COVID-19 Protocol

Because of the increase of COVID cases in the US and the arrival of the Omicron variant, we are updating the COVID procedures for the New Culture New Year’s Celebration.  Our intention is to to balance a high level of safety with the greatest freedom to connect for all concerned.

To those community members whose needs are not met by this protocol, please know that we love you, miss you, and look forward to the day when we can all gather together.  We are working to develop a metric for when we will consider it safe to connect without precautions.

The previous protocol asked for people to be fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test before arrival.  Read down for the new protocol, which adds antigen testing onsite and a request for isolation beforehand.

**NOTE: If you need to cancel your registration for COVID-related reasons (either because the protocol doesn’t work for you, or because you have symptoms or a positive test), we will be happy to give you a full refund – just ask!

**NOTE: If you wish to contribute an additional $20 to cover the cost of your antigen tests during the event, we would be grateful!  Email us for payment possibilities and/or bring cash or check to the event.  This contribution is not required.

**NOTE: While we are encouraging a period of isolation before the event, we are fully aware that the event is just 4 days after Christmas, and we understand the desire to be around family and friends at that time.  We are not asking you to stay home altogether.  We do ask you to be mindful and reduce exposure wherever possible, by masking, avoiding large gatherings, connecting outside, and so on.

NEW COVID PROTOCOL:

Before the event:

Required:

 –       Be fully vaccinated (i.e. 2 mRNA shots or 1 Johnson & Johnson shot) at least 2 weeks before the event

–       Take a PCR test within 72 hours before the event (probably Monday 12/27 if you are arriving Wednesday 12/29)

o   Negative PCR test required for entry

o   Contact us if you are having difficulty arranging a PCR test – we can often help.

Strongly recommended and requested:

 –       Get a booster at least 2 weeks before the event (i.e. by 12/15)

o   if you are 5 months or more post vaccination with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna)

o   if you are 2 months or more post vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

[Current best research says that the Moderna booster is most effective, and the Pfizer booster is nearly as effective, regardless of which vaccine you had to start with.]

–       Minimize exposure as much as possible, starting 3 days before your PCR test and continuing until arrival at the event

o   Stay home from big parties, dances, concerts, etc., especially ones that do not require vaccination or masks

o   If you must attend, please wear a mask, especially a high-quality mask like a well-fitted N95.

o   Please wear masks in public spaces (stores etc.) as well.

o   Transmission while outside is virtually zero.  So if the weather allows, hang out with others outside as much as possible.

Onsite:

–       Antigen test for everyone on arrival (masked until results come back negative – less than 30 minutes)

–       Antigen test for everyone DAILY

–       Antigen tests onsite for anyone symptomatic 

–     Daily temperature checks (non-contact thermometer – 5 seconds)

–      Twice daily mouth rinse and gargle with high-alcohol mouthwash (e.g Listerine)

–      Extra ventilation / air filtration in the meeting spaces

–       Report any symptoms ASAP to health coordinator

–       Isolation space(s) available for anyone symptomatic and/or testing positive and unable to leave the event

–     Participants are welcome to use whatever additional protective measures they choose – for example, wearing masks or distancing.

Post-event:

–     We recommend getting another PCR test 3-5 full days after leaving the event.

–       For the two weeks following your departure, report any symptoms or positive COVID test results to the organizers so we can inform the group and prevent spread in our home communities

Thank you for reading, understanding, and following this protocol if you plan to attend the New Culture New Year’s Celebration!  You can contact us with any questions or concerns at info@cfnc.us.