Beacon Safety Guidelines and Resources for COVID-19

Dear members and friends,

We are a community that believes in connecting, caring, and supporting each other’s health and well-being. With this in mind, here is some important information below:

  • Mental Health Resources that have been suggested to us.
  • Small Group Guidelines (July 1–Sept 6, 2021): In light of the Provincial Health Officer’s province-wide recommendations.

If you have any questions or concerns, please use the Beacon Board contact form. We will do our best to support each other through this.

Mental health resources suggested to us:

  1. “No, How Are You, Really? Acceptable answers to this suddenly complicated question,” article by May Pang: https://medium.com/@alwaysmay/no-how-are-you-really-468c0087b75
  2. “How to be Your Best in Times of Crisis” A TED Talk by psychologist Susan David (recommended by a therapist). In a special virtual conversation, she shares wisdom on how to build resilience, courage and joy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. She offers ways to talk to your children about their emotions, keep focus during the crisis and help those working on the front lines. https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_david_how_to_be_your_best_self_in_times_of_crisis?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare
  3. Kelty’s Key – a free on-line service funded by Vancouver Coastal Health www.keltyskey.comYou can tailor it for: anxiety, chronic pain, complicated grief, depression, family support, insomnia, panic, substance abuse.
  4. Little Oaks Psychology have a series of free resources they called “crisis and isolation supports” and include free 20 min consults, weekly group parenting workshops, free online therapy groups for teens & youth and more: https://www.littleoakspsychology.com/new-services
  5. Online Therapy, E-Therapy, or Tele-therapy however you call it has quickly gained popularity as it has become essential way for counselling to continue in this time of physical isolation. Perhaps people could search ‘therapist in my area’ to find something that works for them.
  6. Starling Minds has developed a free program in response to COVID-19 and it unpacks how what we are feeling (whatever that may be) is normal and provides a series of cognitive behaviour therapy “how to” videos. https://info.starlingminds.com/covid-19-b2c-faq
  7. Bounceback BC https://bouncebackbc.ca/was a recommendation of Dr. Bonnie Henry during a recent press conference.

We know that people have different needs, and will have different experiences, so we ask you to follow what feels appropriate for you and your family. We aren’t able to guarantee the quality or experience you will have, or how quickly these agencies can respond to your needs. We do want to offer you some resources that we hope may be of use.

Beacon COVID-19 Safety Guidelines (July to Sept. 6, 2021)

Beacon’s plan is based on the Provincial Health Officer’s orders and your Beacon Pulse Survey 2021 feedback. We are applying a higher level of care in Beacon’s COVID-19 Safety Plan because more of our congregation members are in higher risk groups.

Beacon is a covenantal community — we live by our promises to one another — and ours is a culture of consent.

This COVID-19 Safety Plan is to reduce or mitigate risk. It is to be used by those attending Beacon in-person outdoor events, or engaging in any Beacon business that involves in-person contact with others. Updates to Beacon’s COVID-19 Safety Plan will be sent by email to those on Beacon This Week e-news group, posted on our website and mailed to those members not online.

Beacon recommends the following guidelines: 

  • Beacon supports on-line groups and events via Beacon’s Zoom account.
  • Beacon will suspend all indoor in-person events.
  • Beacon allows outdoor in-person events of up to 15 people, up to 90 minutes long, following ‘Outdoor In-Person Event Requirements’ (below).
  • If there are members unable to make an outdoor event perhaps alternate gathering between outdoor and Zoom. Include others by alternating so all can also communicate in meaningful ways.
  • If a new group or an individual wishes to hold an outdoor in-person Beacon event, they must first contact the Board at board@beaconunitarian.org to request permission. If permission is granted, follow the Outdoor In-Person Events Requirements below.
  • Rites of Passage (such as weddings and Celebrations of Life), Pastoral Support Visits and Volunteer and Staff Work can be done within the protocols listed below under their specific headings.

Outdoor In-Person Event Requirements

  • All those attending are required to wear a mask (special exceptions allowed for medical purposes only). Eye-protection is also recommended (e.g., regular glasses or sunglasses). These measures are for extra precautions for those at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, including older people, those who are not vaccinated, and/or those with chronic health conditions.
  • Anyone who feels sick stay home and get tested immediately.
  • People need to stay at home if any of their direct family members (or people they have regular contact with) have cold or flu-like symptoms, including coughing, runny nose, sore throat and/or fatigue. For a more complete set of symptoms, use BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool. Also people should stay home if anyone they’re in contact with has tested positive for COVID-19 and follow up about whether they need to get a COVID-19 test.

Each Beacon event has an Event Safety Designate who:

  • Ensures the event being held is within the requirements of the most recent PHO Gatherings and Events Order – check the most current information – as well as this Beacon COVID-19 Safety Plan.
    • Submits their Beacon Event Safety Plan to safety@beaconunitarian.org for approval at least one week before the event and only proceeds if it is approved.
  • Informs participants that if they feel unwell after a Beacon outdoor in-person event, to complete the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool and if it indicates they may have COVID-19 symptoms that the Event Safety Designate needs to be informed.

Event Safety Plan Preparations:

  • Schedule the event for between 60-90 minutes.
  • Measure the outdoor space you plan to gather in, allowing extra space in addition to the 2 metres between people, so people can move safely. The event’s total participant number can be up to a maximum of 15. Have a plan to address things if the group becomes too large and safety parameters you’ve set are breached.
  • Have a seat for every participant (with 2 metres distance between those not in the same household/bubble).
  • Defer to those who can take the fewest risks. For example, you may want to designate special seating for those who are the least risk-tolerant away from any areas where there is higher traffic.
  • Include safety protocols for accessing a washroom.
  • A canopy can be used outside to protect people from sun or rain as long as it doesn’t have sides, allowing for adequate air flow.
  • 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.

