Beacon Unitarian Church Communicable Disease Plan

Beacon is a covenantal community.
We live by our promises to one another.
Ours is a culture of consent

Because many in our congregation are in a higher risk group, we are applying a higher level of care in Beacon’s Communicable Disease Plan.  We will be cooperating with local and provincial health authorities and will implement additional prevention measures as required by a medical health officer or the provincial health officer to deal with communicable diseases in our workplace or region, should those be necessary. 

On July 1, we entered Step 3 of BC’s Restart Plan. Step 3 involves removing the Health Orders that had been in place, and replacing our COVID-19 Safety Plan with Communicable Disease Prevention guidelines. (Read more about WorkSafe BC’s Communicable Disease Prevention Guidelines HERE, and BC’s Step 3 Restart Plan HERE).

Beacon will continue these ongoing measures to prevent the spread of disease and requests anyone holding in-person Beacon events to follow them.

For all in-person Beacon events:

  • We ask staff and congregants to STAY HOME if they are sick with symptoms that could indicate a communicable disease (fever and/or chills, recent onset of coughing, diarrhea). For a more complete set of symptoms, use BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool.
  • People need to stay at home if any of their direct family members or people they have regular contact with are ill or have tested positive for COVID-19; attendees will follow up to determine whether they need to get a COVID-19 test.
  • Well-fitting masks are required for indoor events for everyone 12 and older, and recommended for children aged two to 12.  There are exemptions for:
    • People with health conditions or with physical, cognitive or mental impairments who cannot wear one
    • People who cannot remove a mask on their own
    • People who need to remove their masks to communicate due to another person’s hearing impairment
  • Everyone who is fully vaccinated is welcome to participate. Please show your picture ID and Heath Authority Vaccine Card or your BC Vaccine Card when arriving.  (More COVID-19 Vaccine info HERE).
  • Consider others’ comfort level and respect personal space – everyone is moving at their own pace.  Maintain 2 metre physical distancing unless you have the other person’s consent to be in closer proximity.
  • Ensure space ventilation is properly maintained.
  • Promote hand hygiene by providing hand sanitizer and alcohol spray to use in disinfecting hands and surfaces.  Provide signs to remind staff and congregants to wash their hands regularly and to use appropriate hygiene practices.
  • Maintain a clean environment through routine cleaning processes.
  • Avoid shouting or loud cheering and discourage blowing out of candles; COVID droplets travel.
  • Request special permission in writing from the Beacon Music Committee co-chairs before the event if the host expects that singing and/or playing wind instruments will be involved.

Additional requirements for events not held at the Sapperton Pensioners’ Hall:

  • Each event will have an organizer or host.
  • Outside events – total participant number can be up to 50% of the usual seated capacity; seating will be available for each participant. 
  • Inside events – participant number can be up to 50% of the usual seated capacity, or 50 persons, whichever is greater.  Participants, other than a program for children or youth, remain seated and do not move around unless
    • getting up to speak or read is necessary for the purpose of the event
    • using a self-service food or drink station
    • using washroom facilities, or
    • providing assistance to another person who requires care or first aid.
  • The space capacity will be included in all notices of the event and posted at the event.
  • Participants will be seated throughout the space in such a way as to use all available space.
  • The organizer or host will:
    • Keep a list of participants for 14 days after the event, in case of subsequent illness, when we would want to inform attendees.
    • Ask those who RSVP for the event what might help them feel less at risk and then find ways to accommodate or let them know if you can’t meet their needs.
    • Consider those in high-risk categories who choose to attend by providing seating in an area with less human traffic.
    • Ensure the washroom is always well stocked with liquid soap, paper towels or single-use cloth towels, a waste basket, and that warm running water is available. In the washroom, put up a Hand-Washing Poster Hand Washing .
  • See that hand sanitation supplies are readily available to participants.
    • If the event involves food or drink we recommend
      • Hand washing facilities or alcohol-based sanitizers are within easy reach.
      • Signs reminding participants to wash or sanitize their hands before touching self-serve food, drink or other items, are posted.
      • High touch surfaces at the station, and utensils that are used for self-serve, are frequently cleaned and sanitized

Additional requirements for events at Sapperton Pensioner’s Hall, following the Sapperton Old Age Pensioners Association (SOAPA) Guidelines:

  • Each event will have a liaison or host.
  • People need to RSVP ahead of time.
  • Use of hand sanitizer when entering both upper and lower levels of the building and as needed during the event.
  • Both upstairs and downstairs have a maximum occupancy of 50 persons for each level.  Participants, other than children under 12, remain seated and do not move around unless
    • getting up to speak or read is necessary for the purpose of the event
    • using washroom facilities, or
    • providing assistance to another person who requires care or first aid.
  • The space capacity will be included in all notices of the event and posted at the event.
  • Depending on the number of congregants attending, chairs should be placed a minimum of 6’ apart and 8’ apart if fewer than 50 attendees.  All tables must be spaced 6’ apart.
  • Participants can bring drinks and snacks for their own consumption; they are not to be shared. (Sapperton’s kitchen is closed at this time.)
  • SOAPA Mask policy:
    • Masks are Required while not actively engaged in physical activity.
    • Masks are Optional while:
      •  actively engaged in physical activity or eating and drinking.
      • speaking, and distanced, as part of a service or lecture.
      • communicating with a person for whom visual cues, facial expressions, lip-reading or lip movements are essential.
    • Masks are Recommended for Children aged 2 – 12 years of age.
    • Masks should NOT be worn by Children under 2 years of age.
    • Please practice Social Distancing whenever possible.
  • For music and singing:
    • no singing or wind instruments permitted due to droplets.
    • No humming.
    • One person, unmasked, singing solo while playing the piano, 20’ from the congregation is permitted.
    • One soloist, unmasked, 20’ from both the pianist and the congregation is permitted.
  • Clean up:
    • Everyone does their own cleanup and puts their own garbage in the garbage cans.  The garbage bags will be double bagged and put in an outside bin.
  • Capacity for elevator use and washrooms:
    • Limit of 1 person at a time in the elevator, unless assistance is needed to operate the elevator.
    • Limit of 2 people at a time in the washrooms.
  • The event liaison or host will:
    • Keep a list of participants for 14 days after the event, in case of subsequent illness, when we would want to inform attendees.
    • Ask those who RSVP for the event what might help them feel less at risk and then find ways to accommodate or let them know if you can’t meet their needs.
    • Consider those in high-risk categories who choose to attend by providing seating in an area with less human traffic.
    • Ensure the washroom is always well stocked with liquid soap, paper towels or single-use cloth towels, a waste basket, and that warm running water is available. In the washroom, put up a Hand-Washing Poster Hand Washing .
  • See that hand sanitation supplies are readily available to participants.
  • Ensure:
    • High touch surfaces are frequently cleaned and sanitized.
    • Frequently touched surfaces (such as doorknobs, bathrooms and other surfaces) are cleaned and sanitized just before, during and after the event.
    • Tables, chairs, and any other equipment is sanitized and put away afterwards, if Beacon does the tear-down.
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