Covid-19 Updates

Covid-19 Updates

April 29, 2022 Update

Letter from the
Safe Church Team:

Dear Fair Streeters,

The Safe Church Team met yesterday afternoon and shares the following update: After lengthy discussion, and with the rolling positivity rate in Ulster County well above our 6% mark, we are returning to MASKS UP ALL THE TIME mode. This holds for volunteers at the Fairly New Thrift Shop, as well as the Church Building. The Nursery School has already been in masks up mode for two weeks. While we know and share in the collective sigh of exhaustion from the past 26 months, we also know that this step is necessary to maintain a level of safety for all who walk through our doors. Rest assured, the Safe Church Team will continue to meet regularly as they have since the beginning of the pandemic and will share updates as they are made.  Once again, we thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we navigate our way forward.

On behalf of the Safe Church Team,

Pastor Kendra


April 1, 2022 Update

Letter from the
Safe Church Team:

We are moving forward! We’re moving with caution, but we’re moving! The Safe Church Team met this week, and we all agree it was time to take another step forward. We ask that you please take some time to read through the following updates, knowing that these are subject to change at any time when Covid-19 numbers rise.

Fair Street Nursery School: As of Friday, April 2 the nursery school is moving to mask optional for both indoors and outdoors! Parents have been notified and have been given the option to have their child wear a mask in/outdoors at their request. Windows will remain open, air purifiers will remain on, and numbers will continue to be monitored. 

Fairly New Thrift Shop: Effective Saturday, April 2 the thrift shop is moving to mask optional for customers and volunteers! We do ask that if you are unvaccinated, that you please wear your mask. Whether you wear a mask or not, please respect the decisions of the ones around you. If you are not feeling well, please stay home. This is subject to change.

Worship: Effective Sunday, April 3, while attending worship, masks are now optional! We do ask that if you are unvaccinated, that you please wear your mask. Whether you wear a mask or not, please respect the decisions of the ones around you. If you are not feeling well, please stay home. This is subject to change should Ulster County’s 5-day rolling positivity rate be 6% or higher. Seating will continue to remain distanced and safe; we will continue to ask you to sign in.

We know that this move will bring a mixture of emotion; some will receive with great relief and joy, while some might hold anxiety. Because of this, it is our expectation that we respect one another’s decisions and choices in hopes that we can finish the year strong and safe.

At this point, meetings will remain on Zoom, and coffee hour will be revisited by the Safe Church Team after a few weeks of masks optional have passed.


March 2, 2022 Update

Letter from the
Safe Church Team:
 
Dear Fair Streeter,
 
The Safe Church Team met to discuss the recent announcement regarding mask mandates in schools and the CDC announcement for public spaces. After our discussion, we share the these updates.  

We are living into the honor system, that per the CDC guidelines:

If You . . .
  • Are not vaccinated, masks are still required
  • Are experiencing Covid-19 related symptoms, that you will get tested, and stay home
  • Have been exposed to Covid-19, and are vaccinated, that you will wear a mask
Worship
  • Beginning Sunday, March 6, once you are seated, vaccinated persons, as you feel comfortable, can lower your mask. Please wear your masks to/from your seats.
  • We will continue to mask up for singing.
  • Following the CDC guidelines, the recommendation is that children two years-old and older, who are not vaccinated, are required to wear their masks indoors.
  • We will continue the sign-in upon entering worship.
  • We will continue remaining physically distanced and spread out throughout the sanctuary.
  • Once outdoors after worship, as you feel comfortable, and if you are vaccinated, you can go mask-free.
  • Please note that these rollbacks are subject to change at any given time if the number of cases and positivity rate rises.
  • Non-vaccinated persons are expected – and required – to always wear a mask.
Ministry Team Meetings and Coffee Hour
  • All ministry team meetings, work, and gatherings will continue to be on zoom.
  • Coffee hour will remain on pause until further notice, it is our hope that once it is warmer, and we are able to open windows to allow for ventilation, that we might be able to resume coffee hour.
  • We will continue to monitor and watch cases in the area as we move forward, revisiting it every two weeks. 
Fair Street Nursery School ~ Because vaccinations are not yet available for children under five years-old, and that it is too cold for open windows to allow for better ventilation, and also, to allow the Safe Church Team time to develop a plan for moving forward: Masks are still required for teachers and students indoors. Beginning Monday, March 7, students and adults will be permitted to be outdoors during play time, drop off, and pick up, with masks optional.

