COVID Re-Entry Plan
Phase One

6/12/2020

COVID-19 is dangerous. As OneTable considers the plan to add in-person dinners with people outside of a host’s household back to the options for a OneTable Shabbat, we look to our core values for guidance. You may be used to us framing one of our core values kedushah, or holiness, in terms of elevating the Shabbat dinner table. Kedushah is also a framing principle when it comes to the sanctity of human life. Jewish tradition teaches that saving one life is tantamount to saving the entire world, and we take this teaching seriously. As such, we may be slower to fully “reopen” than some other organizations. Please know that we are planning with health and wellbeing in mind. 

That’s why we prohibited in-person dinners with people other than your roommates in mid-March. Since then, we have offered roommate Shabbat dinners, solo Shabbat dinners, and weekly virtual Friday night activities with OneTable Live — as well as Seder 2020 and the Great Big Jewish Food Festival. We hope that you have found these projects to be helpful while you have been sheltering in place.

We know that some regions in the US are seeing reductions in serious cases. We also know that some regions are seeing increases in serious cases. There’s nothing uniform about the experience of COVID-19 in the US, and we are a national organization.

We have been hearing from you, our users. Some of you want to gather for Shabbat dinner with people who are not your roommates (as much as you may love your roommates!). And you may live in regions with reduced cases and relaxed restrictions.

In light of all of this, we have decided to update our policy.

We want to start by noting that congregating with additional people at a Shabbat dinner (or anywhere else) presents a risk of contracting COVID-19. There’s just no risk-free way to interact with people in real life. So our first recommendation is to continue having Shabbat dinner as you have been since March.

For those of you who have begun generally to gather with people who are not your roommates, and where your health departments (city, county, and state) permit it, we are permitting an expansion of who may be included in a OneTable Shabbat dinner. We have established minimum requirements for in-person dinners (see below). A host may establish requirements for a dinner that are stricter than the OneTable’s requirements. And, of course, if any health department covering your area has stricter requirements or prohibitions than OneTable’s, you are required to follow the rules of that department — which may mean that an in-person dinner (other than with your roommates) may not be permitted at all.

As regions throughout the country experience increases and decreases in serious cases of COVID-19, health departments may loosen and tighten their restrictions. We cannot provide detailed requirements for each region. We need you to be aware of the health department requirements that apply to your area at the time of a dinner you are hosting or attending.

One last thing: Masking. There is increasing evidence that wearing a mask is an important practice to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Many public health experts believe that an infected person wearing a mask is less likely to spread the virus, and the wearing of a mask may also reduce the risk of contracting the virus. That’s why we require all participants to be masked at a dinner, other than when they are seated six feet apart and eating dinner. (We recognize that eating is a bit challenging while wearing a mask.)

OneTable reserves the right to change these guidelines as needed in order to ensure the highest standards of safety for hosts and guests. Anyone not complying with these safety standards may be removed from the platform.

OneTable will support the following options: 

  1. Solo Shabbat 
  2. Shelter-in-Place Shabbat (with roommates)
  3. Virtual Shabbats (including OneTable Live)
  4. In-person dinners reopening, in accordance with Social Distancing Requirements 

Note: All hosts and guests will be required to sign an acknowledgement that:

1) They will adhere to OneTable social distancing requirements (outlined below) when hosting and signing up for in-person dinners with people outside their households. 

2) OneTable cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed to, contract, or spread COVID-19 while attending a OneTable dinner.  

Social distancing requirements for in-person dinners hosted by community members

Phase One (allowing outside) - Starting Immediately

  1. We are allowing up to 10 people total per dinner to gather, OR whatever smaller number can be accommodated with 6 feet of distance between each person/household where the dinner will be held. 
  2. Everyone should be masked other than when they are seated, eating dinner, and 6 feet apart. 
  3. Outdoor space only: we ask that you plan to use parks for this purpose; private backyards are acceptable if large enough to accommodate 6′ of space between each participant. Notes: in the case of inclement weather the only options are: cancel/reschedule dinner, move to virtual dinner, have smaller dinners with roommates. Under no circumstances should dinners be moved inside. 
  4. If hosting in a private backyard, host should wipe down high-touch surfaces and have masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies on hand. Do not allow guests into your home for any reason.
  5. Ensure there is adequate space for everyone to be 6 feet apart at all times.
  6. No sharing of food or drinks, especially home-cooked. Everyone should bring their own food and utensils. 
  7. No sharing of ritual items like challah or kiddush cup (either the host does all rituals on behalf of your guests, or guests bring their own items).
  8. Have hand sanitizer available and prominently displayed.
  9. Stay home if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, take your temperature before heading out to a dinner; if a host develops symptoms they must cancel the dinner.
  10. Can be “host approval” or “private” dinner types (Nourishment will be $10 per person for both dinner types).

Questions or comments, please email hello@onetable.org