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  Temple Beth Shalom Phases for Building Reopening

These guidelines are in place for the safety and health of our Temple Beth Shalom community and are subject to change at the discretion of temple leadership. 

Resource: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/covid-19-dashboards

 

Page updated Oct. 14, 2021

The City of Austin is currently in Stage 3 of Covid-19 risk-based guidelines, which means Temple Beth Shalom is in the "Stage 3: Less Restrictive Access" phase of our building reopening plan. See below for details.

 

Also see our main Covid webpage for forms to request seating at Shabbat services, private reflection time in the sanctuary, health screening form and more.

 

City of Austin Stage 5: Limited Access

  • Masks (covering mouth and nose) are mandatory for all indoor and outdoor temple-sponsored gatherings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • High-risk individuals are strongly encouraged to stay home.
  • All Erev Shabbat services will be available online, and some Erev Shabbat services will be held in the sanctuary with limited attendance capped at 30. Guests may be able to reserve a seat for Erev Shabbat services based on availability.
  • B’nai mitzvah candidates have the option for a virtual or in-person sanctuary service. Sanctuary services will have an attendance cap of 30 people per family (not including clergy or volunteers) and abbreviated service content.
  • Religious School classes will meet online.
  • All temple meetings should be conducted virtually.
  • Funerals, memorials, and weddings will be limited to 30 people. No in-home shiva minyans or pastoral visits.
  • Members and visitors are allowed to visit the temple with prior reservation.
  • No food or drink allowed, including oneg and Kiddush.

 

Note: Attendance caps are subject to change based on local health data and recommendation of the Building Reopening Task Force.

Metrics to Move Forward

City of Austin must be Stage 4 or lower, in addition to guidance from the Building Reopening Task Force.


City of Austin Stage 4: Guarded Access

  • Masks (covering mouth and nose) are mandatory for all indoor and outdoor temple-sponsored gatherings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • High-risk individuals are strongly encouraged to stay home.
  • All Erev Shabbat services will be online, and some Erev Shabbat services will be held in the sanctuary with limited attendance capped at 60. Guests may be able to reserve a seat for Erev Shabbat services based on availability.
  • Religious School classes will meet in-person along with an option for online classes. In-person classes will utilize outdoor space to the maximum potential. Some classes will convene indoors.
  • B’nai mitzvah candidates have the option for a virtual or in-person sanctuary service. Sanctuary services will have an attendance cap of 60 people per family (not including clergy or volunteers) and abbreviated service content.
  • Meetings should be conducted virtually when possible. If an in-person meeting is necessary, the number of participants will be limited (to allow for social distancing) based on available space.
  • Funerals, memorials, and weddings will be limited to 60 people. Shiva minyans are encouraged to be held online; however, if it is in someone's home, limited attendance based on space.
  • Members and visitors are allowed to visit the temple with prior reservation.
  • No food or drink allowed, including oneg and Kiddush.
  • Pastoral visits will be conducted at the discretion of the clergy.

 

Note: Attendance caps are subject to change based on local health data and recommendation of the Building Reopening Task Force.

Metrics to Move Back

City of Austin moves to Stage 5, in addition to guidance from the Building Reopening Task Force.

Metrics to Move Forward

City of Austin must be Stage 3 or lower in addition to guidance from the Building Reopening Task Force.


City of Austin Stage 3 or Stage 2: Less Restrictive Access (this is our current phase)

