“Forgiveness” — UUS:E Virtual Worship, September 26, 2021

Gathering Music – Mary Bopp, Director of Music (starts at 9:50)

Welcome and Announcements – Marsha Howland, Co-Chair, Sunday Services Committee

Centering

Prelude – “I Know This Rose Will Open” (by Mary E. Grigolia, arr. by Mary Bopp) – Mary Bopp

Chalice Lighting and Opening Words

Opening Hymn

“Return Again”
Words and Music by Shlomo Carlebach
#1011 in Singing the Journey
Led by Sandy Johnson

Return again, Return again,
Return to the home of your soul.

Return to who you are,
Return to what you are,
Return to where you are
born and reborn again.

Joys and Concerns

Introduction to the Service

First Reading:

“Coffee?” An Allegory
author unknown
Read by David Garnes

First Speaker:  Deb Dauphinais

Musical Meditation

Offering

Offering Music

“I Hope You Dance”
By Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers
Performed by Sandy Johnson and Deb Dauphinais

Second Reading:

Thoughts about Forgiveness
Read by David Garnes

Second Speaker:  Elizabeth Thomas

Closing Hymn:

“Love Will Guide Us”
#131 in Singing the Living Tradition
Led by Sandy Johnson

Love will guide us, peace has tried us,
hope inside us will lead the way
on the road from greed to giving.
Love will guide us through the hard night.

If you cannot sing like angels,
if you cannot speak before thousands,
you can give from deep within you.
You can change the world with your love.

Love will guide us, peace has tried us,
hope inside us will lead the way
on the road from greed to giving.
Love will guide us through the hard night.

Extinguishing the Chalice and Closing Words

Closing Circle

Postlude

Breakout Rooms

 

 

“Embracing Possibility” — UUS:E Virtual Worship, September 12, 2021

Gathering Music (Mary Bopp, UUS:E Director of Music) (begins at 9:50 AM)

Welcome (Gina Campellone, UUS:E Director of Religious Education)

Announcements (Rev. Josh Pawelek, UUS:E minister)

Centering (Gina Campellone)

Prelude  

“All Possibility”
performed by members of the Manchester Women’s Sacred Singing Circle

Chalice Lighting and Opening Words

“We Light This Chalice to Embrace Possibility”
by Robin Slaw
spoken by Mazzlyn Stevenson

Opening Hymn

“Meditation on Breathing”
by Sarah Dan Jones
#1009 in Singing the Journey
led by Jeannette LeSure

 

When I breathe in,
I’ll breathe in peace.
When I breathe out,
I’ll breathe out love.

Blessing of the Backpacks  (Gina Campellone)

May your mask keep you safe
And your light always be seen.
May you learn and grow each day,
In person or on your screen.
May your hearts and minds journey
And discover what is true.
But most of all, may you know you
Are loved – simply for being you.

BACK to SCHOOL Slide Show

Joys and Concerns

Musical Meditation (Mary Bopp)

Offering

For the month of September, our Community Outreach offering will be shared by two organizations:

Power Up is a new Black Lives Matter organization in Manchester. They are courageously bringing much needed visibility to the ongoing realities of racism in Manchester and surrounding communities. Some UUS:E members and friends have participated in Power Up’s daily rallies and other actions.

KIDSAFE CT is dedicated to the early intervention, prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect in the towns east of the Connecticut River in Hartford and Tolland Counties. Their mission is to “partner with the community to educate and empower families and promote the well-being of young people.” Their work has continued during the pandemic, though their staff is working from home.

Offertory

“Accentuate the Positive”
by Harold Arlen
performed by Chris Crossgrove and Shoshana Levinson

Story and Song

“Maybe Yes, Maybe No”
(Chinese fable)
told by Lea Morris
“Whatever Comes Next”
written and performed by Lea Morris

Reflection “On Possibility” (Gina Campellone and Rev. Josh Pawelek)

Closing Hymn

“Spirit of Life”
by Carolyn McDade
#123 in Singing the Living Tradition
led by Jeannette LeSure

Spirit of Life, come unto me.
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;
move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.

