The following is a basic summary of steps that would need to be taken from a planning and execution perspective to open the center when its safe to do so and we want to ensure the community has a preview in full transparency of this as to what it will take, InshaAllah:
1. Decision Planning on opening - This includes team appointment, legal, medical and insurance advice, and risk assessments.
2. Planning of space - This concerns the calculation of our maximum space capacity, ensuring adequate ventilation, plan on cleaning and sanitizing, marking of prayers and sitting areas.
3. Plan on use of Equipment - This considers building reconfiguration (signage, markings, barrier tape) face marks for congregants that arrive without their own, adequate hand sanitizers, cleaning products, and engages congregants to ensure they bring their own equipment (face masks, Musallah, Turbah, Qur’an, reusable shoe bag(s)).
4. Plan of Volunteers - This deals with the assignment of COVID safety volunteers, crowd control, training, queue management, the venue’s deep cleaning, etc.
5. Preparing the Community - We will need to educate the community on safety criteria for coming to the mosque, ensuring everyone bring their own prayer rug, Turbah, Qur’an, educate on face covering so that we do not propagate the virus in our congregation.
6. Planning the Pre-program - This involves planning a pre-booking system, planning for queues, plans for Entrance/Exit, basic screening of congregants, planning for a one-way system of congregants.
7. Planning the Program - This concerns enforcing capacity restrictions, ensuring that the minimum 6 feet social distance is adhered to and for example reminders to perform sunnah prayers at home, etc.
8. Planning the Post-Program - We will need to clean the entire used/usable area after each prayer/program, while ensuring no contact between the congregation such as handshakes/socializing, also contactless donations and, to clear disposed PPEs (if any).
9. Planning for any unforeseen problem/issues - Further if someone is COVID positive, enabling their dealing on this matter with their local authorities, contact tracing, and supporting those who should not be coming to the mosque if they are COVID ineligible.
Clearly, based on the above, reopening the center is not going to be an easy undertaking and, ensuring your safety is and will always be our top priority. As of today, the risk levels of reopening the center are still significantly high.
In light of the above, for your protection, SIIJLA EC has decided to keep the center closed at this time. We continue to monitor the situation and review the evolving conditions at hand, which may enable opening of the center in the future.