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COVID Protocols (updated Mar 14)

Vaccination 

We require COVID vaccination for all eligible people attending indoor services, meetings, and programs in person at Woodlands. COVID vaccination is already required for all temple employees, unless they have a legally protected exemption. 

COVID vaccination is not required for Kesher (religious school) students at this time. However, we strongly encourage all families to vaccinate their eligible children. We have been collecting COVID vaccination data from our Kesher enrollees and can report that the vast majority of students are vaccinated. Kesher teachers and teen aides are all fully vaccinated, per temple employment policies. 

It is not necessary to provide proof of vaccination when attending Woodlands services, meetings, and programs in person, except when an activity is particularly high risk, such as group singing or being called to the bimah. 

Community Guidelines 

We have created guidelines to clarify when different in-person activities are supported. The categories in the table below are based on the CDC’s Covid-19 Community Transmission map], which characterizes the level of community spread.  

When community transmission is at a Medium level, eating is allowed only by those who have had a negative Covid test that day. 

Daily average cases per 100K 

Sanctuary capacity 

Eating inside 

Masks required inside 

Vaccine required 

High (>30)                                

75 

No 

Yes 

Yes 

Medium (>30) 

125 

Yes, if negative test required 

Yes (unless eating) 

Yes 

Low (<30) 

No limit 

Yes 

Yes for services/Optional for everything else 

Yes 


Masks 

With one significant exception, wearing masks is optional whenever Westchester County’s level of community transmission is Low, as it is currently.  

However, we continue to require masks for religious services except for those who are at the bimah and for large gatherings such as concerts. This is consistent with current practices for theaters. The combination of crowding and singing necessitates a higher degree of caution than other settings. Those who are speaking at the bimah can remove their masks while they are speaking if they choose to.

If our community level rises to medium or high, we will return to requiring masks until conditions improve again.  

When masks are required, cloth masks are discouraged. Surgical masks and KN95 masks are currently available at the synagogue for those who seek to upgrade their mask when they arrive. We encourage you to do so. 

Food 

Indoor eating depends on the rate of community spread: 

  • High: No indoor eating
  • Medium: Food may only be served indoors if attendees are required to take Covid tests before the event. At home tests are sufficient for this purpose. Masks are required when not eating. 
  • Low: Food may be served indoors with no testing requirements.

Food can be served outside regardless of the level of spread. 

B/Mitzvah Services 

For in-person services (both outdoors and in the sanctuary), we are requiring all who are called up to the Bimah to provide proof of full vaccination before the service. Siblings who are too young to be vaccinated are exempt from this policy. Vaccination proof should be sent to covid@wct.org, where it will be logged and then deleted. Proof can be in the form of a photo of a vaccination card or screen shot of an Excelsior Pass. Proofs should be sent no later than one week before your ceremony.  

If the B’nai Mitzvah student or immediate family members who are eligible are not vaccinated, the service will be held on Zoom. 

Funerals 

Funerals inside the sanctuary are subject to the same attendance limits as other services. The lawn may be used to accommodate larger services if needed in times of Medium or High transmission.  

Small group gatherings and committee meetings 

Decisions about whether to hold meetings in-person, on Zoom, or in a hybrid format are left to the discretion of each group and its leaders. 

Singing  

All participants in the Woodlands Singers are required to provide proof of vaccination. Singing masks have been provided. 

Facilities rentals 

Facilities rentals are allowed but are subject to guidelines in place at the time of the event, including food service and masking guidelines. Either party is able to cancel the rental due to changing conditions with no penalty.  

Outside vendors are required to provide proof that workers coming into the building are vaccinated. 

Food service guidelines above apply to facilities rentals. 

Religious school 

Masks are optional at Low transmission and required at Medium or High transmission. 

The religious school has made every effort to maximize classroom ventilation. HEPA filters have been added to the classrooms. Windows are open when possible. Window guards have been installed. 

Sat, May 21 2022 20 Iyar 5782