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friends@therouge.org | 734-927-4900 | Fax: 734-927-4920

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COVID-19 Update Fall 2021

October 7, 2021

Important update regarding our COVID-19 response

VIEW THE March 13, 2020 COVID-19 Post HERE


Dear Friends,

In accordance with guidelines from local, state and federal officials, including, the Department of Labor and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Friends of the Rouge (“FOTR”) is updating its COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan adopted by the Board of Directors on June 10, 2020 (the “ Plan”), effective immediately*, as follows:


COVID-19 EMPLOYEE PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT (PPE) POLICY

As of September 21, 2021, FOTR requires all paid staff to be fully vaccinated, as defined herein. If a current paid staff member has previously submitted a Voluntary Vaccination Status Form verifying proof of their vaccination status, the paid staff member shall be considered in compliance with this policy. Any new paid staff members, or any existing paid staff member that has not submitted a Voluntary Vaccination Status form prior to the effective date of this policy, are required to provide proof of vaccination status by completing a FOTR Vaccination Status Form. Current paid staff that have not previously submitted a Voluntary Vaccination Status form shall be given 45 days to comply with this new policy. Copies of the Vaccination Status Form will be provided to all employees.

Unless otherwise indicated herein, vaccinated employees who have previously submitted a Voluntary Vaccination Status Form are not required to wear a mask while working inside the FOTR office. Fully vaccinated employees must still wear masks in the following circumstances and follow the PPE within this policy and by direction of the Plan:

  • When interacting with the public indoors and unable to utilize a plexiglass barrier or maintain 6 feet of social distance between the employee and the member of the public.
  • When directed by a supervisor (this could be in unique or extreme circumstances).
  • For Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex (PARC) shared spaces at the facility including restrooms and hallways, please follow protocol as determined by their leadership.

A “fully vaccinated” employee is determined by the following:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

An “unvaccinated employee” is any employee who does not meet the definition of “fully vaccinated.”

All unvaccinated employees reporting to work in the FOTR office building shall utilize PPE. This practice is to ensure the health and safety of the workforce and our visitors.

  • The type of PPE (masks, gloves, face shields, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and sanitizing sprays) issued will be determined on a case-by-case basis based on current CDC recommendations and best practices.
  • Employees will be responsible for preventative maintenance of PPE
  • Refusal to wear PPE during employment shall be cause for insubordination and disciplinary action.

The following expectations apply to all unvaccinated employees:

  • Cloth/surgical masks will be worn when entering/exiting a building; during any health screening process; in public spaces within a building, such as hallways, conference rooms, breakrooms, copy/file rooms, and bathrooms.
  • Cloth/surgical masks will be worn in any instance that a minimum 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Cloth/surgical masks are optional in spaces when 6 feet of social distancing can be maintained.

PPE are just one of many protective measures and are not intended to be a substitute for social distancing, personal hygiene, and additional cleaning protocols. Please review the Plan for more detail.

ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

Exemptions. FOTR may provide limited exemptions to this policy for medical or religious reasons. Those requesting medical exemption must provide an explanation of the medical conditions that would make it unsafe to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, such as a documented history of a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine. The request must include documentation from a licensed health care provider in support of the request. Any request without documentation will be declined.

Those seeking a religious exemption are asked to explain why their “sincerely held religious belief” precludes them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. While documentation is not required, FOTR requests that those seeking this exemption include any supporting documentation that is relevant to the request, such as an additional written statement or written information provided by a religious or spiritual leader.

Falsified Records. Producing, providing and/or presenting a falsified Vaccination Status Form is prohibited would subject an employee to termination for cause.

Non-Compliance. FOTR requires all employees to comply with the provisions of this policy. FOTR staff can address non-compliance with this policy in the following ways:

  • Directly with a kind reminder of the policy.
  • Escalation to a supervisor.
  • Request to vacate the FOTR office.
  • In the event of an emergency, or if any FOTR employee feels unsafe, contact [Health Department and /or local authorities].

COVID-19 PARTICIPANT POLICY

As of September 21, 2021, Friends of the Rouge (FOTR) now requires all in-person participants (staff, board, independent contractor, interns, volunteers, event attendees, etc.) to be fully vaccinated or to demonstrate proof of a negative PCR OR Rapid test 48 -24 hours in advance of the event or a work day.

This new policy ONLY applies to events where FOTR is the primary organizing entity. FOTR’s participation in other entities’ events are subject to the organizing entities protocol.

Vaccinated FOTR participants are NOT required to wear a mask outdoors or indoors. However, they must provide valid proof of vaccination status in order to be mask free. This updated policy is effective immediately.

Fully vaccinated participants must still wear masks in the following circumstances and follow the PPE within this policy and by direction of the Plan:

  • When interacting with the public indoors and unable to utilize a barrier or maintain 6 feet of social distancing between other participants and/or other members of the public.
    • When directed by an event leader (this could be in unique or extreme circumstances).
    • For Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex (PARC) shared spaces at the facility including restrooms and hallways, please follow protocol as determined by their leadership.

A “fully vaccinated” participant is determined by the following:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
    • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

An “unvaccinated participant” is any participant who does not meet the definition of “fully vaccinated.”

All unvaccinated participants, who have also provided proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test, attending any event (class, workshop, office visit etc.) in the FOTR office building/indoors shall utilize PPE.

Unvaccinated FOTR participants are NOT required to wear a mask outdoors as long as social distancing is available. However, they must provide valid proof of a negative PCR or Rapid test 48-24 hours in advance of the event in order to be mask free.

This practice is to ensure the health and safety of the workforce and our visitors.

  • The type of PPE (masks, gloves, face shields, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and sanitizing sprays) issued will be determined on a case-by-case basis based on current CDC recommendations and best practices.
    • Refusal to wear PPE during indoors participation shall be cause for removal. The following expectations apply to all unvaccinated participants:
    • Cloth/surgical masks will be worn when entering/exiting a building; during any health screening process; in public spaces within a building, such as hallways, conference rooms, breakrooms, copy/file rooms, and bathrooms.
    • Cloth/surgical masks will be worn in any instance that a minimum 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.
    • Cloth/surgical masks are optional in spaces when 6 feet of social distancing can be maintained.

PPE are just one of many protective measures and are not intended to be a substitute for social distancing, personal hygiene, and additional cleaning protocols. Please review the Plan for more detail.

PREVENTION EFFORTS AND WORKPLACE CONTROLS

FOTR does not currently restrict the number of employees or participants present in the physical office. All employees are encouraged to work in the FOTR office but permitted to work remotely unless otherwise directed. Staff meetings may be held in person, indoors or outdoors, remotely, or a hybrid of both in-person and remote. FOTR staff is encouraged to continue to maintain physical distance, when possible, in the FOTR office building and should continue to follow all cleanliness measures and exercise personal hygiene best practices.

Except as otherwise modified herein, the Plan remains in place. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, FTOR will continue to update the Plan and its corresponding processes.

Employees who wish to report unsafe work practices should immediately contact executive director, Marie McCormick, at (248) 444-0756 or mmccormick@therouge.org, or if not available, Karen Hanna khanna@therouge.org.

*Updated on October 7, 2021 by Marie McCormick.