The Event Safety Designate:

    • provides to anyone interested in attending a copy of the Event Safety Plan 5 days before the event. Each session (i.e. week) is treated as a separate event.
    • Asks people to RSVP ahead of time.
  • Has all participants complete a Participant Consent Form (available from safety@beaconunitarian.org ) two days prior to the event.
    • Keeps a list of the names, emails and/or phone numbers of people who attended the event (for contact tracing). Let participants know their contact information will be sent to Beacon’s Administrative Support adminsupport@beaconunitarian.org or by phone 778-791-7952 and kept for 30 days following the event.

At The Event:

  • Masks are to be worn when less than 2 metres away from others.
  • 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 .
  • Have hand sanitizer available that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Do not share food, utensils, glasses and dishes. Request people bring their own refreshments and not share. Masks can be removed while eating and drinking.
  • Avoid shouting, singing or loud cheering; COVID droplets travel.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces: doorknobs, bathrooms and other surfaces.
  • Practice good hygiene: regular hand washing; avoiding touching your face; covering coughs and sneezes
  • Greet each other with a smile and wave. No handshaking or hugs with people outside of your “bubble” (your household and others you have chosen to be part of your immediate small circle).
  • Consider those in high-risk categories who choose to attend by suggesting they sit in an area with less human traffic.
  • Visual cues can be helpful. Print available posters (links available at end of document).
  • Special permission has to be given in writing by Beacon Music Committee co-chairs before the event for singing or playing wind instruments to be part of a Beacon event this summer: contact the co-chairs through Admin Support through Beacon website form

Rites of Passage 

(Officiants: Beacon Minister and Lay Chaplains)

 Note: the Minister is on holidays in July and study leave August 7-22

  1. Rites of passage (weddings, Celebrations of Life/memorials, child-dedications, etc.):
    1. Follow the Provincial Health Office order for mass gatherings, weddings and funerals, including but not limited to, number of people, seating distance, contact tracing, etc. All decisions about restrictions will also take into account venue requirements, and acceptance by the officiant. (Consider any specific additions like masks – required with health accommodations as requested.)
    2. Religious rituals that involve contact between individuals may need to be altered in keeping with the PHO orders and Beacon protocols.
  1. For Celebrations of Life/memorials:
  2. If in-person service is wanted, officiant will work with family to create an online service and facilitate service; help family to create memorial for family to facilitate; OR provide in-person service following the protocols below for all in-person rites of passage.
  3. If online memorial is wanted: officiant will work with family to create service and will facilitate service.
  4. For weddings:

Officiant will perform the ceremony if PHO orders are followed and a safety plan agreed upon by the officiant and the couple. For all in-person rites of passage:

    1. The specific rite of passage safety plan is written by the family and approved by the officiant; the plan must also be in keeping with the PHO orders and the Beacon Safety Plan protocols. The safety plan will also include the following statements:

If the safety plan isn’t followed, the officiant reserves the right to not continue officiating until necessary changes are made;

If the PHO announces further restrictions between the time of booking the rite of passage and the time of its occurrence, then the new PHO guidelines will apply.

    1. The family/couple will provide the officiant with a list of participants’ contact names, phone numbers and emails for contract tracing purposes and the officiant will keep that list for 30 days, then destroy it.
    2. The officiant will submit the safety plan to the Beacon’s COVID-19 Safety Task Force for approval.
  1. The BC Centre for Disease Control advises that playing instruments or singing will lead to increased risk of COVID-19 transmission if proper precautions are not taken. (For additional guidance, refer to the ​BCCDC guidance on choirs and bands​.) In-person singing or playing wind-instruments in a Rite of Passage must be negotiated with each officiant, and the agreements and protocols included in the rite of passage safety plan.

Pastoral Support Visits

by Minister, Pastoral Support Team and designates

Pastoral support will primarily remain over the phone or zoom (with the pastoral visitors and minister making some in-person visits).

Visiting Protocol:

  1. Outside if possible. These apply to the pastoral visitor and the person visited: wearing a mask, 2 metre physical distancing, and other hygiene protocols. Keep the visit to one hour or less (if there are extraordinary circumstances, 90 minutes maximum).
  2. At their discretion, indoor visits are possible if the person visited would like that and the pastoral visitor is comfortable with doing that. These apply to the pastoral visitor and the person visited: wearing masks, 2 metre physical distancing, other hygiene protocols, and keeping the visit to one hour or less.
  3. Food and drink: bring your own.
  4. In the Pastoral Care Actions google document, note all in-person visits: name, date and contract information for contact tracing purposes.

Administrative Functions

  1. Beacon staff and volunteers continue with work-from-home safety arrangements:
  2. Communicate via phone, email or Zoom
  3. Conduct online meetings.
    1. If a committee, or staff and volunteers wish to meet as a group outside in-person this summer, they must complete an Event Safety Plan and have it approved by the COVID-19 Safety Task Force before they can meet. The same limits of up to 15 participants apply.
    2. While planning for the fall services and programming in August, any indoor in-person meeting and safety training must receive Board approval, complete an Event Safety Plan and have it approved by the COVID-19 Safety Task Force before they can meet.
  4. When it is necessary to give or receive an item, either agree on a drop off place where the item can be left and picked up at differing times, or both people wear masks and meet outside to do an in-person exchange (to reduce the risk of transmission).
  5. Beacon’s office will not be used for work by staff or volunteers. If resources are needed from the office, consultation is needed with the Lundervilles (in whose home the office is situated).
Resources