The last in-person service at UUCJ was in March. So, when will the next one be? The New Normal Team, meeting every 2 weeks since June, has been planning for that safe reopening. There are a wide range of guidelines. We have recommended a phased reopening for indoor gathering, starting when the COVID-19 test positivity rate in our area is less than 5% for a two-week period. The Duval rate has been below 5% since 9/6 and the Clay rate has been below 5% since 9/13 and the St. Johns rate has been below 5% since 9/13, but the rate in Nassau is still above 5%.
The first phase involves small groups of 10 with social distancing, the use of masks, and use of hand sanitizers or hand washing. Using the COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool from the Georgia Institute of Technology, there is currently only a 9% chance that one person in that size group is positive for COVID-19.
As we open, the number of attendees will be limited. In addition, some people will be reluctant initially to come back to the church campus. We need to continue to broadcast our services for those who cannot physically attend.
There are many tasks to complete to prepare the facility. The heat, ventilation and air conditioning systems in the sanctuary and social hall are being adapted to allow for better filtration and improved air flow. Individual air filters are needed for classrooms and meeting rooms. The seating layout for meetings and services needs to be adapted. Special cleaning procedures need to be used after meetings and services. Training for group leaders, staff, ushers, and volunteers needs to be done. At this point help is needed. Please contact one of the New Normal Team to volunteer.