TO: All Legion, SAL & Auxiliary members
FROM: Adam Boettiger, Post Commander
DATE: Monday, June 1, 2020
SUBJECT: Post 56 Phase 1 Conditional Reopening
What a tough few months it’s been. I hope you and your family are healthy and well and as ready as I am for things to get better very soon.
As you most likely know, Post 56 has been closed since early March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve all worked very hard to be able to reopen as soon as it was safe to do so. I’ve prepared some comments below to give you some insight into what has been done and what new changes you should expect as the “New Normal” on your next visit to the post
- Please make sure that you are on our email notification list. The COVID-19 health crisis has been and remains a developing situation that we expect to continue potentially for months. Email has been our primary means of communicating with our members during this time and making them aware of changes. [Click here to subscribe to our email list now.]
- Based on State and County approval to reopen bars and restaurants in a limited capacity in Washington County on June 1st, Post 56 has entered a conditional Phase 1 reopening.
- There are some changes and safeguards outlined below that you should really take the time to read about before you head in so that you‘ll know what to expect when you arrive.
- No Positive Tests, Cases or Deaths. We have, thankfully, not had any of our members become ill from or test positive for COVID-19; however, as of June 6th Washington County has had 790 cases of COVID-19. New research has found that 80% of persons who test positive show no symptoms but may still be contagious (CDC).
Additional research has shown that transmission is primarily through respiratory droplets transmitted during sneezing, coughing or normal conversation in a closed environment. So it is here. We want to keep the post a safe environment for all members to enjoy and we’re going to need your help to do it.
- Anyone Over 65 and Anyone of Any Age Who is High Risk. If you are in a CDC-designated high-risk category due to your age (over 65); or due to a pre-existing medical condition; or if you live with or come home to or regularly interact with someone who is in a high-risk category, it is my strong recommendation that you NOT enter the indoors of the post.
While I have strongly recommended that everyone wear face coverings while inside the post in order to significantly reduce the risk of transmission to eachother, the reality is that at this time only our staff are mandated to do so. The majority of folks visiting the post are not wearing face covering indoors, despite the fact that they are well aware that doing so protects other members and reduces the risk of transmission to each other by 79% if all individuals wear face coverings in an indoor environment.
Therefore, as long as individuals continue to make the choice to not wear face coverings inside the post, it is not safe for anyone over 65 and anyone any age with a CDC-designated high risk medical condition to enter the post building. If you choose to do so, it is at your own risk.
We really want to see you, but not at the expense to your own health or your life. I want to be completely transparent with you about this: If you are in a high-risk category and do want to visit the post, the backyard will be a much safer option for you than any closed environment. To encourage use of the better-ventilated backyard, we have arranged for the bartender to take drink orders from and service the backyard on a regular basis. Please stay safe!
Not sure if you’re in a high-risk category? Click here for more information from the CDC on age groups and specific medical conditions.
Full Details & New Changes at Post 56
In early May I appointed a Post 56 COVID-19 Committee and tasked them to develop a Phase 1 Reopening Plan for the Post.
The Post 56 COVID-19 Committee completed Phase 1 of that plan and presented a draft to the Executive Board in mid-May, where it was reviewed, discussed at length, revised slightly and adopted for implementation.
The Phase 1 plan has as its ultimate goal the safety of our members. It draws from a combination of mandates by the State and County as well as recommendations from the CDC, OHA and OSHA.
As of June 1st, Post 56 has reopened in a conditional capacity.
Here’s what you need to know, followed by links where you can view the full plan document and additional resources:
- Implementation. We are implementing a combination of requirements and procedures for Phase 1. Our goal is to reopen the post as safely as possible and to do whatever we can to prevent the spread of virus. I’ve lost two friends under 50 to this and two of my other friends have lost their parents, so please understand that this does not just affect the elderly. I’m taking this very seriously and I ask that you please do the same, at least while you are at the post.
- Greeter. In order to prevent the spread of virus and protect all members, there are some very specific safeguard procedures that we have deployed. During Phase 1 you’ll see a Greeter at a table by the big screen TV. Anyone entering the Post, to include staff, will be required to check in on arrival and check out on departure.
- Notifications. In the unlikely event that one of our members tests positive for COVID-19 or becomes ill in the future, it is critical that we be able to quickly determine which individuals were at the post during the same day and time period so that we can notify them of a potential exposure. We hope we will never have to do it, but we are planning for that contingency and have decided that it is in the best interest of all members.
- If YOU ever test positive for COVID-19. Life happens and people get sick. If you’re symptomatic or ill we ask that you stay away from the post until well. If after being at the post you later test positive for COVID-19 we ask that you please notify us (me) so that we can then do the right thing which is to identify those who were at the post at the same time you were and tell them simply to contact their healthcare provider and to potentially self-isolate. When and if any notifications are made no personal identifying information will be provided to anyone. We will use the phrase “Someone who was at the post at the same time you were”. We all play a role in keeping this thing from spreading and we are going to need your help.
- Entry / Exit to the Post. Entrance to the post will be the front left door as you are facing the post. Exit from the post will be the right-side door by the pool table. The rear entrance gate in the backyard will be locked to outside entry and will be used only as a functioning emergency exit during Phase 1.
PLEASE NOTE: Disabled persons will be always be accommodated and should continue to use the front door with ramp for both entry and exit. As you’re facing the post, this is the door on the left. If you need assistance please don’t hesitate to ask anyone at the post.
- Maximum Capacity. Our normal capacity at the post is 99 persons. We have reduced that to 25 in order to facilitate being able to maintain social distancing. Not more than 25 persons shall be at the post at any given time.
