COVID-19 Guidelines & Agreements for In-Person Events, 5781-5782

Last updated: August 27, 2021

This is a live document, and is updated as needed.

One of our core values at JFREJ is: We take care of ourselves and each other. Our community aspires to move at a collective pace and in the rhythms of our ancestors and traditions. We bring the wisdom of interdependence, sharing and valuing care, into the everyday.

In the spirit of care for ourselves and each other, JFREJ has decided to support members who wish to do so to organize in-person outdoor events and meetings. In creating these protocols, we have consulted with our immunocompromised members, medical and public health advisors, and other organizations who’ve implemented similar policies.

JFREJ is committed to disability justice and radical access in our organizing. We recognize that the pandemic has in fact made organizing and social life more accessible for many disabled and older people. Therefore, even as we resume holding small in-person events and meetings, we are committed to ensuring that our virtual accessibility practices last for the long haul.

The decision to hold in-person gatherings is possible only if all members are able to comply with safety protocols designed to mitigate exposure risk and hold all of us accountable to our values. A few key values are guiding us as we implement these new practices:

  • We are committed to continuing to include everyone. That means everyone’s safety is important

  • Formalizing protocols is about access because it allows everyone to know what to expect when attending a JFREJ event

We encourage all JFREJ members to evaluate their own comfort levels with risk and consult with their loved ones and primary care practitioners to determine what makes the most sense for their physical and mental health.

Given the dynamic nature of the pandemic, our protocols may change very quickly if new information and/or best practices become available. We are working with medical and access advisors to determine best practices while grounding our decision making in the values we hold as an organization working for justice. These protocols will be linked to in every in-person JFREJ event registration page. Any time a change is made to these protocols, the change will be reflected in this document and a notification will be sent to all event attendees so they can be made aware of the change. These protocols are what allow us to hold in-person events, and it is crucial that they are understood and followed. We are so grateful to be in community with all of you, especially through this challenging time.

In-person meetings and small events (e.g. teach-ins, picnics)

Beginning in July of 2021, JFREJ teams and neighborhood groups may choose to engage in outdoor, physically distanced organizing meetings and socializing provided that events meet these criteria:

  • At any given time, there should be no more than 30 people gathering together outdoors.

  • All attendees over the age of twelve must be vaccinated or have a medical exemption.

  • Anyone with a medical exemption must arrive with a negative COVID test.

  • All attendees must wear masks for any non-stationary activities.

  • All attendees may remove masks when 6+ feet apart and stationary, for example while eating and drinking.

  • Event organizers will ensure that there is hand sanitizer on site and extra masks available for distribution.

  • Accessible seating, comfortable for a variety of bodies, must be arranged, e.g. sturdy benches and chairs. All accessibility information (e.g. steps to enter) must be clearly communicated in the event registration page.

  • Event organizers - whether staff or members - will track RSVPs diligently and assign one volunteer at each event to collect attendee contact information, in the event that follow up communication related to COVID transmission becomes necessary.

In-person actions (eg. marches, large ritual moments, etc.)

  • In-person criteria from above apply, except that gatherings will likely exceed 30 people outdoors, which means that members should evaluate their needs and comfort level, and decide whether to attend accordingly. All JFREJ-led actions will offer a zoom or livestream option.

Basic Safety Guidelines for JFREJ members who choose to participate in outdoor activities:

  1. Stay six feet apart from each other and wear a mask at all times if unable to maintain six feet distance and if going indoors (e.g. to use the restroom)

  2. If you’ve travelled internationally in the last 14 days, even if vaccinated, the New York State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control recommend wearing a mask around other people for 14 days after return unless you tested negative 3-5 days after return.

  3. If you have been diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection in the last ten days, have a pending COVID-19 test, or have been exposed to someone with a COVID-19 infection in the last 10 days whether or not you are fully vaccinated, do not attend in-person events.

  4. If you have any of the following symptoms (not attributable to another condition), do not attend in-person events. If you are already at a meeting or event and experience these symptoms, go home, self-isolate, and seek medical guidance. If you experience any of these symptoms after an event, communicate immediately with the event organizer and contact your healthcare provider about accessing care, including COVID-19 testing:
    • Cough

    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

    • Fever, temperature 100.4 or higher

    • Chills

    • Muscle or body aches

    • Persistent or unusual headache

    • Sore throat

    • New loss of or change in taste or smell

    • Fatigue

    • Congestion or runny nose

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Diarrhea

Hybrid options for in-person events

All JFREJ teams and neighborhood groups who choose to organize in-person meetings and small events must ensure that members can also participate virtually, via zoom or livestream, when indicated as a need by group members. Every in-person event registration, whether it’s a neighborhood group meeting or a press conference, must include a clear way for participants to express their needs for accessing the event, including whether they need a virtual option. If needed, each event should have a designated virtual access point person whose job it is to set up zoom or livestream and ensure that virtual attendees can participate fully. This will require that in-person event planners plan for how the zoom or livestream will be part of the event. For support and thinking on how to do this, contact audrey@jfrej.org.

This hybrid model is new for JFREJ and we know that there will be some bumps along the way. If you have feedback about your experience at our hybrid events, you can fill out this form or reach out to audrey@jfrej.org for a 1-1 conversation. We are constantly learning how to do better in hybrid settings and with disability justice, as well, and we are open to suggestions.

Responsibility and Risk

As with any public, in-person event, there is a risk that COVID-19 may be spread at a JFREJ event. While we attempt through these policies to mitigate that risk, it is a risk that all individual attendees bear. JFREJ staff and members who organize and facilitate events will take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with these guidelines, but cannot be responsible for each individual member’s compliance at all times. You should attend or remain at an in-person JFREJ event only if you are prepared to accept the associated risk of transmission; if you are not, we urge you to take part in our events via remote or virtual options.