The Transition Network

New York City Chapter

Guidelines for In-Person Caring Collaborative Meetings & Member-to-Member Assistance

(Posted August 25, 2021)

by Barbara Alpern 


In the constantly changing world of Covid, this has become an increasingly difficult article to write. Although I’m writing this from the Caring Collaborative (CC) perspective, much of what’s in this article may apply to other NYC Chapter groups and in-person events as well.

Our 22 CC Neighborhood Groups have been meeting via Zoom since the NYC shutdown in March 2020. During the last month or two, a few groups have started to meet in person again, primarily at outdoor restaurants and other outdoor spaces. In a few instances, they’re meeting in a member’s home.

While CC leadership assists with connecting group members with each other and mentoring new groups, it is up to the group members to decide how and where to meet. With local mandates and CDC guidelines changing on a nearly daily basis, neither the Caring Collaborative, nor the NYC Chapter or National TTN leadership, can dictate “rules” for meeting in-person.  Each member must decide what’s best for her. 

Things to consider when making this decision:

Safety Recommendations

1. It’s permissible to request proof of vaccination before an in-person meeting or event.1

2. Only vaccinated members should attend in-person meetings. (Note that TTN does not verify the vaccination status of its members, so it’s up to the members of each group to do so.)

3. At minimum, follow all local mandates and CDC recommendations regarding mask wearing. If some members of a group advise that they or people they regularly interact with are more susceptible, all members should wear a mask during the meeting.

4. Meet outdoors whenever possible.

5. Avoid indoor dining for meetings at least until September 13th, when restaurants and bars in NYC will be mandated to allow only people with at least one dose of vaccination to dine inside.

6. If meeting indoors, make sure the space is well ventilated. Adjusting the A/C to bring in outside air or just opening all the windows will improve air circulation.

7. Wearing a mask indoors is highly recommended. The Delta variant can infect even vaccinated people and the rate of break-through infections is rising. Vaccinated people have been hospitalized and died from Covid, though this is not common. While symptoms may be less serious when a vaccinated person becomes infected, you can still pass the infection on to others.  This would present a risk for many of our members – maybe even you.2  

Remember, We’re About Inclusivity and Helping Each Other.

1. Even if you’re comfortable not wearing a mask, be respectful toward other group members who, for their own personal health, need everyone near them to wear one. 

2. If most of your group wants to meet in person but a few are unable or unwilling due to health concerns, try to find solutions that meet everyone’s needs (e.g., meet in person one month, then by Zoom the next).

3. Some groups have been able to set up hybrid meetings in which some members meet in person and others are brought in by Zoom.  This requires a tech-savvy group member and some additional equipment.3   

4. If you are in a group that wants to meet in person and you are uncomfortable doing so, the Caring Collaborative is creating a new Zoom-only group.4   
 

Caring Collaborative Member-to-Member In-Person Assistance

Member-to-Member In-Person Assistance is available only to women who are members of TTN’s NYC Chapter and have attended a Caring Collaborative Orientation. 

Register to attend the next CC Orientation HERE.

If you are requesting assistance from the CC Coordinator, the following rules apply:

1. Both the requester of services and the responder must be fully vaccinated. 

2. Requesters: Be aware that, although there are almost 400 CC members in the NYC Chapter, the pool of members ready or able to respond to your request may be small now due to the high prevalence of the Delta variant.
  •  Allow extra time for CC to identify a member willing to assist you and, if possible, have a back-up person or organization you can contact. 
3. Discuss and agree upon non-mandated covid protection steps you will both take (e.g., masking outdoors as well as indoors)

4. If escorting a member to or from a doctor’s office or other health care facility, arrange to meet in the lobby or somewhere nearby to avoid sitting indoors for a lengthy period.

5. Follow all local mask mandates and CDC guidelines.5 

      
Above all, take care of yourself and stay healthy!!!


 
  1. Wall Street Journal Article: Can You Ask Someone About Their Vaccination Status.
  2.  What You Can Do if You are at Higher Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19 (cdc.gov)
  3. For more information about hybrid groups, email coordinator@TTNcaringcollaborative.org
  4. For more information about Zoom-only groups, email coordinator@TTNcaringcollaborative.org 
  5. See CDC Guidelines for Delta Variant

Material from www.thetransitionnetwork.org, 15:21:55 September 28, 2021.
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