Covid Protocols

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Covid Protocol for the Zen Center of Syracuse

As the COVID pandemic continues, and we become used to the reality that the disease is now endemic, we have made the following adjustments to our COVID Precautions.

We continue to strongly encourage all Sangha members to take advantage of vaccination against COVID and influenza, including booster shots, which offer the best protection against serious disease and death. However, recognizing that frequent mutation has diminished the vaccine’s protection against contracting infection, and that those who have not been vaccinated have chosen this status either from conviction or necessity, we will no longer require proof of vaccination prior to visiting our temple.

To limit the risk of infection, we ask that each Sangha member carefully and honestly assess their health prior to heading to the Temple, and that anyone who is even mildly symptomatic (including sore throat, cough, sinus/nasal congestion, loss of smell, fever, or unexplained body ache or fatigue) should stay home. Symptoms may precede a positive COVID test result by several days or may indicate influenza or other infections that will not be detected by standard testing. While we appreciate the hardship of missing an event that you may have made significant sacrifices to be able to attend, this is the single most important precaution you can take to protect both yourself and your fellow Sangha members.

When attending Sesshin or other events that require prolonged close contact, we ask that you also take a rapid COVID test prior to departure from home, and that you stay home if the test is positive.

Requirements for masking will remain flexible, depending on the prevalence rate in the community at the time of the event. At present, with a moderate prevalence, masking in the zendo is optional. However, masks are required for dokusan with Shinge Roshi. Also, when attending sesshin, Sangha members should bring a supply of KN-95 masks with them, so that they will be available if they become required — for example, if someone becomes ill while at sesshin.

Please help us guard the health and well-being of the Sangha to the greatest possible extent by adhering to these guidelines with a spirit of love and concern for everyone in our Dharma family.

-as of March 2023