  • Masks (covering mouth and nose) are required for Stage 3 and optional for Stage 2 for fully vaccinated people at all indoor and outdoor temple events. Masks are required for partially or unvaccinated people.
  • High risk individuals are strongly encouraged to stay home.
  • All Erev Shabbat services will be online, and some Erev Shabbat services will be held in the sanctuary with limited attendance capped at 60 for Stage 3 and 100 for Stage 2. Guests may be able to reserve a seat for Erev Shabbat services based on availability.
  • B’nai mitzvah candidates have the option for a virtual or in-person sanctuary service. Sanctuary services will have an attendance cap of 60 people per family for Stage 3 and 100 people per family for Stage 2 (not including clergy or volunteers) and abbreviated service content.
  • Religious School classes will meet in-person along with an option for online classes. In-person classes will meet indoors. Where appropriate and available, outdoor spaces will be utilized.
  • Meetings can be conducted either virtually or in-person. If an in-person meeting is necessary, the number of participants will be limited (to allow for social distancing) based on available space.
  • Funerals, memorials, and weddings are limited to 60 people in the sanctuary. Shiva minyans are encouraged to be held online; however, if it is in someone's home, limited attendance based on space. Members and visitors are allowed to visit the temple with prior reservation.
  • Members and visitors are allowed to visit the temple with prior reservation.
  • Clergy may choose face-to-face pastoral and hospital visits following City of Austin guidelines for safe visits.
  • Limited onegs will be considered.
  • No Kiddush allowed in Stage 3. Kiddush allowed in Stage 2 following best practice in place for handling food (e.g. servers, no buffet, etc.).

 

Note: Attendance caps are subject to change based on local health data and recommendation of the Building Reopening Task Force.

Metrics to Move Back

City of Austin moves to Stage 4 or higher, in addition to guidance from the Building Reopening Task Force.

Metrics to Move Forward

City of Austin must be Stage 1, in addition to guidance from the Building Reopening Task Force.


City of Austin is in Stage 1

  • Masks are optional for fully vaccinated people at all indoor and outdoor temple events. Masks are required for partially or unvaccinated people.
  • High-risk individuals are strongly encouraged to stay home.
  • Religious services and events will be held at the temple, following best practice guidelines determined for safe capacity and number of attendees.
  • Religious services and events will be held at the temple, following best practice guidelines determined for safe capacity and number of attendees.
  • Lifecycle events may be held in the building, following best practice guidelines determined for safe capacity and number of attendees.
  • Onegs and Kiddush may be allowed with servers in place.
  • Receptions may be held with best practices in place for handling food (e.g. servers, no buffet, etc.).

Metrics to Move Back

City of Austin moves to Stage 2 or higher, in addition to guidance from the Building Reopening Task Force.  

While no one can guarantee an environment will be completely safe, we have studied and addressed many factors of building environment, including air flow. As part of our effort to provide a safe and healthy environment in our building we have researched standards and publications from a variety of sources, including the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, CDC and NASA among others. 

Based on this research and advice, we will be operating our equipment that brings outside air into the building at least 24 hours prior to and constantly during the time a space is occupied. We will also have the fans in the heating/air conditioning operating at least 24 hours prior to and constantly during the times spaces are occupied. In addition, we will be servicing and replacing filters in our heating/air conditioning systems more frequently.

We have purchased stand alone HEPA filtering units as appropriate for smaller contained spaces such as offices or meeting rooms. It is important in these more confined spaces that the air be ‘turned over’ more frequently. HEPA filters have been found to be the most reliable way of quickly and effectively filtering virus particles, including COVID, from the air. A maintenance protocol based on manufacturer recommendations has also been put in place.
 
Though these steps involve additional costs that have not been anticipated in our current budget, the staff, Board of Trustees, and advisors have made them a priority.
Of course, as we all know, in spite of the measures we are taking, it is critical you do your part by wearing an effective mask, distancing, and getting vaccinated when available.

 

 

Disclaimer: All temple sponsored in-person events and services must adhere temple protocols. When the temple is notified of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in someone who has been in our building, Austin Public Health Department will be notified. Any contact tracing, notifications, or other recommendations made by the Health Department will be handled by the temple accordingly.

 

Re-Opening Task Force Members: Patti Bridwell, Elana Bizer, Sharon Hausman-Cohen, Lori Freedman, Rabbi Freedman, Karen Fingerman, Dennis Gross, Jennifer Kramer, Lori Levy, Noreen Long, Jordan Magidson, Sheldon Markowitz, Mark Salmanson

Fri, October 22 2021 16 Cheshvan 5782