New Covid Protocol

 

August 1, 2021

Masks are required for ALL (including children and the fully vaccinated) who attend in-person services, classes, and events at UCR. Disposable masks are available at all entrances and in the main rooms.

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New COVID-19 Protocols at Unity Center of Cedar Rapids

As of August 1, 2021:

  • Masks are required for ALL (including children and the fully vaccinated) who attend in-person services, classes, and events at UCR. Disposable masks are available at all entrances and in the main rooms.
  • Those on the platform may remove their masks when speaking if they remain on the platform.
  • We will sing with masks, and our soloists and musicians will be placed well away from the congregation.
  • Please use your best judgment regarding physical contact.
  • Given that the Sunday services are not full, there is plenty of room for people to spread out. This is encouraged.
  • Brunches are postponed for now.  Coffee will be available before and after services. However, we ask you to enjoy it outside if the weather is agreeable or spread out throughout the building.

The Rationale for the Decision:

According to the CDC, Linn County now has HIGH community transmission which falls under the guidelines for mask wearing for all indoor gatherings for the unvaccinated and fully vaccinated.

  • The test positivity rate in Linn County is currently 7.4% and there are 7.75 cases per 100,000 of the population.  These numbers are well above those used as the criteria for regathering inside the building.
  •  According to a recent survey, our congregation has a vaccination rate of 97% which supports masking rather than returning to online services only.
  • This decision was made by the minister and the board in keeping with their duty of care to the congregation and the center, as well as a commitment to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Other Considerations:
The Delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading quickly in areas where vaccination rates are low. This now includes Iowa, and specifically Linn County.  While the Corridor Region has the highest rates of vaccination in the state, Linn County (3rd in the state) still falls short of the rate necessary to quell community transmission.  Currently, the vaccination rate has stalled at about 54% of the total population.  The rate for those age 12+ is 63.8%.  What appears to be driving the increase in cases is the number of unvaccinated in Linn and surrounding counties. Additionally, new data indicates that vaccinated individuals can transmit the virus to others given the larger viral load of the Delta variant.  While breakthrough cases and serious illness are rare among the fully vaccinated, a vaccinated person can still transmit the virus to an unvaccinated person, an immunocompromised person, or a child. Thankfully, hospitalization rates currently remain low.

We have communicated to the congregation a desire to remain as unrestrictive as possible, while also stating our intention to monitor credible data about community transmission rates.  We see this as a temporary measure that will be lifted as soon as vaccination rates rise in the state.

Healing is rarely a straight line, and this is just a momentary experience that allows us to continue to gather as a congregation.  All shall be well, for all is well in God.

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