Fairly New Thrift Shop ~ While there are air purifiers placed throughout the shop, we know that the ventilation is not great, and with the small space the mask requirement will remain in place for the time being.

We know that Covid-fatigue is a real thing, and we thank you in advance for your support, cooperation, and diligence in helping create a safe space for everyone who enters the doors!
 
Peace,
Todd Levinson, Chair, Peter Boyle, Cathy Maletta, Peggy Ploss, Bev Rigney and Pastor Kendra

August 5, 2021 Update for Fair Street Reformed Church and The Fairly New Thrift Shop

Masks Up! 

Dear Fair Streeter,

With the recent surge of Covid-19 cases in the area and taking the CDC and local recommendations seriously as Ulster County is now on the ‘mask recommended for everyone’ list, we share this update with you all, effective August 5, 2021.

As we watch and listen to the number of cases, the positivity rates, science, and the recommendations AND as we take your health and safely seriously as we have all along, the Safe Church Ministry Team now agrees that we move back to “Masks Up” for everyone when indoors for worship, inside the Church/Education Building and at the Fairly New Thrift Shop. 

This past week, we had a reminder that the virus is still present as a volunteer at the Fairly New Thrift Shop did test positive for Covid-19. Thankfully, she is vaccinated and doing fine (we firmly believe that her symptoms were minimal and short lived because she is vaccinated). Out of precaution, we have been working with the Ulster County Health Department who have contacted the volunteers who worked that day. They have all been tested and are following the guidelines of the Health Department. Again, thankfully (at the time of this note) 2 of the 5 tests have already come back negative and contact tracing has freed three additional volunteers from self-isolation. The Thrift Shop will be resuming hours for the weekend, and masks are now required for volunteers and customers, regardless of vaccination status.

It is with this reminder that Covid-19 still present and active in the area, and with the recommendations from CDC, and from a local level being asked to do our part, we are making the move back to masks up indoors, for vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons.

We realize that for many of us, we have gotten used to going without masks, and only wearing them for a few minutes while indoors. This is not an easy decision, or one taken lightly, but one in listening to science, and the recommendations based on the cases in our area.  Again, as updates happen, we will continue to adjust accordingly and keep you informed.

We hope to see you this Sunday, August 8 (and every Sunday) for worship as we continue to gather each week in person and on Zoom!

We are beyond grateful for your cooperation, support, and grace as we continue to love and care for the neighbors around us,

The Safe Church Ministry Team


June 10, 2021

Dear Fair Streeter,                          

The Safe Church Team has continued to meet regularly for the past year as we have been monitoring the coronavirus pandemic, the impact and looking forward with protocols and safety precautions for the Fair Street Community. This week we spent time on Zoom to update the protocols for Fair Street Church and all the ministries, grounds, and buildings.

In listening to science, following guidelines, and being aware of the current numbers and positivity rates in Ulster County, we share these updates with you. It is important to note that these are subject to change at any given time provided the number of cases and positivity rates rise.  We know this is a lot of information, but we felt it important to share these with you as we move forward and hope you take time to read through the following updates.

We also are living into the honor system, that per the CDC guidelines and State requirements, if you are not vaccinated, masks are still required.

Fair Street Nursery School

  • Students are now permitted to be outdoors during play time without masks. Masks are still required for teachers and students indoors.

Fairly New Thrift Shop

  • The window AC units are being installed this week, and (4) air purifiers are being set up help circulate the air up to five times per hour. Two will be on the first floor and two on the second floor. Masks will still be required.
  • The indoor mask requirement for all customers remains in place until further notice.
  • Because of the small, condensed space of the Thrift Shop vaccinated volunteers:
    • When no customers are present may lower their masks. Once a customer enters the shop, masks go up.
    • When working in the office/sorting area with no interaction with the public, masks can be lowered.
    • Again, when customers come in, or a volunteer receives donations and/or interacts with the public, masks go up.
  • Non-vaccinated persons are expected and required to always wear a mask.
  • Please note that these rollbacks are subject to change at any given time provided the number of cases and positivity rate rises.

Worship

  • Beginning June 20, once you are seated, vaccinated persons, as you feel comfortable can lower your mask. Please wear your masks to/from your seats.
  • Following the CDC guidelines, the recommendation is that children 2yo+ who are not vaccinated are required to wear their masks indoors.
  • We will continue the sign in upon entering worship.
  • We will continue remaining physically distant and spread out throughout the sanctuary.
  • Once outdoors after worship, as you feel comfortable and if you are vaccinated, you can go mask free
  • Please note that these rollbacks are subject to change at any given time provided the number of cases and positivity rate rises.
  • Non-vaccinated persons are expected and required to always wear a mask.

