A Message from Our President – Building Use
Editor Albany UU | Sep 15, 2020
Dear Members and Friends,
I hope you and yours are faring well during the pandemic. While this has been a difficult time, I’m heartened by the community we’ve been able to sustain virtually. I know, too, that folks have been wondering about the status of the building, so I wanted to take this time to provide you with an update.
First and foremost, our building is closed.
Staff occasionally use the building for a limited time when there are tasks that cannot be accomplished offsite. There are others who enter the building to perform limited tasks, such as the handling of our finances, watering plants, checking plumbing, etc. And we are very grateful for those who are helping to keep things going in the absence of regular use.
However, the building is beginning to see more traffic than what is described above. It’s important that we all continue to treat the building as closed and refrain from using it as a site of convenience. Staff makes a point of scheduling their time in the building so as to minimize, as much as possible, contact with other staff who might need to use the building. The point of that is defeated when members are turning up during those times. And our commitment to staff safety is compromised.
So, we’re going to implement a strategy to help manage building traffic for use that is deemed necessary to the work of the congregation. This strategy would need to be implemented anyway in the event of a gradual reopening in order to comply with NYS regulation. We’re going to start using it now to manage the limited use we’re already seeing. The new procedure is as follows:
  1. All members and friends must receive pre-clearance from staff (at this point, Tammy: admin@albanyuu.org) before entering the building. This will enable staff to schedule those who need to enter the building so that there is minimal overlap among individuals. The assumption is that these visits will be brief.
  2. Each individual needs to fill out a short health survey prior to or immediately upon entry of the building, each time they enter. The survey is available online (preferred) and will be in paper form at the membership desk if needed.
  3. All members, friends and staff must wear a mask while in the building.
  4. Members and friends will please limit the duration and frequency of time spent in the building.
Staff will provide further details about this process as necessary. I thank you in advance for your support of this strategy and for prioritizing the safety of staff, members and friends of our congregation.
Finally, the Board is finalizing a set of guidelines for the Ministries and Operations Team to use at some point when considering whether a function may be held in the building, and establishing criteria for its use. Here, too, the baseline assumption will be that most functions will continue to be held virtually.
Thank you for all you do on behalf of our beloved congregation.
Patti Jo Newell