It has been five months since UUCLB has gone virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we approach month six, and it doesn’t look like we are going to be meeting in person very soon, the Campus Re-Opening Task Force and the Board of Trustees (BoT) have realized it is time to set some official COVID-19 campus usage protocols. To do this they have charged the Campus Re-Opening Task Force (CRTF)* with keeping us current and in compliance with the on-going City of Long Beach’s COVID-19 Health Orders as we move slowly forward towards the end goal of reopening safely. (The City of Long Beach Safer at Home Order as of Aug 13, 2020 is here.)

Here are the results of the CRFT’s first set of recommendations.  The UUCLB BoT, in coordination with the City of Long Beach, orders the following UUCLB Covid-19 Campus Protocols:

A. UUCLB Campus Outdoor Grounds:

1. Outdoor grounds are currently closed to all organized activities, except for essential volunteers, such as those associated with Facilities, and those who maintain the garden. In addition, a church member or friend may briefly enter the grounds to drop off mail in the exterior mail drop slot of the church office, provided that said individual leaves campus immediately thereafter.

2. Outdoor Restrooms:

a) The outdoor restroom on the south side of the gate is closed, except for use by the students of the Montessori School.

b) The outdoor restroom on the north side of the gate is also closed, except for use by the staff of the Montessori School, as well as by essential UUCLB staff and essential UUCLB volunteers. All others, including those with a key, shall not use said restroom.

B. UUCLB Campus Interior Space:

1. The church office is presently closed and locked to all congregants and visitors, except for essential volunteers, including those associated with Finance, Personnel, Facilities, Church Treasurer and the Board of Trustees.

2. Appointments shall occur by telephone or Zoom. However, inperson, office appointments may be made at the discretion of the minister or staff, assuming that the two individuals are in agreement.

3. Wylder Hall shall be closed to all congregants and visitors, except for essential staff and volunteers associated with filming Sunday services therein, including those associated with the following committees: Worship, Virtual Church Committee and Music.

4. All essential volunteers noted above shall be on campus by appointment only and shall leave the campus immediately upon completion of their essential volunteer work. VOLUNTEERS, PLEASE NOTE: It is important to know that the Chalice building rooms A & B, rooms 1-6 and the bathroom on the south side of the gate are solely being used by the Montessori school. UUCLB has an agreement with the school to not be on any part of that campus during COVID-19.

C. Other General Protocols:

Essential staff members and essential volunteers will adhere to all City of Long Beach Covid-19 protocols, including wearing masks at all times, maintaining six feet social distancing, etc.

All essential staff and essential volunteers shall have their temperature checked upon entry to the office.

The outer office space shall include no more than 2 people at a time, including any staff member(s) present.

A schedule will be set forth that will allow essential staff and essential volunteers to use the office space when others aren’t there, this for a limited period of time, as necessary.

All necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) (masks, shields, gloves and hand sanitizers) will be provided to the office on an on-going basis.

The current COVID-19 orders for Places of Worship state that all indoor activities are prohibited. When considering meeting outdoors, the current COVID-19 requirements make this prospect extremely complicated, requiring 6-foot social distancing from the moment of driving onto the parking lot, walking to your seats, being seated, and when exiting the campus. It also prohibits any singing, chanting, responsive readings and socializing. And to make it even more complicated, it prohibits the use of our restrooms, and the office would be closed.

The Present & Future

We know that we are all anxious to get back to the norm of being together on our beautiful campus; worshiping, socializing, and getting work done, in community with one another.

However, we are UUCLB, and we are not letting this get in our way, as we continue to be in community with each other virtually. You can rest assured your Campus Re-Opening Task Force and Board of Trustees is on the job, and we will continue to move forward in a safe and sound process to get to that light at the end of the tunnel where we can all be together in person again!

If you have any questions about this announcement, please contact Kevin Ford, Board of Trustees.

* Campus Re-Opening Task Force Members include: Rev. Lissa Gundlach, Minister; Rev. Rayna Hamre, Assistant Minister; Naomi Yoshida, DRE; Valerie Lindberg, RE; Mimi Gephart-Seeley, CU&A; Carol Quinlan, Worship; Kevin Ford, BoT.

(Announced September 1, 2020)