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COVID19 Policy

Dec. 24, 2021

Chevre, 

In light of the rapid spread of the COVID19 Omicron variant, and the increasing statewide and local positivity rates, our esteemed Medical Advisory Panel - Drs. Elliot Israel, Evie Sobel, and Anna Thorner - met this week and provided us with new recommendations to best support the safety of our community and the public health of our society. 

Masking: The City of Newton continues to mandate mask-wearing inside public spaces, including houses of worship. Given the increased contagiousness of the Omicron variant, our medical panel strongly recommends wearing an N95, a KN-95,or double-masking when indoors. Although we ask that people bring their own masks to Shul, we will continue to have spare medical masks available, and have put in an order for KN95 masks. We are also looking to source upgraded children's masks.

Presenters: Shelichei Tzibbur and speakers should at the minimum wear a single surgical mask.

Social Distancing: Participants should practice social distancing (3 feet+).

Singing in a normal speaking volume is permitted.

Kiddush: As the weather allows, we will continue to hold outdoor kiddushes. Indoor eating and drinking is not recommended at this time. Children and adult snacking and drinking should be done outdoors. 

A Frustrating & Dissapointing COVID19 Situation
It seems that we every time we take three steps forward in this shared global pandemic, we find ourselves shortly thereafter taking three steps backwards once again. It is important to reiterate that likely all of us - from our medical professionals to our rabbinical and lay leadership to our membership - feel frustrated, disappointed, and emotionally conflicted about having to scale up our precautionary COVID19 protocols. Please know that you are not alone in these legitimate feelings. The situation is continually changing, and we hope that it will not be too long until we are able to relax COVID19 strictures once again.

Thank you for partnering with us in our endeavor to be a kehillah kedoshah - a values-driven sacred community. With all this uncertainty, one thing is certain – together, as a community, we will safely and meaningfully continue our mission of Torah, Tefillah and Chesed with gracious and generous communal spirit!

Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels
Alex Klibaner, President


3 Recommendations from Newton’s Health and Human Services Department 

Recommendation #1: If you are not yet vaccinated or boosted, and eligible, we strongly encourage you to get vaccinated. If you need assistance getting a vaccine, please go to vaxfinder.mass.gov to locate one. If you have questions and concerns regarding the vaccine, please contact your medical provider or call Newton’s Health and Human Services Department (HHS) at 617-796-1420. 

Recommendation #2:If you feel unwell, you should stay at home. While this is always good practice, it is critically important during this pandemic to limit the spread of the virus. 

Recommendation #3: We strongly encourage anyone experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 to isolate from others as soon as possible and get tested for COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status. You can find nearby testing locations at mass.gov/covid-19-testing. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include: Fever, chills or shaking chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, body aches, new loss of sense of taste or smell. The following site provides more information about testing including what to do if your test is positive: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#what-do-i-do-if-my-test-is-positive?-.  

Thu, January 27 2022 25 Shevat 5782