Policy On Public Health Metrics to Guide Reopening UUS:E’s Meet House

Unitarian Universalist Society: East
Public Health Metrics Used to Guide Reopening the Meeting House for Indoor Events
Adopted by the Policy Board, May 6, 2021

Background: The UUS:E Policy Board charged the Emergency Preparedness Team to develop a procedure to safely reopen the meeting house.  This was to be done using scientific data to provide guideposts to measure and predict an acceptable level of risk to all members, staff and guests.

The Emergency Preparedness Team has recommended, and the Policy Board has accepted, the following guidance for reopening the meeting house safely.

  1. The Unitarian Universalist Society: East (UUS:E) will use the resources developed by Covid Act Now, an independent, national non-profit coalition created to provide COVID-19 predictive data analysis. This group is a consortium of multidisciplinary experts including technologists, epidemiologist, health experts and public policy leaders from Georgetown and Stanford Universities.  The data is updated daily to display real-time information.  Predictive trends are calculated for important indicators to assess the current relative risks of COVID-19.  In a word, this resource identifies the information needed, and the data required, for any group to determine when it might be safe to reopen.
  1. Covid Act Now has identified five data trends as being advisory or predictive of when a safe (or safer) environment might emerge. These data sets will be tracked by UUS:E’s Emergency Preparedness Team to monitor the reduction of the COVID-19 threat to an acceptable level of risk. Use the following URL to open the website: www.covidactnow.org. When the website first opens, click on Connecticut in the national map.  Scroll down in the Connecticut section to visualize the five graphs showing the metrics defining the disease progression.
  1. The following criteria will be used to qualify for a decision to reopen. Note: colors (yellow, green, etc.) refer to Covid Act Now’s graphs for each metric.
  • Mandatory metric 1. “Daily New Cases per 100,000 population” within the yellow -medium category at or below 5 new cases per 100,000 population (or 178 or fewer people) for 21 consecutive days (three weeks). 
  • Mandatory metric 2: “Infection Rate” within the green – low category at or below 0.9 for 21 consecutive days (3 weeks). 
  • Mandatory metric 3: “Positive Test Rate” within the green – low category at or below 3% for 21 consecutive days (3 weeks).
  • Mandatory metric 4: “ICU Capacity Used within the green – low category at or below 70% for 21 consecutive days (3 weeks). 
  • Advisory metric: “Percent Fully vaccinated.” for advisory use only without setting a threshold to guide decisions to reopen. 


Note: the public health metrics indicated in the above policy will be used to determine when it is safe to reopen UUS:E’s meeting house. However, these metrics are not a guide to the logistics of reopening. That is, even when it is safe to reopen, we will not return immediately to “congregational life as we knew it” prior to the pandemic. The Emergency Preparedness Team is working on logistics during its May meetings and will publish guidance as soon as they have finished their deliberations. At this point we expect that our initial return to the meeting house will include mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing among other public health behaviors that have proven effective in limiting virus transmission.