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General Health & Safety Guidelines

Guidelines for Providing a Healthy and Safe Environment at the J 

As the J continues offering programs and services, the following guidelines have been created to instill a sense of confidence that the environment will be safe and healthy for staff, members and children. The guidelines were developed by an advisory committee consisting of local health experts, the CEO, current President and past Presidents of the board, and community members. 

The committee created (and continues to update)the guidelines with consideration of both the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC core values (including community engagement and well-being), as well as recommendations from local, state and national organizations, such as the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Camp Association (ACA). 

Patrons of the J must recognize that while the J is taking precautions as guided by health officials, community spread of COVID-19 is ongoing, and asymptomatic transmission is known to occur. Certain individuals, such as those over 65 years of age or with underlying health conditions, are at increased risk of severe disease, and should consider taking extra precautions. All individuals should remain informed and take actions to support both their own and the community’s safety and well-being. 

Partnership 

  • Masks requirements continue and is driven by our strong desire to protect those who are unable to protect themselves during the pandemic. This can only happen as a result of your continued partnership with the J. 
  • One Time COVID Pledge Agreement:  As part of this partnership, a one- time COVID Pledge Agreement is required for all members / guests to enter the J and participate in any programs. The agreement summarizes our partnership and your family’s commitment not to enter the J if you have any COVID related symptoms. 

General Information 

Who should stay home from the J: 

Anyone with the following symptoms must remain at home: 

  • Fever or chills (Feeling feverish or measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) 
  • New Onset Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • New Cough 
  • Congestion or runny nose 
  • Muscle or body aches 
  • Headache 
  • Sore throat 
  • New loss of taste or smell 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Fatigue 

You may also need to remain at home if you have had known close contact* with confirmed COVID-19 (see guidelines for quarantine following close contact**) 

*Close contact means: Being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the infected person is isolated. Close contact may also be considered if there is unprotected contact with infected person’s secretions or saliva, for example, being coughed or sneezed on; sharing utensils or saliva; or providing care without appropriate protective equipment 

**Following a COVID-19 exposure, the quarantine period varies, based on one’s vaccination status and whether you are able to protect yourself and others by wearing a mask. We are not requiring ERJCC patrons / families to provide proof of vaccinations at this time; rather, we ask for your continued partnership in optimizing the health and well-being of our community. Please continue to stay attune to evolving CDC recommendations regarding vaccine recommendations for your age group / health status: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html. 

Guidelines for Quarantine following close contact* with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19

For all children (ages 3 years and up) and adults participating in ERJCC programs, masking requirements remain in effect. 

In addition to the above guidance, all persons who have had close contact with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should: 

  • self monitor for symptoms; if you develop symptoms of COVID-19, get tested and follow guidance for persons with “COVID-19 symptoms” 
  • if you remain asymptomatic, and testing is available, get tested on or after day 5 following exposure; if you test positive, follow guidance for persons with “positive COVID-19 test without symptoms” 

*Close contact means: Being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the infected person is isolated. Close contact may also be considered if there is unprotected contact with infected person’s secretions or saliva, for example, being coughed or sneezed on; sharing utensils or saliva; or providing care without appropriate protective equipment 

Guidelines for Isolation for persons with COVID-19 symptoms (with or without a positive test) 

Given ongoing COVID-19 community spread, persons with symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to undergo testing to confirm the diagnosis, and are presumed to have COVID-19, if testing is not available. 

*Symptoms of COVID-19 typically include: fever or chills (feeling feverish or measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit); new onset shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; new cough; congestion or runny nose; muscle or body aches; headaches; sore throat; new loss of taste or smell; diarrhea; nausea or vomiting; fatigue. 

**For persons who are on isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms, and who are able to mask, antigen testing on Day 5 is required before returning to an ERJCC environment with persons who are unable to mask (e.g. classroom with children ≤ 2 year of age). Antigen testing is otherwise encouraged (but not required) prior to returning to the ERJCC. Those with a positive antigen test on Day 5 of symptoms should isolate for 5 additional days (i.e. total of 10 days of isolation).  

If your symptoms are believed to be due to an alternative diagnosis, and you wish to return to the ERJCC sooner than your designated isolation period, you must either: 

  • See a health care provider and complete the form for an alternative diagnosis OR 
  • Show proof of two negative COVID-19 tests, taken 24 hours apart (PCR or lab-based antigen tests accepted) 
  • Send materials to Teri Greenblatt at tgreenblatt@erjcchouston.org

For all children (ages 3 years and up) and adults participating in ERJCC programs, masking requirements remain in effect. 

