Covid-19 Planning January Update

Individuals who need to visit our campus for pre-approved, mission critical tasks, must complete the below linked tracing form to the best of their ability after visiting campus.  Best sanitary practices must be followed for their, as well as staff’s and other volunteers’, safety. Thank you.

Campus Visit Form

The 1stUUPB Reopening Task Force met again on January 27. We are monitoring the Covid-19 situation in Palm Beach County and in general. Although we would like to get back to services as normal as we know you all would, for many reasons we feel that it is not judicious yet to begin meeting in person. 1stUUPB will remain at the stage of “touchless” outdoor events and mission critical maintenance for the moment. Please fill in the quick Potential Online Contact Tracing form if you need to be on campus for mission critical activities indoors, or meeting with others. Please read the Guidelines for Outdoor Events if you are the coordinator of an event and also fill in the online form after the event. Individuals and individual families are welcome to visit our campus, outdoors only, and need not fill out the form. 

The UUA is updating its guidance regularly, and they did so on December 17, 2020 and again on January 29, 2021. They are still recommending ongoing virtual gatherings, “In the midst of uncertainty, the UUA stands by our spring 2020 recommendation that congregations plan for ongoing virtual gathering and operations. This applies to worship, events, rites of passage, and more.” Read the full guidance here.

The metrics we are tracking to make any reopening decisions are; daily new cases per 100,000 people, infection rate, test positivity rate, ICU headroom, and ICU headroom as reported on Covid ActNow ( Although we have not decided upon exact criteria for moving to the next stage of reopening, the rates in Palm Beach County are unfortunately still quite a bit above what many other congregations are using as a standard. 

StandardPalm Beach CountyAs of 2/3/2021 (graphic below)
DAILY NEW CASES (per 100,000)144.6
ICU HEADROOM< 50% of ICU beds in use by Covid patients76% ICU beds in use total

We are wary also, due to the new variants which have been found to be more easily transmitted and would like to allow a little more time to see the effects. 

We are hopeful about the vaccine. In Palm Beach County 9.3% of the population have already had their first shot (according to Covid ActNow) and in Florida 2% have been fully vaccinated (according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker). 

The UUA’s guidance explains: “As a community that values inclusion and collective care, we don’t want to create in-person situations that inadvertently exclude those at higher risk, or create situations that force those at higher risk to publicly identify themselves. Our decision-making must center the needs of the most vulnerable.” As you are probably already aware some very important upgrades are going on in the Sanctuary in the meantime. As we have already noticed with our services on-line, members and friends who are not physically in the area are still able to participate. In the same way, these technology upgrades to the sanctuary will allow some people to be physically in attendance and some attending virtually. Once the technology and decor upgrades are complete, there will be a transition time learning how to perform services as both in-person and virtual events. Initially perhaps only one or two people will be in the sanctuary and others participating on-line, and moving as able, to more in-person participation, while also keeping the ability for people to attend on-line. Please be patient and understanding, as this will be a big learning curve.

As always, if you have any questions you may reach out to any of the task force members: Linda Hartley, Rachel Melcher, Steve Pock, or Suzanne Schluter.