The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh announced new COVID-19 requirements in an effort to further protect members, guests and staffers. Beginning Feb. 7, 2022, JCC members and guests ages 5 to 11 will be required to provide a one-time proof of COVID vaccination in order to use all facilities and programs.
According to Jason Kunzman, the JCC’s chief program officer, the new policy creates a “vaccinated bubble” for nearly 97% of its members.
The Dec. 7 announcement follows similar protocols already in place. Since Oct. 18, staffers, members and guests have been required to show proof of vaccination in order to enter JCC facilities. That decision, and others, was driven by the organization’s reliance on local and national experts. Since the start of the pandemic, the JCC has worked with the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative to pressure test various decisions, such as pivoting to virtual programming, enacting new guidelines during its multi-phased reopening and mandating mask wearing inside all its facilities.
Additionally, in an effort to keep members, guests and staffers safe, the JCC has looked to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for guidance. On Nov. 2, the latter recommended that children ages 5 to 11 be given the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine.
Dr. Elizabeth Miller, a professor of pediatrics and public health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and director of the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh praised the JCC’s newest announcement.
“With this latest decision, the JCC continues to lead the way in following the science and prioritizing public health,” Miller said in a statement. “Our best line of defense to help end the pandemic is the vaccine and protecting the school-aged population is an important component of our community’s overall response in moving forward during these challenging times.” PJC
Adam Reinherz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.