Extinguishing the Chalice

Closing Circle

May faith in the spirit of life
And hope for the community of earth
And love of the light in each other
Be ours now, and in all the days to come.

Coffee Hour / Breakout Rooms

 

 

Public Health Metrics Used to Guide Opening, Closing and Using the Meeting House for Indoor Events

(Adopted August 17th, 2021)

Background: The UUS:E Policy Board has charged the Emergency Preparedness Team to develop procedures to safely reopen, close and use 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 evaluating the continued reopening and using 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. (Visit www.covidactnow.org and find the data for Connecticut.)

2. 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.

  1. The following metrics will be used to evaluate the continued safe reopening at varying levels of increased risk designated by covidactnow.org’s graphs for each metric.

 

Mandatory metric 1. “Daily New Cases per 100,000 population” for 5 consecutive days:
– Green – Low – at or below 1
– Yellow – Medium – above 1 to 10
– Orange – High – above 10 to 25
– Red – Critical – above 25 to 75

Mandatory metric 2: “Infection Rate” for 5 consecutive days:
– Green – Low – at or below .9
– Yellow – Medium – above .9 to 1.1
– Orange – High – above 1.1 to 1.4
– Red – Critical – above 1.4 to 2.0

Advisory metric 1: “Positive Test Rate” for advisory use only without setting a threshold to initiate additional mitigations.

Advisory metric 2: “ICU Capacity for advisory use only without setting a threshold to initiate additional mitigations.

Advisory metric 3: “Percent Fully vaccinated.” for advisory use only without setting a threshold to initiate additional mitigations.

The UUS:E Policy Board will use these public health metrics to evaluate when and how it is safe to continue reopening the meeting house safely. Depending on the level of risk indicated by the two mandatory metrics, the UUS:E Policy Board could consider the following Mitigation Options in addition to other mitigation steps it might consider. This list is in categories (such as Mask Wearing, Social Distancing, etc.) and is in increasing order of risk reduction with the least restrictive at the top of each category:

Mask Wearing (bullet points from least restrictive to most restrictive)
* Vaccinated people with consent of others can remove masks
* All persons gathered in the building must wear masks (currently in place)
Note: Sunday service speakers and singers on the chancel may remove masks.

Social Distancing at gatherings (bullet points from least restrictive to most restrictive)
* 6 feet apart (currently in place)
* Consider different spacing in identified rooms

Number of people at gatherings (bullet points from least restrictive to most restrictive)
* Unlimited # of people (for hybrid services and RE program)
* 15 for Sunday Services (currently in place, with RE currently conducted outdoors)
* Outside groups (e.g., AA) (currently no limit)
* Impose further limits, such as outside groups limited to 15.

Building Closure
* Close the building for two weeks with an ongoing assessment (Default: reopen unless decision made to remain closed)
* Close the building long term. Reopen and remove restrictions at any time the diminishing metrics reach the point where the restrictions were imposed.

Consumption of food and drink (ie, Sunday morning hospitality, receptions or memorial services)
* Meals and drinks allowed
* Snacks and coffee / drinks allowed
* Only coffee / drinks allowed
* Not allowed (currently in place)

“How I Found Unitarian Universalism/UUS:E and Why I Stay” — UUS:E Virtual Worship, July 11, 2021

Gathering Music  (Mary Bopp) (starts at 9:50)

Welcome and Announcements  (Alan Ayers, member of the Sunday Services Committee)

Centering  (Marsha Howland, member of the Sunday Services Committee)

Prelude 

“Bridge Over Troubled Water”
by Paul Simon
performed by Alan and Kathy Ayers and Mary Bopp

Chalice Lighting and Opening Words

Opening Hymn 

“May Nothing Evil Cross this Door”
Words by Louis Untermeyer
Music by Robert N. Quaile
#1 in Singing the Living Tradition
led by Jeannine Westbrook

May nothing evil cross this door,
and may ill fortune never pry about
these windows; may the roar
and rain go by.