Persons in the Church/Education Building during the week

  • Because the building provides larger, better ventilated space we feel that if you are vaccinated, and in the building with ten or less vaccinated persons, masks can be lowered. (This is different than ministry team meetings, but more for VBS planning and preparation, buildings, and grounds work, etc.)
  • When the Fair Street Nursery School is in session, please wear a mask when passing by the doors/hallway.
  • Please continue to use hand sanitizer
  • Please note that these rollbacks are subject to change at any given time provided the number of cases and positivity rate rises.
  • Non-vaccinated persons are expected and required to always wear a mask.

Vacation Bible School

  • As we prepare for VBS, we will continue to watch the numbers in the region as the safety of the children who are not able to be vaccinated at all, are our priority.
  • It is our hope that by shortening the time to two hours and with being outdoors, we will be able to be mask free for children and all vaccinated adults.
  • We will not be offering a snack station, but we will be sending a snack home with the children each day.
  • Singing for opening and closing of each day has not yet been decided.
  • Please note that these rollbacks are subject to change at any given time provided the number of cases and positivity rate rises.
  • Non-vaccinated persons are expected and required to always wear a mask.

Two final thoughts:

  • All ministry teams meetings will remain on Zoom for the duration of the summer. The Safe Church Team will revisit this in the fall.
  • It is our hope that by the fall that we will be able to resume singing and coffee hour, provided the numbers of cases and positivity rates allow.

Peace,

Todd Levinson, Chair, Peter Boyle, Cathy Maletta, Peggy Ploss, Bev Rigney and Pastor Kendra


Earlier updates from May 2021…

Worship

  • As of right now, nothing is changing regarding worship. Masks are still required as is physical distancing. Because not everyone is vaccinated, and out of concern and precaution for the children who are also not vaccinated, we are keeping this mandate in place for now.
  • It is our hope that by the end of June that we might be able to make some updates for folks worshiping in person (provided the numbers in the region continue to remain low).
  • We are continuing to monitor and wait to hear updates from the state and CDC guidelines for places of worship.
  • We encourage everyone to remember to use common sense and remember the intent and the idea behind these protocols are ways in which we, as the church, can show we love our neighbor. We will revisit every two weeks. 

Fairly New Thrift Shop

  • Due to the condensed space of the Thrift Shop, and due to the low ventilation, and out of precaution for the safety and well-being of everyone, the mask protocol remain in place. 
  • Air purifiers are being purchased to compliment the AC units throughout the Thrift Shop. Masks still being required. 
  • Masks outside the Thrift Shop while receiving donations and interacting with the public are required.
  • We encourage everyone to remember to use common sense and remember the intent and the idea behind these protocols are ways in which we, as the church, can show we love our neighbor. We will revisit every two weeks.  

Every other protocol remains in place, and we will revisit every two weeks. 

  • All Ministry Team meetings and Bible Study will continue on Zoom until further notice.
  • The Classic Car Show is postponed until 2022
  • In person VBS will be July 19-23. Click here for more information
  • The Fairly New Thrift Shop is open Wednesday’s and Saturday’s for shopping, Friday’s for receiving donations.
  • The Fair Street Nursery School is celebrating the Nursery School’s graduating class of 2022 in a couple of weeks!

Earlier updates from 2020…

While we continue to navigate our way through this season of the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have created this special page here for updates and to make it easier for you to find everything you might need to know about Fair Street and Covid-19. Here’s a quick overview of points worth noting:

  • Worship on Sunday mornings will remain on Zoom until the Elders feel it is safe.
  • All Ministry Team meetings and Bible Study will continue on Zoom until further notice.
  • The Building remains closed.
  • Thank you for your generosity, we are grateful for each of you!
  • The Classic Car Show is postponed until 2021
  • VBS as we know it in person, will not take place this year. However, we are working to explore providing online/virtual VBS experience.
  • We see The Fairly New Thrift Shop in Phase 4 of any re-opening.
  • The Fair Street Nursery School is celebrating the Nursery School’s graduating class of 2020 next week in a creative way!
  • We say thank you!
  • We are praying for you!
  • We miss you!