The board’s COVID UPDATE – JAN 15, 2021

Your Board of Directors wants you to know how UFP is staying on top of COVID-19 (even if you are probably as tired as we are of hearing about it).

The first thing you should know is that there is a COVID-19 Committee that is responsible for monitoring changing conditions and recommending actions to the board. This committee has been very busy this week with the latest announcements from the Ontario Government.

As you have certainly seen, we have been holding virtual Sunday services over Zoom since March 15. Our amazing technical team has learned a lot about Zoom since we started and continues to improve every week. The team has expanded over time so that the work does not all fall to the same few people.

We continue to run our virtual services with a central location in the sanctuary and other people joining in from home. Reverend Julie and Linda Clark are present in the sanctuary but they are positioned so that they are further apart than the recommended 2 metres.

We continue to work with Reverend Julie and Linda to ensure a safe environment for the Sunday services. At the same time it is important to allow them the flexibility to create the best online experience for those watching and listening from home. Face coverings are in place most of the time and we are working to create plexiglass screening to create an additional barrier.

You may also know that Reverend Julie works most of the time from her office in the Fellowship. The COVID-19 Committee has reviewed this with Julie and feel confident that it conforms to the current “Emergency Stay at Home Orders”. Other staff and volunteers work primarily from home with infrequent, short trips to the office so there is almost no interaction between people. Furthermore there is a “Workplace Safety Plan” in place documenting the measures we have in place.

Finally, we previously announced that we would not be resuming in person services before the end of January. Given current conditions, and in light of responses to December’s survey, our message is now that we will not reopen until it is safe to do so and we don’t foresee that happening before late Spring or September.

Please feel secure that the COVID-19 committee is monitoring changes carefully and that we will keep you posted about any developments and how they influence us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued commitment to safety and to our community.

Guy Hanchet

“Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency.” – Rebecca Solnit