First Parish Milton COVID revised guidelines 

June 1, 2021

The Parish Committee has approved the following COVID safety guidelines for public gatherings of the congregation effective June 1, 2021.  These changes will align us with CDC guidelines and the MA state guidelines. We continue to monitor UUA guidelines and in particular we want to emphasize the need for all members of our community to be respectful of others during this transition period. We are not all moving at the same “speed”,  some of us are not able or ready to be vaccinated, and we are all grappling with many different feelings:  relief, joy, and excitement; but also worry, fear, insecurity, social awkwardness, lack of trust, and uncertainty.  With that in mind we suggest relaxing guidelines but continue to encourage all to observe safety measures that allow all participants to feel safe and welcome in our community. 

MA state guidelines

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts

Overview of MA guidelines 

There are many details covered on the MA website.  The website is also challenging because there have been many changes over the last year so it is sometimes hard to know which mandates or recommendations apply as of any given date.  Here is our best understanding of guidelines that would apply to church life as of June 1, 2021. 

  • Updated mask recommendations 
    • Masks are optional in public outdoor gatherings
    • Masks are recommended in public indoor gatherings
    • Masks are recommended for non-vaccinated attendees (at both indoors and outdoor gatherings)
    • Masks are optional for children 5 years and under
  • Social distancing (6 ft) recommended in indoor gatherings
  • Sign-in for contact tracing recommended for indoor gatherings 

Therefore, for the upcoming church picnic, we recommend:

  1. Masks are optional at this outdoor gathering, but all should bring a mask for maximum mobility (going indoors, close proximity, congregant’s request)
  2. We are requesting all (except those 5 and under) to wear masks when going inside the building – e.g. to use the bathroom
  3. Everyone should be considerate of social distancing needs of others — at this point we should assume most are accustomed to 6ft distancing and we should ask permission to enter someone’s “personal space”
  4. Bathrooms should be disinfected by user after each use
  5. Hand sanitizer should be readily available
  6. People should be advised to stay home if they are feeling unwell
  7. Singing with masks on is permitted
  8. Sign-in for contact tracing not required

For indoor summer worship, we recommend:

  1. Masks are recommended for indoor worship 
  2. Masks may be removed by worship leaders when speaking
  3. Everyone should be considerate of social distancing needs of others — at this point we should assume most are accustomed to 6ft distancing and we should ask permission to enter someone’s “personal space”
  4. Bathrooms should be disinfected by user after each use
  5. Hand sanitizer should be readily available
  6. People should be advised to stay home if they are feeling unwell
  7. Singing with masks on is permitted (additional singing recommendations to be supplied by Tim Steele and Rev Lisa)
  8. Sign-in for contact tracing is recommended 
  9. Screened windows will be open for cross ventilation