We Are Reopening . . . . June 7
Good News! We are reopening for services on Sunday June 7. You are welcome to join us if you are able. We will be having strict adherence to guidance from Center for Disease Control (CDC), Hawaii State Health Department, Kauai government and Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii. We are able to open, with restrictions, because Kauai has had 0 new COVID-19 cases since April 9, according to the Kauai.gov website.
For the safety of all, the following will be observed during the month of June, with an eye to extending through July as needed.
· Areas to be used in the temple will be cleaned and sanitized prior to the June 7 service. Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned frequently.
· Masks will be worn within the temple at all times.
· Physical Distancing will be observed within the temple seating. There is a plan in place for seating with an eye to maintaining the optimal 6 ft. distance between people. People from the same household will be able to sit together.
· Everyone will be asked to use hand sanitizer before entering the temple. There will be pump dispensers of hand sanitizer available at the temple doors for everyone’s use. There will also be antibacterial wipes available.
· Hand sanitizer will be available for use after the service as desired.
· The incense burner will be available for those who wish to offer incense. It will also be proper to gassho (bow with hands together) in front of the incense burner without using incense.
· There will be marks on the floor of the temple to help maintain physical distancing from each other, especially when waiting in line for the incense burner.
· There will be no service books available in any of the pews. The words will be displayed on the large-screen TV in the front of the temple.
· The service will not be the same as you might have become accustomed to seeing but it will be the “new normal” for the foreseeable future. We ask that masks be worn at all times even when chanting or singing. It will be acceptable to sit and listen to the chanting of Shaku Kaufmann or listen to the music on the CD if it is more comfortable than singing/chanting in a mask.
· For the month of June, there will be no refreshments served in the social hall, in the interest of health and social distancing guidelines.
The Columbarium will be open again. Please remember physical distancing and other safety procedures as suggested by the CDC when using the Columbarium. Common items, such as those used for incense, will not be available for the near future. Please feel free to visit the Columbarium. There will be hand sanitizer available for use as desired.
As Bishop Eric Matsumoto states in his message this month, “We tried to encourage openness and warmth among our Sangha and sometimes that included handshakes and hugging. Now we are instructed not to touch people. However, we can still connect with our smiles, (and) our kind words.”
As others have noted, “Shakas not shakes” help us maintain our health. As we know, taking care of each other now is helping to keep each other safe through physical distancing while maintaining social closeness.
We hope you will join us in June as we reopen for services and share the Buddha’s compassion for all.