By faith made strong, the rafters will
withstand the battering of the storm.
This hearth, though all the world grow chill,
will keep you warm.

Peace shall walk softly through these rooms,
touching our lips with holy wine,
till every casual corner blooms
into a shrine.

With laughter drown the raucous shout,
and, though these sheltering walls are thin,
may they be strong to keep hate out
and hold love in.

Introduction to the Service

First Reading:

From “Constellations of our Lives”
by Karen G. Johnston
read by Marsha Howland

First Speaker: Maureen Flanagan

Musical Meditation

Joys and Concerns 

Musical Meditation

Offering  

The recipients of our July outreach offering are the three area food banks serving residents in towns including Manchester, East Hartford, Ellington, South Windsor, Tolland and Vernon. They are MACC Food Bank, Hockanum Valley Food Pantry, and CT Mutual Aid East of the River Food Pantry.

Offering Music

“I Believe”
by Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl and Al Stillman
performed by Alan Ayers

Second Speaker: Rob Stolzman

Musical Meditation

Third Speaker: Marsha Howland

Second Reading:

“I Want to Be with People”
by Dana E. Worsnop
read by Marsha Howland

Closing Hymn 

“Go Lifted Up”
by Mortimer B. Barron
#1057 in Singing the Journey
led by Jeannine Westbrook

Go lifted up,
Love bless your way,
moonlight, starlight
guide your journey
into peace
and the brightness of day.

Extinguishing the Chalice and Closing Words 

Closing Circle 

May faith in the spirit of life
And hope for the community of earth
And love of the light in each other
Be ours now, and in all the days to come.

Postlude

Breakout Rooms 

 

Policy for Closing UUS:E in the Event of a Surge in Coronavirus Cases in Connecticut

(Adopted June 15th, 2021)

The UUS:E Policy Board will evaluate reclosing the building if:

  •        Any one metric over the threshold for 7 consecutive days (one week); or
  •        Any two metrics simultaneously over their thresholds for 5 consecutive days; or
  •        Any three metrics simultaneously over their thresholds for 3 consecutive days; or
  •        If the governor closes the state from holding indoor gatherings, the church will reclose immediately.

 

 

Policy and Protocols for (a soft) Reopening (Adopted June 15, 2021)

Effective from June 15th to October 3rd, 2021  
A.    Outdoor Meetings:
  1. Wearing masks outdoors is not required.
  2. Social distancing is not required.
  3. The maximum number of attendees for any outdoor meeting or event will be 75 people including staff. (Apply to the UUS:E Policy Board to wave this requirement.)
  4. Arrangements for using outdoor spaces must be scheduled with the office administrator to avoid duplicate meetings, and to allow staff to know that any group meeting outside the building is authorized.
  5. Event leaders are still urged to ask people to register with them for events ahead of time.  
 
B.     Sunday services, and general meetings of the congregation: 
1. From Sunday, June 20th through Sunday, September 3rd, the Sunday Services Committee and Rev. Josh will welcome a limited number of people to attend services in person. (Sign up by calling the UUS:E office.)
2. On Sunday, September 12th, we will revert to full hybrid worship, meaning that all are welcome to attend services in person; and we will continue to offer life-streaming so members and friends can view the services at home.
3.      The Meeting Room will be ventilated with open windows. (Necessary upgrades to our ventilation system should be completed by the end of September.)
4.      Masks will be worn by all people in the service at all times with the following exceptions:
a.       Children under the age of two will not need to wear masks. Parents of unmasked toddlers are urged to do what they can to help their children practice social distancing.
b.      Pulpit speakers may remove masks when speaking.
c.       Musicians may remove masks when performing.
5.      Modified social distancing should be practiced (protocols under development as of 6/15/21)
6.      Coffee and snacks will not be available inside the building until after October 3rd.
6.      During services, singing guidelines include:
a.       No in-person group or choral singing until further notice;
b.      One or two vaccinated musicians may sing from the chancel without wearing masks if they stay at least 12 feet distance from others.
c.       Congregants may sing or hum hymns while remaining masked.
7.      Offering baskets will be placed at exits for people to make donations. Baskets will not be passed during services.
 
