COVID-19: GUIDELINES TO PREPAREDNESS PLAN AND INSTRUCTIONS TO REOPEN THE SHRI MANDIR SAN DIEGO
Shri Mandir started putting in place plans to reopen and operate according to the published State of California guidance and that of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Shri Mandir San Diego is planning to reopen the temple for all the devotees on Tuesday, June 16. While our primary goal is to provide religious, community, and cultural services, we are deeply concerned about COVID-19 pandemic and are taking necessary precautions. In addition to State, County, and City guidelines, we have decided to implement additional measures to make sure the safety and concerns of all the devotees, volunteers, and temple staff.
1. ENCOURAGE AT-RISK INDIVIDUALS AND THOSE WITH SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS TO STAY AT HOME
As we begin to consider reconvening Shri Mandir gatherings, people in high-risk demographics should be encouraged to not physically attend regular worship services. According to CDC, vulnerable individuals (the elderly and people with certain underlying medical conditions) should remain sheltered in place until further notice.
2. EXERCISE BEST CLEANING/SANITATION PRACTICES
Shri Mandir will implement best sanitation practices.
- Maintain social distancing at ALL times in the temple and outside the temple.
- DO NOT shake hands. Greet people with good old Hindu way - NAMASTE!
- DO COVER your cough/sneeze with disposable tissue and discard.
- DO NOT touch your face!
- Take the temperature of the people who join/attend services at Shri Mandir.
- Please wear mask at all times in the temple.
- Require everyone to use hand sanitizer upon entering the building.
- Disinfect high traffic areas, including restroom facilities.
- Encourage members to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- DO NOT LINGER to SOCIALIZE in Temple.
- Do not enter the Office and or Classroom areas.
3. RESTRICTIONS TO TOUCH DEITIES
Shri Mandir will implement the following protocols:
- Nobody to touch deities.
- Barrier of about 7 feet has been setup from deities.
- Separate designated places for Darshan and Sitting area:
- Darshan Area: From DOOR-2, devotees to enter and exit for Darshan of the deities.
- Sitting Area: From DOOR-1, devotees can enter and exit to the sitting area. Sitting area will have markers. Devotees can sit on the markers on the floor and chairs for those who cannot sit on the floor. A maximum of 35 people will be allowed in the sitting area inside the temple. If additional devotees are waiting outside the temple, then please consider sitting for short period and leaving so that other devotees can get a chance for praying.
. POLICY FOR PERFORMING ARCHANA/ABHISEKAM AND PUJA SERVICES AT TEMPLE
In person Archana/Abhisekam and Private Pujas can be performed for devotees inside the temple with the following limitations:
< >Pujas will be by appointment only and must be requested online at shrimandirsandiego.org or calling the priests. Archana/Abhisekam can be requested during temple hours.
All items (samagris) will be provided by the temple priest. Devotee to cover the cost. A standard e-mail with instructions will be sent to devotee as soon as a puja has been confirmed.
Masks shall be worn by all devotees and priests, and safe distance regulations shall be maintained at all times.
ALL food items brought in by the devotees for the services shall be handed back to the devotees after blessing. Nothing must be left behind in the temple for any public distribution.
All blessing item exchanges between priest and devotees will be done by placing items on the table. There will be no physical touching of each other’s items.
Under no circumstances will the devotees cross the barrier that has been placed in front of the deities.
Sponsor devotees to stand behind barrier and request for Archana/Abhisekam service with the priest.
Details of the devotees may be written (Names, Gotram, Rasi, etc.) and placed on the table at the barrier, or verbally provided to the priest.
Priest will perform services using flowers provided by the temple. Devotee provided flowers/prasadum can be placed on the table for blessings only.
Priest will place the Aarti plate on the table for the devotees to take the blessings without touching the plate.
Devotee to take back all flowers/prasad that was brought into the temple.
Devotee to place donations in the Hundi box.
If paying by Credit Card, place the card on the napkin on the table provided by the priest, and he will scan while holding it with napkin.
Private Puja may be done in the temple by prior appointment only. Devotee to fill out the requisite form online at shrimandirsandiego.org or by calling the priests. It is requested to prepay online by credit card.
All devotees for Private Puja to follow the guidelines as stated above for Archana/Abhisekam.
Pujas must be booked by the devotees online at shrimandirsandiego.org or making prior arrangement with the priests either by phone or in person.
All items (samagris) will be provided by the temple priests. Devotee to cover the cost.
All blessing item exchanges between priests and devotees will be done by placing items in common accessible area. There will be no physical touching of each other’s items.
Host to follow CDC recommended guidelines for Covid-19. Special caution must be maintained in terms of distancing, hygiene, and communicating.
ONLY members who live in the same household can be present during the performance of puja by priests. (It is required that no outside relative or guest be there in order to reduce the Covid-19 exposure to priests).
Masks must be worn by all devotees and priests, and safe distance regulations must be maintained at all times.
Donation can be paid in advance by credit card at the temple (preferable) or by check.
Once a puja has been confirmed, a standard e-mail will be sent by priests with these policies and guideline for the host to follow and confirm. The host will be asked to sign this paper and additional consent form prior to puja.
Please do not touch or ring the bell (GHANTI) inside the temple.
Do not pass out literature or books.
Do not enter the office or the classroom.
Try to use restrooms at home before coming to limit use of restrooms at the temple.9.PRASADUM POLICY
No outside prasadum allowed.
Priests will not provide any prasadum (we will re-evaluate this in a few weeks).
Priests will provide Charanamrut with a longer spoon and place a few drops on your right hand.
Any prasadum brought for blessing will be placed on tray for the blessings and returned to the devotee.
Shri Mandir will start by allowing a certain level of occupancy with appropriate social distancing and subsequently raise it by a percentage as CDC guidelines allow for further opening up.
Encourage use of flexible or virtual options whenever possible for all non-worship activities (e.g. volunteer meetings).
Follow specific CDC guidance for educational programming for children and youth.
Encourage use of a cloth face covering at all gatherings and when in the building by everyone except children aged less than 2 years old. (Not using a cloth face covering may also be appropriate at times for some individuals who have trouble breathing or need assistance to remove their mask.)
Have adequate hygiene supplies, such as soap, tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand sanitizer (with at least 60 percent alcohol).
Signs will be posted on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 and promote everyday protective measures.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily and shared objects between uses. Avoid use of items that are not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep them away from children.
Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, and so on. Do not open windows and doors if they pose a safety risk to children using the facility.
Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.
Kindly note that any local and state regulations supersede these guidelines.
In the Service of Dharma,
Shri Mandir Management