U.S.G.L. and COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions to the COVID Response Team (CRT)
Q: What is a F.V.P.? How does U.S.G.L. define a Fully Vaccinated Person?
A: U.S.G.L. is adhering to the definition presented by the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.), which defines Fully Vaccinated Person (FVP) as a person who is:
2 weeks past their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
2 weeks past a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
Q: You’re asking local masters to visually verify attendee vaccination status to hold FVP events or to allow FVP to not wear masks/distance. Isn’t that a HIPAA violation?
A: No. Businesses, employers, churches, and other organizations are allowed to verify if a customer has been vaccinated under HIPAA rules..
HIPAA's rules apply only to sharing information between certain entities, which only include health care providers, health plans and health care clearing houses, according to legal experts.
"Alan Meisel, a professor of law and bioethics at the University of Pittsburgh, told USA TODAY at the time that HIPAA’s rules apply only to sharing information between 'covered entities.' The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services describes covered entities as 'health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.'" – USA Today
A few sources for more information:
Q: I read the policy documents you sent, I think my local body can do things differently and still be safe. In my proposal do I have to follow the U.S.G.L. documents to the letter?
A: No. The documents we have created are a guideline and in the ever-changing time of COVID they are expected to change and be somewhat flexible. If you have an idea for how your event can work based on your unique circumstances please share it with us! We will review and discuss your proposal, probably have a few questions for you and will do everything we can to come to a reasonable accommodation. We are here to get you to YES.
Q: For a FVP event Master's are required to submit attestation of vaccination status. Does that mean that they have to attend every event and view the vaccination proof personally?
A: Not necessarily. Master's may, at their discretion, delegate this task to a trusted local officer.
Q: I read the guidelines you sent and I am completely overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Is there additional help I can receive?
A: Yes. There are a number of options to help you get underway.
A member of the C.R.T. can meet with you to answer questions, discuss options, or to help you draft your proposal.
Another local master who has submitted a successful proposal can connect with you to offer advice and assistance.
The C.R.T. can send you and an example of a previously approved proposal to show what has worked for others.
Q: I’ve looked at the U.S.G.L. documentation and I’m not sure I should go to such effort if the CRT is just going to probably say no. What are my chances of getting approval?
A: The CRT is here to work with you to help you succeed in hosting safe events. To date, no submitted proposals have been rejected.
Q: Who are the U.S.G.L. COVID Response Team?
The CRT is an ad hoc team working directly with the U.S.G.L. Executive Council and is composed of four Order members who approached the Grand Master to offer their services in the spring of 2020. They are:
Sr Melissa, U.S.G.L. Strategic Planning Secretary. Melissa has 20 years of experience in a healthcare setting with 15 years of experience in direct care and is currently employed with a medical research facility.
Soror Mackay, U.S.G.L. Assistant to the Parliamentarian for Policy Reconciliation. Mackay is licensed to practice law in CA, DC, OR, TX (voluntary inactive status), and WA, and is admitted to federal practice in four districts spanning three states. Her practice in litigation defense involves reviewing thousands of pages of personal medical records each year--personal, private, protected health information subject to extra security measures to prevent accidental disclosure--and working with nationally known experts in pulmonology and epidemiology.
Frater Lux Ad Mundi, U.S.G.L. Public Information Officer-- Past Master for over a decade and through transitions from Camp to Oasis, then Lodge. He is currently a senior officer in his region's Rose Croix Chapter. The Brother serves on a wide array of U.S.G.L. Committees.
Soror Kim, U.S.G.L. Initiator Training Coordinator. Kim serves as initiation consultant and liaison between the C.R.T. and the Initiation Committee.
Q: Is Order-related travel still prohibited for members of U.S.G.L.?
A: Not entirely. Effective June 1, 2021 Order-related travel is no longer prohibited for Fully Vaccinated Persons.
Q: If a member or guest has had COVID-19 in the past, does that mean they don’t have to be vaccinated to attend a FVP event?
A: No. U.S.G.L. relies on the best available data and science. According to the C.D.C., recovering from COVID-19 is not equivalent to being fully vaccinated. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.htm
Q: I’ve been asked, as a representative of O.T.O., to write a letter stating that I have a religious exemption against having the vaccine. Is that something we can do?
A: No. It is the policy of U.S.G.L. Ordo Templi Orientis that we do not endorse religious exemptions for vaccine mandates.
Q: When will we be allowed to manage our own events without collaboration with the U.S.G.L. COVID Response Team?
A: Unknown. But believe us, this is our ultimate goal!