Guidelines for Isolation for persons with a positive COVID-19 test, without symptoms 

*Symptoms of COVID-19 typically include: fever or chills (feeling feverish or measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit); new onset shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; new cough; congestion or runny nose; muscle or body aches; headaches; sore throat; new loss of taste or smell; diarrhea; nausea or vomiting; fatigue 

**For persons who are on isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test, and who are able to mask, antigen testing on Day 5 is required before returning to an ERJCC environment with persons who are unable to mask (e.g. classroom with children ≤ 2 year of age). Antigen testing is otherwise encouraged (but not required) prior to returning to the ERJCC. Those with a positive antigen test on Day 5 of symptoms should isolate for 5 additional days (i.e. total of 10 days of isolation).  

If you develop symptoms during the isolation period, you would need to isolate for 5-10 days from symptom onset (see guidance for “COVID-19 symptoms”) 

For all children (ages 3 years and up) and adults participating in ERJCC programs, masking requirements remain in effect. 

What if a person becomes ill while at the J? 

  • Any person who becomes ill while at the J will be asked to wear a mask (if appropriate) and will be isolated until the individual can be safely dismissed home or to a healthcare facility. 
  • The J will close off any areas used by the person who was ill until the areas can be appropriately cleaned and disinfected as recommended by health officials. 
  • Close contacts of the ill individual will be notified, as feasible and as advised by local health officials. For example, if a child or staff member becomes ill, other members of the ill person’s group will be notified. 
  • Additional facility closures may be required depending on the perceived risk, and as advised by local health officials. 
  • If a COVID-19 case is confirmed in a child, adult or staff member, local health officials will be notified and will guide plans for contact tracing and/or facility closures.  

What if a person becomes ill after being at the J? 

  • Any person who is confirmed to have COVID-19 within 5 days of being at the J is asked to notify Teri Greenblatt at tgreenblatt@erjcchouston.orgso that appropriate precautions / facility closures can be put into place as guided by local health officials. 

Hand hygiene: 

  • Upon entering and exiting the facility, all persons (children, parents, adults, and staff) must wash or disinfect their hands using hand sanitizer. Hand hygiene stations will be made available at entrances. 
  • Frequent handwashing is also encouraged, particularly before and after using the restroom, before and after eating or handling food, before and after touching one’s face (including after touching a mask or face covering, or after discarding a used tissue), and any other time the hands are visibly or potentially contaminated. 

Guidance regarding masks: 

  • The CDC recommends the use of masks to slow the spread of COVID-19   
  • Masks (covering the nose and mouth) are meant to both protect the wearer from becoming infected, and to protect otherpeople in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. 
  • Face coverings are most essential when physical distancing (i.e. 6 feet of separation) is difficult. 

At the J, the following requirements for masks will apply: 

  • Adults, including staff, are required to wear a mask or face covering (over nose and mouth) when entering / exiting the facilities and for all indoor programs and activities. Masks are not required when using cardio equipment in the fitness center but are required using any strength equipment.   
  • Children ages 3 years and up are required to wear a mask or face covering upon entering any J facility and to participate in any J program.  Efforts to facilitate physical distancing will be part of children’s programming, though may not be feasible in all circumstances. 
  • Masks or face coverings are also encouraged to be used outdoors, particularly when physical distancing is difficult. Adult members and children ages 3 years and up must wear them when entering and exiting the outdoor pool, and while walking to/from an activity. 
  • Physical distancing (6-feet of separation) is strongly encouraged in both indoor and outdoor settings, particularly in situations when masks or face coverings are not possible.  

Other Strategies to Reduce the Risk of Transmission 

  • The J has implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures, in accordance with guidance from health officials. Examples include: frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces (such as bathroom surfaces, doorknobs, handrails, light switches, countertops and tables); cleaning / disinfecting fitness equipment between use; regular cleaning and sanitizing of toys). Specific protocols will vary according to the program type. 
  • Additional efforts to reduce the risk of transmission will vary according to the program type and will be communicated appropriately (examples: frequent / scheduled handwashing; facilitating 6-feet of separation as much as possible; limited capacity / group sizes; limited mixing of groups with staggered playground and activity times, etc.). 
  • Informational signage will be posted throughout the campus outlining procedures, expectations, summarizing protocols, symptoms, risks to vulnerable populations, establishing social distancing parameters and reinforcing the concept of partnership. 
  • Additional considerations for vulnerable populations, such as special hours for programming, may be implemented and will be communicated accordingly. 
  • Modifications to these guidelines may be needed / recommended by the advisory committee as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. We have a shared responsibility to stay informed and use sound judgement to support both personal and community safety and well-being. 

Evelyn Rubenstein JCC COVID-19 Checklist 

Before entering the J: 

  • One-time COVID pledge agreement - Completion of this pledge agreement is required to enter the J and participate in any programs. 
  • Self-monitor and follow the above instructions for isolation or quarantine if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or exposures.