Covid Response Guidelines
Updated February 24, 2023
We will continue to follow the CDC reporting and recommendations for Cuyahoga County:
High (Orange): Masks required indoors
Moderate (Yellow): Masks encouraged, but not require, masks indoors
Low (green): Masks optional individuals indoors
We expect movement between the levels on a regular basis.
The CDC reports numbers each Thursday evening, and any changes will be in place by Sunday. While we watch this carefully we don’t expect you to. We have signs at each door to the building identifying which level we are currently in. We also have masks just inside the doorways should you need one.
Beyond following the CDC mask guideline we hope to allow each congregant to participate in ways that are comfortable for them, while respecting the wishes of others. We know some congregants are uncomfortable with close contact, while others are comfortable. We strive to meet as many needs as possible. In the Sanctuary we will have open seating, though we ask that you check in with a person before sitting next to them.
We will continue to have a Socially Distanced seating area where full six foot seating is required – and masks will be required no matter the community COVID level. The Socially Distanced section has blue X’s in places people should sit. These pews are marked from the aisles, as well as on each hymnal racks. Should you find yourself in a seat that is marked as “please don’t sit here” we ask that you move to an appropriately marked seat – or into the open seating section. Please ask an usher if you need help finding a socially distanced seat. We currently have seven rows dedicated to this. If you find it full – and would have preferred to sit there – please let Randy Partain or Carol Gay know.
Our greeters at the East entrance have red-yellow-green stickers you may place on your name tag to indicate your comfort being near other people. Please ask for one, especially if you are less comfortable with close contact.
Last, we will continue to ask all congregants to use our Contact Tracking QR code when you attend a service so that we can let you know if another congregant comes down with COVID in the days following the service. Of course, we also need you to let us know if you should come down with COVID after attending a service – we’ll keep your name confidential unless you give us permission to identify you. Please contact a staff or board member.
For the purposes of these Guidelines, we recognize two groups.
“Internal Groups” include: Employees, Members, Friends, and Visitors to UUCC events.
“Renters and Outside Organizations” include: all regularly scheduled and one-time
users (not specifically UUCC) of any of our properties.
UUCC requires that all users of the building:
- Respect the request of any individual in shared spaces to remain masked. (This requirement is meant to apply in the absence of another rule regarding masking, not, for example, during Sunday worship services, social hour, or small group meetings which are specifically addressed in these Guidelines)
- Assume the risk for their own activities.
It is therefore recommended that you continue to bring an appropriate mask with you to
the building regardless of whether your event is expected to be maskless or not.
INTERNAL GROUP BUILDING USE
The Gathering Covenant guides our behavior and decision-making.
In gathering together, we promise to:
- Assume good intentions and use this Covenant and Congregation policies to
guide our actions.
- Give and accept reminders to follow the Covenant gracefully.
- Gain consent before touching/hugging others.
- Find ways to be inclusive of adults who cannot be vaccinated.
- Prioritize the safety of the whole congregation over our own preference or sense of comfort.
- Not gather in person if we are not feeling well or have been directed to
Whether or not to mask when on UUCC property, including during indoor worship
services and social hour, is left to an individual’s discretion and comfort level except for
the situations described here.
Though we acknowledge the importance of individual conscience, as a congregation,
we hope to have the highest vaccination rate possible for eligible individuals. All staff
and front-line volunteers (e.g., Board of Trustees, Committee Chairs, Small Group
Leaders, RE Volunteers/Teachers, etc.), eligible for vaccination against COVID 19 must
be vaccinated and boosted as recommended; anyone in this group who cannot be
vaccinated for medical reasons must be tested weekly for COVID 19.
We are eliminating the requirement that individuals maintain six feet of distance
between them. We encourage everyone to voice their comfort level with being close to
others and to remember that, because distancing has become reflexive for many of us,
negotiating awkward interactions is part of our new terrain.
Food and Drink
Any group may serve food and beverages. Please note that self-serve beverage
stations and potlucks/buffets are DISCOURAGED at this time. We will return to the
rituals of breaking bread indoors together like monthly breakfasts and potlucks
progressively as long as the CDC’s indicators of community spread remain low.
Group Meeting Size/Room Requests
UUCC has commissioned an industrial hygienist to make best practices
recommendations for air flow in our spaces and the Building and Grounds Committee is in the process of overseeing and implementing these recommendations. In most cases, we will no longer limit room capacity. Internal groups including committees, covenant groups, interest groups, etc. and individuals should contact the administrator (Rita O. Jackson) with room requests. The administrator will assign rooms in consultation with members of the Buildings and Grounds Committee. Internal groups should discuss the Small Group Regathering Decision Guide before deciding whether to meet in person. Any group that does not come to a unanimous decision to meet in person and/or maskless is strongly encouraged to meet remotely or in hybrid form (combined in-person and remote). We also recommend that groups make this decision on a meeting-by-meeting basis, since each person’s needs and comfort level with meeting or masking may change depending on their individual circumstances.
We recognize that COVID remains an on-going concern and our members may have
different considerations for their safety. Bearing that in mind, we will continue the
We will maintain a section of the Sanctuary for those who prefer socially-distanced
We will use color-coded name tags. Dots or nametags (Green, most comfortable;
Yellow, more careful; Red, most cautious) will be used at services to indicate the
wearer’s current comfort level with gathering (there will be signage with explanations).
We will continue to ask attendees to self-report attendance at Sunday worship services
as well as positive COVID tests in the week following attendance at a Sunday worship
We will offer childcare in a masked setting for children 5 and under who are unable to
Renters and Outside Organization Building Use
Room requests, including one-time events (e.g., weddings, funerals), may be scheduled
by contacting the administrator (currently Rita Jackson). The administrator will assign
rooms in consultation with members of the Buildings and Grounds Committee.
Renters and Outside Organizations may choose to go maskless for activities in the
building, however, they are expected to follow the guidelines for all UUCC Building
users (above), including that their members respect the request of any individual in
shared spaces, including hallways, stairwells, vestibules, and restrooms to remain
masked if asked to do so. It is therefore recommended that you continue to bring an
appropriate mask with you to the building regardless of whether your event is expected
to be maskless or not.
Renters and Outside Organizations may serve food and beverages consistent with Ohio
Department of Health guidelines and their rental agreement. Please note that self-serve
beverage stations and potlucks/buffets are DISCOURAGED at this time.
PLEASE NOTE: THESE GUIDELINES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE BASED ON THE LEVEL OF COVID INFECTION IN OUR COMMUNITY
We welcome your comments and questions – please reach out to a member of the regathering committee (listed below).
Randy Partain, Minister
Carol Gay, Board President
Regathering Committee Members
Ray Gonzalez, board
Amy Glesius, board
Carol Gay, board
Randy Partain, minister
Allan Georgia, staff
Mike Carney, staff
Ken Kuehm, buildings and grounds