“Well, 2021 hasn’t necessarily been a return to normal, but it is the year that we adapted—and took control of our lives.” ~ Debra Adams Simmons
As the end of the year approaches, it is amazing to see how our daily lives changed over the past 12 months. The beginning of the year found us all still isolated at home, conducting meetings, school classes, and Sunday services via Zoom as the number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise. Late winter brought vaccines and the start of the decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in our area. The warm weather of spring brought us all outside and our first tentative face to face interactions with friends and family. It was so nice to see weddings, graduations and other celebrations being conducted in person. Summer brought our UUFP community together again with outdoor services. Autumn found children back in schools and the UUFP community back in our beautiful sanctuary. Unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to remind us that the pandemic is not over.
So, as we head into the holiday season where many of us will be gathering again with friends and loved ones, it is important to remember that these gatherings could unintentionally expose us and others to COVID-19. With that said, I wanted to restate the CDC guidelines that the Board of Directors has agreed to adopt regarding what to do if exposed to COVID-19. According to the CDC:
Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days after their last exposure to that person, except if they meet the following conditions:
Someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19 does not need to quarantine. However, fully vaccinated close contacts should: • Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until a negative test result; Get tested 5-7 days after close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COIVID-19; Get tested and isolate immediately if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
Someone who tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test within the previous 90 days and has subsequently recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms does not need to quarantine. However, close contacts with prior COVID-19 infection in the previous 90 days should: Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days after exposure; Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate immediately if symptoms develop; Consult with a healthcare professional for testing recommendations if new symptoms develop.
Following these guidelines will help to keep our UUFP community healthy and slow the spread to the greater community within which we live. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending an event at the UUFP, please contact a member of the board so we can determine best next steps for the fellowship. All discussions will be confidential.
It has been a crazy year with a lot of uncertainty, yet our UUFP family has demonstrated resilience through the continued insanity. Thank you to everyone for your ongoing adaptability and support.
Wish you all a happy holiday season and a healthy new year.