COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Bahá’í Community Activities

Dear Friends,

The COVID-19 Learning Group which has been established by the Regional Bahá’í Council of the Midwest offers the following for members of the community who are engaged in community activities involving face-to-face contact under current conditions. Any updates or changes will be reflected on our website.

The purpose of the COVID-19 learning group is to create an environment where experiences around public health safety, with regard to COVID-19 transmission and vaccination, can be shared throughout the region. Our main area of focus is to learn with others in “adhering scrupulously to public health guidelines that have been established in their state and locality” [1]. We hope to share experiences from throughout the region in this regard which have been particularly helpful in mitigating the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19. The members of the group have experience in public health and medicine yet are not experts in the sense that we are learning together, as a regional community, about how entire populations can remain healthy against SARS-CoV-2, while carrying out the elements of our One Year Plan. The following are some initial learnings which we wish to share: 

Given increased transmission of the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), our national government entity which provides public health guidance to the general public, recommends that vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks in indoor settings, especially in locations with high transmission and/or those people who live in a household with unvaccinated or immunocompromised individuals [2]. This guidance is as of July 27th 2021. 

According to the CDC, the primary mode of transmission for SAR-CoV-2 is through respiratory droplets. Therefore, getting vaccinated, physically distancing from others by more than six feet (and remaining outdoors when possible) and mask wearing are the most important steps we can take to prevent transmission [3]. 

In the case of overnight camps or extended gatherings (especially indoors), the National Spiritual Assembly has provided guidance [1] on this matter. The COVID-19 learning group would welcome organizers of such gatherings to learn with us (utilizing experiences throughout the region) about how best to adhere to this guidance [1]. If possible, we ask to be contacted through the Regional Bahá’í Council at least three weeks prior to such gatherings. 

For more immediate questions regarding gatherings or the COVID-19 vaccine, the COVID-19 learning group can be contacted by sending the text message “COVID19” to (810) 259-0988 and we hope to reply with a phone call within 24 hours.

With warmest regards,

The Regional Council of the Bahá’ís of the Midwestern States
David Douglas, Secretary

Cc: 
Continental Counselor William Silva
Auxiliary Board Members
Regional Council Members
Regional Institute Coordinators  

[1] “On Vaccination and Its Implications for Baha’is” (April 27th 2021) National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States https://app.box.com/s/bkeifez8g0kf27bfubu684h0cqxa5r4f
[2] “Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People July 30th 2021” Center for Disease Control (CDC), https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html (retrieved August 1st 2021)
[3] “Science Brief: SARS-CoV-2 and Surface (Fomite) Transmission for Indoor Community Environments Apr. 5, 2021” Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/science-and-research/surface-transmission.html (retrieved August 1st 2021)