COVID-19 Safety at Beth Jacob
Current status: updated June 20
As of early June, we have transitioned from a rotating schedule to a schedule where masks are optional every Shabbat. See below for details on the updated policy. (Note: Masking is still required for indoor youth education programming.)
For congregants unable to attend in person, all services will be available to livestream at Beth-Jacob.org/Youtube. For those who would like to gather in a masks-required space, room 4 (or another space), and Section D in the sanctuary will remain masks-required every week.
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COVID data: updated June 20
The CDC hospital admission levels are updated weekly, and levels have been green for Dakota, Hennepin, and Ramsay Counties for most of 2023. We will update this page if that status changes.
The Met Council wastewater 7-day average viral load was at its lowest point in over a year as of mid-June 2023. We are continuing to monitor this level weekly and will update this page with any significant changes.
Masking Policy as of May 2023
Shabbat Morning Mask Policy Guidelines
Recommendations from the Science/Data Task Force using Met Council Wastewater numbers, based on reviewing the most current research and public health recommendations available regarding COVID transmission and community rates, including consultation with Dr. Ruth Lynfield. Assuming tri-county level indicators remain green as they have been since January:
- We recommend going to masks-optional every week starting as early as 5/6/23 if wastewater has been at or below 130 M copies per person per day (7 day averages) through 4/29/23.
- If wastewater levels are consistently trending higher than 130, remain on the rotating mask pattern until we reach a similar bullet to above
- Going forward, if wastewater levels show an increase of 60M copies per person per day over the course of 3 weeks, the task force chair will confer with the science/data committee about whether additional meetings and/or changes to the masking recommendations are needed.
Recommendations from the Policy/Implementation Task Force (with with a few additional suggestions for some items):
- Required masking on the bimah during crowded parts of the service should continue
- a basket of extra masks should be kept on the bimah
- improvements in the sound system would still be beneficial
- speakers can be reminded that unmasking is allowed when alone on the bimah, but we request that no one should shout at speakers to remove their masks
- Families or organizers should still be able to request that masks be required for a simcha or event
- Lunch seating should continue to be provided outside whenever weather permits
- Regarding lunch: as the main rationale for the hallway table (providing a masked area for gathering food away from the social hall on mask-required weeks) is no longer relevant, it could be a good option to put a second food table in the social hall instead of the hallway to allow people to get through the line quicker. We do still recommend offering some takeaway containers in that case.
- Required masking in Section D (or another section) should be continued unless congregants who sit in that area are surveyed and do not think it is important to keep it.
- We strongly encourage everyone attending events at Beth Jacob to be fully vaccinated if they are eligible
- Since guidelines for “full vaccination” are no longer clear and enforcement is extremely difficult, we recommend strongly encouraging rather than requiring vaccinations.
- New boosters are available to people over 65 and immune-compromised folks, and we recommend that Beth Jacob should encourage members to get vaccinated if they are able and eligible
- Two weeks’ (two Shabbatot) notice should still be given before a change in policy is implemented.
Morning Minyan Policy
Last updated May 2023
- Masks are worn around the amud during the Torah service on Monday and Thursday; otherwise masks are generally optional with the following exception:
- Anyone attending minyan who would feel more comfortable if everyone wore masks, should speak with the minyan leader and their request will be honored.
- Sunday morning minyan is held at Temple of Aaron and their mask policy is masks optional.
During business hours Tuesday through Friday, staff will be able to decide as a group how and when they will wear masks while working.
|For questions or concerns please email COVID@beth-jacob.org