COVID-19 Safety Guidelines — Updated August 4, 2021

General Community Guidelines

  • Localities should continue to model appropriate precautionary behavior surrounding COVID-19 by encouraging handwashing, sanitizing and social distancing.
  • If Baha’is or members of the general community wish to be vaccinated but are unable, the Bahá’í community should help remove barriers preventing vaccination. 

Gatherings Related to Core Activities

  • Follow the general community guidelines above. 
  • Masks are mandatory regardless of vaccination status for all indoor gatherings.
  • In gatherings where unvaccinated persons are present, all those present should wear masks and maintain social distance whether inside or outside. Mask wearing is mandatory for participation.
  • If the vaccination status is unknown, wear a mask regardless of whether indoors or outdoors.

Guidelines for Home Visits

  • Exercise social distancing (6 feet), handwashing/sanitizing and mask wearing during all home visits.

Guidelines for Camps, Conventions, and Larger Community Gatherings 

The COVID-19 Learning Group (see Full Guidelines, below) must be informed of in person gatherings three weeks prior to the event, to ensure the Covid–19 Protection Plan is in accordance with state guidelines and local conditions.

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 will do our best to reply with a phone call or text message within 24 hours.


A Message from the Regional Bahá’í Council


August 4, 2021

Dear Friends,

The Regional Bahá’í Council of the Midwest has established a regional COVID-19 Learning Group.

The purpose of the COVID-19 Learning Group is to encourage discourse regarding public safety and COVID-19 transmission and vaccination that can be shared throughout the region. The group’s main area of focus is to learn with others by “adhering scrupulously to public health guidelines that have been established in their state and locality” [1]. It hopes to share experiences 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. The following are some initial learnings which they wish to share as guidelines to the community while carrying out the elements of our One Year Plan: 

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 them (utilizing experiences throughout the region) about how best to adhere to this guidance [1]. If possible, they 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 they hope to reply with a phone call within 24 hours.

The Council encourages Bahá’ís to utilize the COVID-19 Learning Group both as a resource and a potential source of accompaniment on COVID-19 related matters. We hope that this will help protect the Bahá’í community and the public as we move ever forward creating the Kingdom of God in our localities. 

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)