C.    Religious Education For Children and Youth:
1.      Religious Education classes will be held outdoors, except in the event of rain or excessive heat.
2.      Masks do not need to be worn while outside.
3.      Refreshments and snacks will be outdoors, and in commercially prepackaged containers.
4.      In the event of rain or excessive heat, classes may move indoors with masks and social distancing; or plans may include multi-generational services in the meeting room so children can remain with their parents.
 
D.    Small group adult meetings (non-church groups, committee meetings, activities, etc.):     
1.      Meetings can be held at any location in the building, with windows open.
2.      If all those attending are fully vaccinated, the group can make a decision to remove masks and relax social distancing measures.
3.      If anyone in the group feels uncomfortable with the removal of masks and the relaxation of social distancing measures, group members will remain masked and will continue to practice social distancing, until a satisfactory solution can be worked out.
 
E.     Concerts, speakers, advertised events that are open to the public:
If such events take place prior to October 3rd, 2021, organizers will follow the protocols listed above for Sunday services. Specific concerns beyond these protocols can be addressed by staff.  
F.     Large scale church events (Trunk or treat, Fall Festival, Auction, etc.)
If such events take place prior to October 3rd 2021, organizers will follow the protocols listed above for Sunday services. Specific concerns beyond these protocols can be addressed by staff.
  
 

FAQs on a Soft Reopening, June 15th to October 5th

Courtesy of the UUS:E Emergency Preparedness Team, the following Frequently Asked Questions and responses may provide the information you are seeking about UUS:E’s soft reopening.

When can I start attending Sunday services? During the summer of 2021, the Sunday Services Committee and Rev. Josh will welcome a limited number of people into the meeting room to observe the production of our live-stream services. If you want to attend, you must sign up with the UUS:E office in advance. We anticipate launching regular, in-person services on September 12th.  At that time, we will no longer require advanced sign-ups.

Will we continue to live-stream our services once we’re fully back to in-person church? Yes. We have invested throughout the year in live-streaming technology, always with the plan to continue live-streaming indefinitely even as we return to regular, in-person Sunday services. We’ve realized during the pandemic that live-streaming our Sunday services allows us to connect with and include many people who, for a variety of reasons, cannot join us regularly for in-person worship.

What about other programs? Will there be virtual options so that people can participate from home? Yes – at least that is our goal. All programs offered at UUS:E will be presented simultaneously in person and through Zoom or some other virtual meeting platform. Having said that, we are aware that not every program leader has been trained in offering simultaneous in-person / virtual events. It will take time to achieve full “hybrid” programming. We ask for your patience.

Will we wear masks? For now, yes. Because some members of our community are not yet eligible to be vaccinated, and others are not able to be vaccinated for health reasons, we will reopen with a near-universal mask mandate. That is, at least until October, 2021, everyone (except children aged two and younger) will be asked to wear a mask , regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated. This policy is in alignment with our first Unitarian Universalist principle, “respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” In addition to children under age two, worship leaders, as well as certain musicians, will not wear masks while speaking or performing. We will review this policy at the end of summer and hope to relax mask wearing once vaccinations are available to everyone in our community.

What if everyone in a meeting is vaccinated? Do we still need to wear masks? If all those attending a meeting are fully vaccinated, the group can make a decision to remove masks and relax social distancing measures. However, until we re-evaluate our policies in October, if anyone in the group feels uncomfortable with the removal of masks and the relaxation of social distancing measures, group members will remain masked and will continue to practice social distancing until a satisfactory solution can be worked out.

Will the church ask my vaccination status? No. Anyone who feels comfortable is welcome to attend our worship services and other programs in person regardless of vaccination status.

