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JAN. 8, 2022

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

  • All people eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated - this includes everyone
    • 5 years and older  because while symptoms in children tend to be milder as compared with adults, it can still make children very sick and cause them to be hospitalized.  In some situations, the complications may lead to death
    • individuals who previously had COVID-19 illness because research has not yet shown how long people are protected from getting COVID-19 again after they recover from COVID-19.  Vaccination helps protect individuals even if they’ve already had COVID-19
  • Every one eligible are recommended to get booster doses when eligible
    • 5 months after the 2nd dose for all individuals ages 12 years and older who received a series of 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccine 
    • 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
    • Individuals with immune compromising conditions are recommended to receive 3rd dose (not booster dose) of the mRNA vaccine

COVID-19 transmission in Lee County has surpassed all previous record of case counts in a short 3 week upswing.  The week ending 1-7-2022 averaged 197cases per 100,000 population in Lee County.  The proportion of all people tested who were positive during the same week was nearly 34% (up from about 20% the prior week).  The trend and number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 led Lee Health to halt non-emergency in-patient procedures this week to assure they have resources to meet the demand as the in-patient census more than doubled from last week (to 220 on Friday Jan. 7).  It is apparent that individuals who have been vaccinated or had prior COVID-19 infections may still contract and spread the new Omicron variant, though their personal risk of severe illness is greatly reduced.  The CDC classifies our transmission rate as HIGH. According to the best guidance, this means all individuals, regardless of vaccination status should wear well-fitting masks when in any in-door public space.

The Task Force has changed the recommendations for risk reduction in our building and during our activities:

  • No food and drink service indoors for events like Oneg Shabbat to avoid close unmasked contact between participants.  All food for events or meetings must be served and consumed outside.
  • 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
  • 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 Jan. 8, 2022



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
  • Since the introduction of effective vaccine against severe illness from the SARSCoV-2 virus TBE may adjust the reopening strategies and be guided by the CDC recommendations for gathering in public groups for vaccinated and nonvaccinated individuals. In most cases, TBE recommends that non-vaccinated individuals participate in temple activities from virtual settings to avoid risk of virus transmission and illness.
  • As of November 2021, when an area has a substantial or high COVID transmission rate CDC recommends that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear ahigh-quality, well fitting mask when present at any public in-door venue.
  • Please review the full plan for the specific details by each Phase.
Tue, January 18 2022 16 Sh'vat 5782