded --- thank you! --- giving us the following results at this time:
  • 12.2% of the people in UUFP households are under 12.
  • 9.5% are twelve through eighteen.
  • 8.4% are nineteen through twenty-five.
  • 25.6% are twenty-six through fifty-nine.
  • 52.3% are sixty and older.
  • 81.4% of the people in UUFP households are fully vaccinated.
  • 18.6% are unvaccinated.
  • The average comfort level with outdoor activities (ranging from 1 - not at all comfortable to 5 - completely comfortable) is 4.8.
  • The average comfort level with indoor activities with masks required is 4.2.
  • The average comfort level with indoor activities with masks optional is 3.7.
While it's reasonable to suggest that, since so many of us have been vaccinated, we should be able to go back to "normal" immediately, the fact is that the UUFP is not isolated from our surroundings; rather, there's a very porous boundary between who is part of the UUFP and who isn't. Nobody under twelve can yet be vaccinated, anybody with a health condition or over eighty is still at risk from the Delta variant even when fully vaccinated, and no-one wants to challenge the medical history of first-time visitors at the door. Though our plan to resume in-person programming has been set back temporarily, we know that we are very fortunate in our part of the world to be coming out of the pandemic, and we'll continue to practice our principles to get there. Thank you for being part of this UUFP community.
Rev. Andrew for the Transition Task Force and Alicia Hofler for the Policy Board
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