- Face Coverings. Masks or Face Coverings are mandated by the State for all staff at Post 56. If everyone wore masks or some form of face covering, it would significantly reduce the risk of transmission by up to 79% (Source: CDC). However, we recognize that it is at times impractical to drink or smoke with a mask or face covering on, so masks are “strongly recommended” but not mandated for post members and guests. This means that during the period that you are not drinking or smoking we strongly recommend that you wear some form of face covering in consideration to others and to help reduce the risk of transmission.
80% of people who test positive for COVID-19 have no outward symptoms, or perhaps even very mild symptoms, but may be quite contagious, so masks play a really critical role in prevention. If you do not have one, please ask the Greeter or Bartender for one.
Wearing a face covering is not meant to protect you, it’s to protect the other people who you are having a conversation with. Wearing a mask does not mean that you are scared of catching a virus. It simply means that you understand science and that you care about other people who may be around you who may be at risk or who may be caring for someone who is at risk.
When you make the decision to not wear a face covering, please understand that you are contributing to an environment that will cause many of our over 65 and at-risk members to avoid the post.
- Social Distancing. Social Distancing / Physical Distancing of 6 feet minimum must be maintained between persons. This mandate applies for the indoor and outdoor parts of the post during Phase 1. If you choose to visit us, you’ll see that we’ve closed off some tables indoors from use in order to facilitate distancing. The pool table, shuffleboard table and popcorn machine are also closed during Phase 1.
- Use of the Backyard. We strongly encourage you to make use of the backyard, particularly during summer weather. Physical distancing of 6 feet must be maintained at all times in the back yard. The horseshoes and bean bag toss games may remain open for use, provided that players can maintain 6 feet of distance. If this does not happen then we will close both.
- Penalty for Not Adhering to Social Distancing. Anyone found not maintaining social distancing will be reminded one time. Refusal to adhere to this one, simple rule will result in a 30-day suspension of post privileges. We’re all adults. If you see something, say something. Don’t just leave it up to the bartender.
- Ordering Drinks. The bar area seating is closed during Phase 1. There will be floor signage indicating six feet distancing and a single area at the bar to order your drinks. If there is a line, please ensure that you are six feet behind or in front of others in line. The bartender will also make periodic trips to the backyard to take drink orders, weather permitting.
- Closing Hours. During Phase 1 the post will close at 10pm, with Last Call taking place at 9:45pm.
- ATM Machine. The ATM Machine will remain open for use. We recognize that the screen and keypad are common surfaces and ask that you request that the bartender or greeter sanitize the screen and keypad for you prior to your use. If more than one person is waiting to use the ATM, please adhere to six feet distancing rules. Please note that if there is ever a time when our ATM is out of service, the nearest ATM is one block south, outside U.S. Bank.
- Restrooms. The restrooms may have one person in them at a time during Phase 1. The door will be left open to indicate to others that it is available and unoccupied. Hand soap and hand sanitizer will be on hand in ample supply for use.
- Lottery Room. The lottery room may have one player in it at a time and will remain locked when not in use. Please see the bartender who will unlock the room and sanitize the machine you’d like to play before use.
- Group Events. Group events will not take place during Phase 1.
- Barbecues / Use of Barbecue. Barbecues will not take place during Phase 1.
- Outside Food. There will be no outside food allowed, with the exception of staff bringing their own meals.
- Glassware. Our dishwasher machines have a sanitize setting that heats to 180 degrees F. Additionally we have a bleach rinse for added protection and cleanliness; however should you wish please feel free to ask the server for your drink to be served in a single-use plastic cup.
- Cleaning of Surfaces. The Post 56 COVID-19 Committee has reviewed cleaning materials and procedures and made some modifications to what surfaces are cleaned and how frequently.
- Guests. Members may sponsor not more than two guests at a time during Phase 1. Guests must check in and remain with member at all times.
- Check-In / Check-Out Screening. The check in process should take less than 15 seconds. You’ll enter the post, head to the check in table where the Greeter will ask to see your membership card, conduct a minimal screening (no-contact forehead temperature check and answering one YES or NO question about recent symptoms). You’ll provide your first and last name and a phone number where we can reach you in case we need to make notifications. I hope it will never happen, but it’s critical that we be able to notify folks if it does.
- Checking Out. Checking out is as simple as stopping by the Greeter on your way out and letting them know you’re leaving so they can log you out.
- Privacy Statement. The minimal information that you provide during check-in will never be shared with anyone, only the Post Commander will have access to it and it will only be used if and when we need to make notifications. If a notification happens, no personal or identifying information will be shared with anyone. A full Privacy Statement may be reviewed at the Greeter table.
- Symptoms. If you are ill or symptomatic or have a temperature of 100 or higher or have recently lost your sense of taste or smell or have been symptomatic within the past 14 days, we ask that you please not enter the post until you are well and symptom-free. Many of our members are over 65 and some have medical conditions that put them in the high-risk category so we are doing everything we can to protect them and all members, because this does not just discriminate by age group.
- Contactless Payments. We are working on being able to accept credit/debit cards and conduct contactless transactions in an effort to reduce the handling of cash. This will not be in place by June 1st but may happen in the next 4 to 8 weeks.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, ideas or input, I am always directly accessible by phone at (503) 308-3063 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and welcome your input.
Thank you for your patience and your understanding as we try to balance the health and safety of all post members during Phase 1 and this “New Normal”.
Adam Boettiger, Commander
Argonne Post 56 Sherwood
- Here is a direct link to view the Post 56 Phase 1 Reopening Plan in full: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_qjFF_p-cjbR3KEIspzmv-1pbGYLFoa-/view?usp=sharing
- CDC COVID-19 Resource Center
- Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Updates / Resources
- Visual Infection Trajectories Globally
- Washington County COVID-19 Resources & Data
- Shop for face masks online