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BSO Mask Policy Update

February 28, 2022

Dear Chavarim,
 
In light of recent trends, and in collaboration with our health advisors, BSO will now be moving to a "mask optional" policy within our building. This new policy applies to all public events such as religious services, as well as gatherings in other areas of the building, such as the social hall, foyer, sanctuary, etc. Social distancing will continue to be reccomended during all BSO events. 

While we have made this change to our "official policy", we do however continue to recommend that masks be used out of consideration for the safety of others. Proof of vaccinations will continue to be required as well. In addition, for the comfort of our staff, we also continue to ask that you plan to wear a mask during any one on one meetings in a staff member's office unless specifically told otherwise. 
 
The Early Childhood School and Religious School programs will continue to require masks on at all times. 

If you have any questions about our policies or procedures, please feel free to contact me. 
 
L’Shalom,

Andrew Maayan 
Executive Director of BSO
executivedirector@bnaishalomofolney.org
301-774-0879 ext. 114

BSO In-Person Reopening

February 1, 2022

Dear BSO Community,

We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding for the past several weeks as we closed to in-person observances and events in the synagogue. These steps were taken to safeguard our community during to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our greater community due to the Omicron variant.

Our medical advisory team has been actively monitoring the case counts and positivity rate in our community and county. As many of you are already aware, the COVID-19 positivity rates have been steadily declining since peaking 3 weeks ago. Based on this trend, the current case positivity rate, and in consultation with our medical advisory team, we will be reopening for in-person services and observances in the synagogue starting Thursday, February 3rd. 

Please be reminded that we will continue to adhere to our indoor masking requirements and proof of vaccination and/or recovery from COVID within the past 90-days to enter BSO.

We look forward to seeing you.

Andrew Maayan
BSO Executive Director 

COVID Policy

Dear BSO Community,

We hope this email finds you healthy and well. As you are all likely aware, the governor of MD has recently declared a state of emergency due to the current COVID-19 surge. In addition, beginning January 15, the District of Columbia will adopt a city-wide vaccination entry requirement that requires COVID-19 vaccination to enter most businesses and public indoor facilities within the city.

In response to the current situation, and with guidance from our congregation’s Medical Task Force, BSO leadership has decided to implement new policies for visitors to our building, in the interest of keeping our community safe.

BSO will now be requiring proof of vaccination for all community members and guests age 5+ upon entering our building. This includes students of our religious school classes. In addition, there will be required testing offered onsite on a weekly basis, for our Early Childhood School students, Religious School students, and all staff as well. Details of this will follow soon from our ECS and Education Directors.

We will be following CDC guidelines regarding the definition of “full vaccination,” which stipulates that a person is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose for a 2-dose vaccine or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Additionally, we strongly encourage all eligible community members to receive boosters. For community members age 5 to 11 who are newly eligible, we will require proof of at least a first dose in a 2-dose vaccine as of January 14th

One of the following options will demonstrate proof of vaccination for entry into the synagogue:

 

  •  A physical Center for Disease Control (CDC) Vaccination Card
  •  A digital copy/photo of a CDC Vaccination Card
  •  A COVID-19 Verification App such as VaxYes or CLEAR

 
  
At all building entrances, you will now be asked by one of our dedicated staff members or volunteers to present a form of verification. As always, we ask that you please demonstrate the utmost gratitude and respect to these hard-working individuals — in this case, by having your proof of vaccination out and ready, and complying with their requests and instructions. To ensure complete compliance with this protocol, and to reduce the burden of “judgment calls” on behalf of our team, there will be no exceptions to this policy, so we ask that you please prepare in advance.

We have also made the decision that Shabbat services, for at least the month of January, will be Zoom only. We do of course recognize the disappointment this may cause, but in the interest of safety, we have decided this is an important step. We will continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic and local guidelines through the remainder of the month and reassess our ability to open for in-person services at that time.

Thank you all for your understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times. We certainly understand how hard the current situation is on everyone. If there is any support your BSO community may offer, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you and eager keep our community connections strong.  
 
All the best,
 
Shamir Tuchman, MD (BSO Medical Advisor)
Natasha Oksenhendler, RN (BSO Medical Advisor)
Andrew Maayan, Executive Director
Brian Lubin, BSO Board President

Sun, December 4 2022 10 Kislev 5783