ASC Reopening Task Force – Notes from Meeting Nov. 10, 2021

Attendees: George Carvill, Peter Gibbons, Jamie Gibson, Steve Squires, Rev. Telos Whitfield

At meeting time, Vermont, like most other states, is actually seeing new highs in the new COVID cases per day statistics. But Vermont is not experiencing crisis levels of hospitalizations or deaths, unlike other states with similar new-case numbers but much lower vaccination rates. The lesson here is that the risk level for serious illness varies quite a lot with vaccination status and behavior.

We focused on recommending guidelines for the upcoming introduction of hybrid services. The first trial is slated for November 14th; a Zoom service but with minister and a few others participating from the main hall.  With the tech team, around 8 people in all physically present.

For the initial hybrid services, we agreed to recommend:

While on-screen, participants in the service may be unmasked. Masks should be worn when off-screen.

Other people in the room should remain 20 feet or more from unmasked speakers. This may be in any direction, leaving others free to be anywhere outside a large half-circle.  It may be practical to move the podium and chalice stand farther back on the stage from their pre-COVID positions.

Singing is still prohibited.

Participants should be reminded not to attend in person if they have any signs of fever or respiratory illness.

Opening windows for ventilation is strongly encouraged, despite the obvious heat loss.

The sign on the door should be updated to read something like the following. (Deliberately terse, since the more verbiage on a door sign, the less likely it will be read.)

MASKS REQUIRED for all persons entering the building

If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, PLEASE DO NOT ENTER BUILDING

All are welcome to join our Sunday Services on Zoom. Use the link on our website, VACCINATIONS REQUIRED to attend in person.

When the time comes to be inviting non-participants (audience) to Sunday Services, the advertising, etc. should state the vaccination and mask requirements. Exceptions for children, etc. can be spelled out there. We advise using the honor system, and not actually ask people or check vaccination cards.

With Vermont as open as it is, contact tracing sheets are no longer considered useful enough to be worth it.

Lots of discussion about singing. The Women’s Chorus has begun rehearsing in our space. Their director has done her homework and is recommending the RESONANCE Singer’s Masks by MySafety Products, available for $30 each at (often out-of-stock).  Steve notes that the much cheaper singers mask he bought is unimpressive.

Peter offered to meet with Steve at the main hall to do some measurements and try out chair placements, to give us a sense of how many seats would be available at a hybrid service.  Best done after the Theatre Adventure show next weekend.  Good time to also estimate total air volume, to give us a better idea if air purifiers would be of practical benefit. Some other spaces lacking HVAC systems have been using portable air purifiers.  In our church setting, spaces are often only occupied for a couple of hours, followed by long periods of vacancy.


Everyone – mark calendar with next meeting, Friday Nov 19, 4:30 PM.

Steve, etc. – look into air purifiers again, considering volume of air treated vs. volume of Main Hall. Consider against alternative of having to open windows in cold weather.

Steve&Peter – measure and lay out Main Hall for capacity of hybrid service, after TAP show ( Friday Nov 12 )