What about advance sign-ups for other programs? For all other programs, committee meetings, gatherings, etc., leaders will communicate as to whether or not they want participants to sign up ahead of time.

What about Children’s Religious Education? RE for children and youth will continue to meet outdoors for the rest of the summer. In the event of rain or excessive heat, those classes will meet indoors.

When will the Sunday morning nursery re-open? We are anticipating the resumption of nursery on September 12th, 2021.

Will we have coffee hour? Not yet. Our current policy states that we will not provide coffee or snacks during the first few months of reopening. We anticipate that we will reinstate coffee hour in the fall of 2021. In the meantime, if anyone is running an event for which they would like to serve food, they may apply for a waiver from the Policy Board.

Will we sing hymns? Not yet. As we know, singing is one of the most effective ways of spreading airborne disease. We will wait until September, 2021 to determine how to reinstate congregational and choral singing at UUS:E.

Does the sanctuary look like a TV studio? Not anymore! Over the next few months we will be adding some new technologies to enhance the live streaming of our services. We will make these enhancements as invisible as possible.

Can I sit wherever I want? Not exactly. In addition to our near-universal mask mandate, we will also institute social distancing measures for the first few months of reopening. As of writing this FAQ, we do not know exactly what the social distancing protocols will be for Sunday services. We will do our best to give clear directions when people arrive for Sunday services. For all other programs, we ask that participants follow the social distancing directions provided by leaders.

Will I appear on camera?  Possibly. If you are involved in the delivery of a Sunday service, you can anticipate being on camera. If you are sitting in the sanctuary for worship, the back of your head may show up on camera from time to time in a wide-angle shot of the entire congregation.

Will we continue to use videos in worship? Yes. At least that is our goal. Many people have asked that we continue to use videos. We are currently investigating the best way to do this so that people at home and people in the sanctuary can view a video in worship at the same time.

Other questions? Please e-mail me at [email protected] with any questions you may have.

 

“This Is What Reopening Looks Like!” — UUS:E Virtual Worship, May 23, 2021

Gathering Music (Mary Bopp) (begins at 9:50)

Welcome (Gina Campellone)

Announcements (Rev. Josh Pawelek)

Centering (Gina Campellone)

Prelude

“Better Things”
by Dar Williams
performed by Carole Capen-Kargher

Chalice Lighting and Opening Words

“Always there is a beginning”
Adapted from Edward Searl
#172 in Lifting Our Voices

Always there is a beginning—
A new day
A new month,
A new season,
A new year.

Forever the old passes away
And newness emerges
From the richness that was.

Nothing is ever lost
In the many changes
Time brings

What was, in some way,
Will be,
Though changed in form. 

Always, there is a beginning—
A new day,
A new month
A new season.
A new year.

Opening Hymn 

“Gather the Spirit”
by Jim Scott
#347 in Singing the Living Tradition
led by Carole Capen-Kargher

Gather the spirit, harvest the power.
Our sep’rate fires will kindle one flame.
Witness the mystery of this hour.
Our trials in this light appear all the same.

(Chorus)
Gather in peace, gather in thanks.
Gather in sympathy now and then.
Gather in hope, compassion and strength.
Gather to celebrate once again.

Gather the spirit of heart and mind.
Seeds for the sowing are laid in store.
Nurtured in love, and conscience refined,
with body and spirit united once more.

(Chorus)

Gather the spirit growing in all,
drawn by the moon and fed by the sun.
Winter to spring, and summer to fall,
the chorus of life resounding as one.

(Chorus)

New Member Welcome

This morning we welcome the following new members to our congregation:

Gina Mango
Maureen Flanagan
Ann Simon
Stephen Simon
Ginny Bennett
Robin Byrne

We also welcome Peg Darrah, who signed the membership book in May of 2020.

