Updated Masking Guidelines

 

Throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic we have tried to follow best practices based on the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Polk County Public Health Department as well as to keep our guidelines consistent with and complementary of the regional public school systems.   

 

Last week the CDC released updated guidance  on wearing masks in indoor settings.  The CDC is now recommending that masks be worn when the COVID-19 Community Level Transmission is identified as “high”.  Currently Polk County is categorized as “low”.  

 

Additionally, the Urbandale Community School District’s current policy states: Face masks are optional. However, all UCSD staff, PreK-12 students, vendors, visitors, and spectators are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask (2-ply) while inside district buildings regardless of vaccination status.

 

Based on the revised CDC guidance and the current community level transmission in Polk County, effective March 15th, we will be updating our masking policy while in the building and attending worship from “Required” to “Strongly Encouraged” if fully vaccinated and having received appropriate booster shots. (For those not fully vaccinated, masks continue to be required.)  

 

The CDC guidance further states that: People may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask. This is regardless of community level transmission or vaccination status.  

 

We are providing advance notice of our change in our policy that will be effective on March 15th, in the newsletter, bulletin and announcements, so that each of you can make informed choices that might affect your health, safety and sense of comfort and security.

 

Some of us will continue to mask after March 15th.  Some of us may choose not to.  Both of those are acceptable decisions.  While this policy change will be ‘building wide’ for all groups and events, some small groups, classes, or gatherings may choose to continue to require masks to be worn.  That decision is also valid, acceptable and should be honored.

 

If Community Level Transmission in Polk County returns back to a ‘high’ level, masks will again be required while in the building.