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COVID Protocols (updated Nov 3)

Vaccination

For those who are eligible, vaccination is strongly encouraged for everyone attending Woodlands programs. 

In some circumstances, vaccination is required and proof of full vaccination must be provided. For example, all full- and part-time employees and regular contractors who work in the building must be vaccinated unless they have a legally protected reason not to be. Those who are engaging in group singing or chanting are required to be vaccinated as are those who come to the bimah. 

In situations where proof of vaccination is not specifically required, we trust that members of our community and their guests will adhere to the guidelines below.

Masks

Masks are required indoors regardless of vaccination status. This will be revisited when community transmission drops to “Low.” 

Clergy have discretion to remove masks while on the bimah, particularly during prolonged periods of singing or speaking. 

Food

Food will not be served in the building when community transmission rates are at “Substantial” or “High” levels. Once rates in Westchester County drop to “Moderate,” food may be served indoors and masks removed only when eating or drinking. 

If food is being served, we ask that all guests either be vaccinated or have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of attending the event or a rapid antigen test within six hours of coming to the event.

Food can be served outside.

Services

Attendance at indoor services is limited to 75 people for all service types. Registration for services will no longer be required routinely. It may, however, be required when a larger crowd is likely, for example, special  Shabbatot or other community events.

B’nai Mitzvah guidelines can be found here

There is currently no limit on attendance at outdoor services.

Funerals

Funerals inside the sanctuary are subject to the same attendance limits as other services. The lawn may be used to accommodate larger services. 

Shiva services

Shiva services in congregants’ homes have resumed. The Hevra Kaddisha volunteers who often lead shiva services have been provided with KN95 masks. The service leader will also set out masks next to the kippot provided. Shiva service leaders have the support of leadership if they choose to leave a location that feels unsafe.  

Small group gatherings and committee meetings
Inside gatherings are allowed up to 75 people. Masks are required. 

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.

If food is being served, we ask that all guests either be vaccinated or have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of attending the event or a rapid antigen test within six hours of coming to the event.

Religious school

The CDC currently recommends universal masking in K-12 settings. Woodlands will follow CDC guidance. Additionally, the religious school has made every effort to maximize classroom ventilation. HEPA filters have been added to the classrooms. Windows will be open when possible. Window guards have been purchased and installed.

Safety of our clergy

In April 2021, the WCT Board of Trustees passed a motion that reads: Whereas Woodlands Community Temple requires masks to be worn at lifecycle events where Woodlands clergy are officiating, clergy are instructed to leave the event if attendees do not comply with the temple Covid 19 guidelines and restrictions for large gatherings. This policy shall apply to events on or off Woodlands' premises and applies regardless of vaccination status.

Thu, December 2 2021 28 Kislev 5782