Covid-19 Updates

Covid-19 Updates

New NSS Beth El COVID-19 Guidelines for Activities and Religious Services – Shared on December 31, 2021

In order to keep our community as healthy and safe as possible the leadership at Beth El, guided by our medical task force, is constantly reassessing our policies and protocols. Due to the existence and high transmission level of the Omicron variant we have decided to update our policy to create a mechanism to ensure that all those 12 and older participating in our in-person programs and services are vaccinated. 

Updated Requirements:

  • Starting Friday, January 7, 2022 Beth El will require any individual 12 years of age and older to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with an approved vaccine in order to enter our building.
  • Face masks that fit snugly over the nose and mouth must be worn at all times inside and outside of the building. Everyone must wear 3-ply surgical masks or KN95 or N95 masks. Cloth masks will no longer be sufficient. For those who do not have one, or forget to bring one, we will have extra 3-ply surgical masks available.Following IDPH and CDC guidelines approved vaccines are 2 shots of either Moderna or Pfizer or one shot of J & J.  
  • To participate in an in-person program please bring your vaccination card to show at the door. When it is not Shabbat, a picture of it on your phone is sufficient. On Shabbat we do not use electronic devices so you will need to show the actual card or a photocopy. 
  • Members may provide the required vaccination proof prior to entry by logging into your ShulCloud account and completing this short form and upload a copy of your vaccination card at: https://nssbe.shulcloud.com/form/vaccinations   Please note that you must be logged into your account to complete the form and upload your card(s).  If you need help accessing your Beth El ShulCloud account, please contact Kathy Stinson at kstinson@nssbethel.org.  Though to ensure no issues, please make it a habit to have your card with you.   
  • Members should advise any invited guests of our policy.

Exemptions: 

      • Individuals entering for less than 10 minutes when picking up, dropping off items, or making a delivery.
      • Registered students attending the Cohen Religious School or Sokol Hebrew High School during school hours (17 years of age or younger).

Previous Safety Protocols Continue:

  • Indoor mask mandates remain in effect regardless of vaccination status.
  • Masks may be removed by congregants when they are actively eating/drinking in place. However, we have previously announced that our Shabbat Kiddush will be ‘to go’ until further notice.
  • Physical distancing of six feet should be maintained where feasible.
  • Bimah safety protocols remain in place and Torah Readers will now be required to mask until further notice.
  • Our Medical Task Force and Public Health Officials emphasize that the vaccine requirement, along with the masking requirement, continue to be a powerful defense against COVID-19. Health officials continue to recommend layering proven COVID-19 mitigation measures, which include limiting high-risk exposures, wearing masks indoors and in crowded outdoor settings and maintaining social distance from people who do not live in your household.
  • Pikuach nefesh, the preservation of life, is an overriding principle in Jewish law. It is in that spirit that we are taking the appropriate steps to implement these new policies, as well as continuing our current protocols.    

New NSS Beth El COVID-19 Guidelines for Activities and Religious Services – Effective December 15, 2021

The Beth El Medical Task Force has set forth the following policies and safety protocols to keep everyone as safe as possible:

  • All adults over the age of 18 who attend in-person services, classes, programs and events, and are eligible to be vaccinated, must be vaccinated. 
  • The Medical Task Force strongly recommends that all eligible children under the age of 18, be vaccinated as soon as possible.
  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, we request that you to not attend our services and use the Livestream.
  • Masks must be worn indoors and outdoors by all members, staff, and guests, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Please continue to observe social distancing inside and outside of the building.
  • Seating is at the discretion of the attendees and all seats in the main sanctuary will be available.
  • Seating in the Paset will remain separated for Shabbat and Daily Worship services for those who prefer to remain socially distant from other congregants.
  • Plexiglas barriers on the reader’s podiums will remain.
  • The use of gloves on the Bimah is optional.
  • When singing please sing softly, in a low hum.
  • Torah readers will be required to wear masks.
  • The Torah will be marched throughout the congregation, but we ask that members refrain from kissing the Torah or shaking hands with those in the processional.
  • Individuals may remove their masks briefly when eating (ie., indoor Kiddush).
  • Food items for Kiddush will remain individually packaged and may be “grab-and-go” for those not comfortable eating around others indoors.

As a Health Precaution:

We continue to ask that you do not come to Beth El if you have experienced any of the following symptoms over the past 72 hours:

  • High Fever of 100.4 degrees or greater
  • New or worsening cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Loss of taste or smell within the past 14 days
  • Muscle pain
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

Office Hours

  • The main business office is open from 8 am- 3 pm on Monday, Thursday & Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.   Please call to make an appointment before coming, as many of our staff and clergy may have irregular hours.

Thank you for your cooperation as we navigate the challenges of this pandemic.

ALL OF THE ABOVE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE IF HEALTH CONDITIONS IN THE COUNTY OR STATE CHANGE