The Charge (Minister)

As you take up membership in the Unitarian Universalist Society: East, I charge you to share with us who you are. Share your creativity, your experiences, your questions, your doubts, your beliefs, and all your discoveries of life’s meaning. I charge you to shake us up with your ideas, to stir us up with your conscience, to inspire us with your actions, and to stimulate our hopes with your dreams of what life can be.

Congregational Welcome (Congregation)

We welcome you as companions in the search for truth and meaning. We invite you to share in our mission of caring for one another, encouraging each other in spiritual growth, working for justice and peace in the wider community, and living in harmony with the earth. We join our gifts with yours, trusting in the power of community to bring freedom, healing, and love.

New Member Affirmation (New members)

We join the Unitarian Universalist Society: East out of a desire and willingness to participate in a liberal religious congregation. We pledge to share our time, energy and gifts; to diligently seek our spiritual truths; and to strengthen the bonds of community.

Signing the Membership Book

Responsorial Hymn

“What is this Church?”
words adapted from Eugene Sander
music by Jean Sibelius
led by Rev. Josh Pawelek

What is this church?
A place of love and gladness
Where all may meet to seek the
common good

A source of strength to face each
doubt and sadness
Where every dream is known and
understood

What is this church? Ask those who came before
And found themselves by crossing
through its door.

Joys and Concerns

Offering

The recipients of our May community outreach offering are MARC, Inc. and MARCH, Inc.

Marc, Inc. provides advocacy, employment, residential, respite and retirement services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. March, Inc. provides residential programs and supportive living programs to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.

Offering Music

“Something to Get Through”
by Dar Williams
performed by Carole Capen-Kargher

Homily “This is What Reopening Looks Like!” (Rev. Josh Pawelek and Gina Campellone)

Closing Hymn

“We Give Thanks”
by Wendy Luella Perkins
#1010 in Singing the Journey
led by Carol Capen-Kargher

Oh, we give thanks for this precious day,
For all gather’d here, and those far away;
For this time (food) we share with love and care,
Oh, we give thanks for this precious day.

Extinguishing the Chalice

Closing Circle

Postlude

Annual Meeting

 

Proposed 2021-2022 UUS:E Operating Budget

Read here: Board Approved Budget Proposal FY 22 w salaries

Treasurer’s comments on the Proposed Budget

The Policy Board is proposing a balanced budget for the upcoming  fiscal year 22.  Expected income and expected expenses are each projected to be $527,550.

Expected income includes pledges, traditional fundraisers, other income and a drawdown on Reserves.

Pledges are up 2.7%, and fundraisers are budgeted lower than historical levels due to the uncertain impact of Covid pandemic recovery.

Included in other income is a new category, Anticipated Income of $15,000.  Historically we have typically ended the fiscal year better than projected by approximately $15,000.  We receive unexpected additional donations and gifts and spend slightly less in various expense categories.  It has been difficult to project and budget these and we have presented unbalanced budgets in the past.  This year we wanted to return to balanced budgets, and so created this new line item.   While historically we have realized this amount, there is a risk it will not materialize.

We are budgeting drawdowns from reserves of $34,550, which includes $10,000 from our endowment fund.  The fund permits transfers for operating expenses, although we have only done it once before.   Withdrawals are only made from the income earned portion of the fund, never the principal.

Expenses include a 2% increase for our staff, with no new positions added.  Our goal is to compensate our staff according to UUA guidelines, and we have achieved that except for our minister.  We are approximately $20,000 below the ministerial guidelines for a church our size.  There is a $4,000 increase in this budget to begin to address the difference.

Administrative expenses are increasing $4,400; our UUA annual dues are up $2,000 to $2,780, and our telephone/internet expense is up $2,400 for improvements for Zoom services.

Building and Grounds budget is down $6,000, primarily due to mortgage expense  declining from $37,000 to $32,500 based on interest rate reduction and additional principal payments.

Program expenses are increasing by $1,500, which is our dues for the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance (GHIAA), and Religious Education budget remains unchanged.

 

 

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

Unitarian Universalist Society: East
Policy
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.