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October 25, 2021

The best way to safely end this pandemic is to get vaccinated

Lee County Florida has exited the summer spike of the Delta Variant and the CDC stills classifies the transmission status in Lee County as "substantial"  The CDC recommends continuing to maximize protecting ourselves and others in our community from ongoing transmission in areas of substantial transmission by vaccination and wearing masks indoors in any public space.

  • The summer spike in COVID-19 cases peaked about August 31 at 144 cases per 100,000.  We have returned pre-spike case incidence at  8.6 cases per 100,000 virtually matching our lowest point this year in mid-June when Lee County had about 8 cases per 100,000.
  • The positivity rate this week remained less than the 5% threshold for testing adequacy and continued average below 4% for the week.
  • Locally, the number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 has leveled off to the same level it was pre-summer spike with about 40 admited patients for COVID daily (down from a peak of nearly 700 patients admitted for COViD.  Sadly, the current census continues to include children hospitalized.
  • The CDC recommends in areas of substantial spread (where we are), vaccinated people continue wearing masks indoors.

Considering these improving conditions, TBE has adopted the COVID-19 Task Force recommendations to continue risk reduction in our building and during our activities:

  • Resume limited food and drink service for events like Oneg Shabbat with food in only single serving portions that do not require the use of shared serving utensils and on serving tables configured to avoid queuing or congregating by attendees.
  • Mask wearing by all individuals 2 years and older is required for all events or activities where 2 or more people are present (when not actively eating) - this allows individuals working/studying alone in any segregated space in the building to remove their mask.
  • The air circulation turns over at least 3 full fresh exchanges per hour when any event occurs in the building and for at least one hour prior to any Temple event
  • All people eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated and get booster doses when eligible
  • The following individuals are eligible for a booster dose of the vaccine:
    • Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine recipients who completed their initial series at least 6 months ago and are 65 years and older or are at least 18 years and:
      • live in long-term care settings
      • have underlying medical conditions
      • who work in high-risk settings
      • who live in high-risk settings
    • Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recipients who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago are recommended to have booster shots

We will monitor the changing conditions closely and review for changes on a weekly basis.

We remind congregants to participate from home if they are not feeling well (or have been exposed to COVID if unvaccinated)

Lee County COVID-19 Trend Metrics as of Oct. 22, 2021

Florida ceased daily reporting of COVID-19 statistics in June, so we shifted to using the more limited CDC county level reports for ongoing local monitoring of the Pandemic.  The past month shows a trend of increasing risk:


COVID-19 Response Phased Re-opening Plan

There are 4 phases through which our building and grounds can be open or closed to congregants and staff with a goal of a 5th phase when the pandemic ends and we apply lessons learned for a healthier TBE community post pandemic.

  • Based on guidance from CDC, the WHO, and national epidemiologic experts we will move through the phases based on specific health metrics:
    • Rolling 7-day average of COVID-19 test positivity rates for Lee County 
    • Rolling 7-day new daily cases per 100,000 population (Incidence)
    • Rolling 7-day average COVID-19 transmission rate
    • 2-week trend of Lee Health Hospital resource capacity (ability of local hospitals to accommodate the significantly ill)
  • Movement to higher phase requires at least 2 weeks of meeting the criteria for the phase.
  • Movement to a lower phase will occur when pandemic monitoring criteria worsens; 2 weeks of data NOT required to respond in nimble manner
  • When discrepancies between measures exist, we will use the preponderance of data to determine the appropriate phase.
  • Each phase has specific activity descriptions for Worship, Life Cycle Events, Staff/Clergy and congregants, Meetings & Events, Adult Education and Religious school activities.
  • Please review the full plan for the specific details by each Phase.
Tue, October 26 2021 20 Cheshvan 5782