Reopening – Building and Services Status
Until further notice, we are holding all services virtually.
All services are held on zoom (link in weekly email) and streamed live on our BRUU Facebook, Sundays at 10am.
The Board and the Reopening Task Force Committee are hard at work determining the actions and timing to re-open our building and hold in-person services.
Picnic June 12 and Other Progress!
— released May 12, 2021
Thank you to the Reopening Task Force and to all who participated in our survey about resuming in-person activities as the COVID pandemic situation appears to improve due to higher vaccination rates.
Key results of the survey were:
- People indicated by wide margins (84% and 85%) that they expected to be vaccinated and to wear a mask to participate in in-person activities at BRUU.
- 57% indicated a desire to have everyone who participates in in-person activities at BRUU to be vaccinated.
- Only 30% endorsed temperature checks at the door.
- Sunday services and RE for children and youth were the top priorities for restarting.
- Two-thirds did not think the BRUU Board should adopt Covid safety policies regulating or limiting BRUU-affiliated in-person activities which are not held at BRUU.
We’ve also heard your voices – through the survey and through other channels – that it’s time for us to start having some events that allow us to get together in person, and the Board shares that eagerness and anticipation. Along those lines, we’re happy to tell you that a BRUU family has offered to host the BRUU Picnic outdoors at their place on June 12. You’ll hear more on that through a special BRUU Blast.
Based on the survey responses and the expert help from the Reopening Task Force, the Board reached consensus on the following message:
- We are working hard toward reopening our building. The primary factors preventing it right now are the lead time for new audiovisual equipment and ventilation. The new audiovisual equipment is necessary for multi-platform programming (in-person and online), and we are in the process of getting quotations for the necessary equipment. Then, the equipment will have to be installed and we will have to learn how to use it. The new ventilation measures are underway, with filters being installed in our heating and air condition systems, and room air filters (basically box fans with high-quality filters) in certain rooms in the design phase.
- We will have options for worship. We want everyone to be part of the community. We expect to have a system to register for attendance, to ensure we can maintain physical distancing by limiting capacity. The date for this is not yet set, due to the need for audiovisual and ventilation equipment mentioned above. We will not check your temperature at the door, but as always, if you are feeling ill please participate remotely.
- We do anticipate that the religious education program for children and youth will be back in the building for the fall semester. Contact Kristin Worthington at email@example.com if interested in the details.
- Committee meetings can resume once the ventilation upgrades are in place.
Things are changing rapidly. – just last week, Governor Northam indicated that he anticipates lifting all the COVID restrictions on capacity by June 15. Masks will likely be a part of our future for a long time, however. Our own capacity may depend on meeting the CDC’s guidelines for air handling.
We want you to protect your own health and the health of your family, community, and the health care workers who take care of those who fall ill. Protecting ourselves and each other is a commitment we all need to make to live out our mission and covenant. For those reasons, if you are eligible for a vaccine you should get it.
While we do want and expect everyone who is participating in in-person activities at the BRUU building to be vaccinated, we are operating on the honor system. If you or a member of your family is immune-compromised, please take into consideration that we will not be verifying people’s vaccination status. We will be enforcing the mask requirement within the BRUU building until further notice.
Meanwhile, outdoor events and small group events outside BRUU are good to go already. Of course, we encourage hosts and participants to exercise care and to observe all of the federal, state, and local COVID risk management guidelines as you get together. And as I mentioned above, and during Sunday’s worship service, thanks to the Sundas we have a picnic scheduled! How exciting is that?!
Please be excellent to yourself and to one another. We welcome your feedback, knowing that no possible policy will please everyone. As we move forward, there will be additional decisions to be made, so it’s important that BRUU’s leadership continue to hear from you.
—————- past reports ————
Reopening Task Force Committee Report
— released April 2021
Throughout the pandemic, BRUU has remained open for full-time staff, two 12-step programs and the food pantries. Recently, we welcomed back our music studio renters.
With guidance from the governor (who uses the same metrics BRUU does) and buoyed by the increased number of vaccinated, at the April 15, 2021, Board meeting, the Board approved the following, with observance of the most current COVID protocols:
- Authorized official BRUU outdoor activities.
- Following installation of already purchased toilet seat covers, authorizing in-person BRUU committee meetings* with the caveat that all meetings offer multi-platform options (live and virtual) for those who wish. All meetings must be booked in advance with Tina.
- The Board authorize the purchase and installation of MAC suggested ventilation improvements. And, further, recommend purchase and installation of:
– portable air cleaners with MERV13, or higher, filters;
– humidifiers for the winter months;
– and authorized a thorough cleaning of the building’s HVAC system.
- The Board approved the Worship team to work with the Food Pantries to determine when the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall will be available.
- Following completion of the above, staff and worship volunteers (Worship Associates, AV team, etc.) will begin broadcasting from the sanctuary.
- The Reopening Task Force will measure the space in the sanctuary to determine occupancy, following 6’ distancing guidelines.
- An individual will be designated and a day of the week assigned to check current government (Commonwealth and CDC) science-based guidelines for safe gatherings and use those guidelines to demine the safety of in-person service.
- Once the above is completed, the Board approved beginning multi-platform Sunday Services.
Individuals entering the building must follow all COVID protocols, including wearing masks**, and sign in using BRUU’s QR code for contact tracing***. 12-step programs and the music studios are responsible for maintaining their own attendance records.
*Each group meeting in the building is responsible for cleaning tables, door handles and light switches before they leave.
** Enforcement responsibility for this policy is given to event sponsors/hosts, Board members, and paid and volunteer staff. Depending on their best judgment of the circumstances, the person enforcing this policy may provide a warning, direct the offending person to leave the premises or event, or involve other people to remove the offending person (including law enforcement if there is a threat of violence).
***The QR code satisfies a Virginia Department of Labor and Industry requirement and is critical for contact tracing.
The Board created the BRUU Reopening Task Force to provide recommendations for a safe and ordered process of resuming activities curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic when it is prudent to do so. As more people have been vaccinated and infections have trended downwards (although we’re by no means out of the woods yet), now is a good time to assess congregational perceptions on what our priorities should be in taking the next steps forward. We ask you to take a few minutes to share your thoughts on this process. The information we gather will be shared in RoundUp in aggregated form, and your contributions will be kept anonymous unless you indicate that you want to be contacted. The link for the survey is available in your newsletter and a recent email blast. The survey closes April 30, 2021.