American Women's Club of Zurich

Hello Everyone,

I am sure that after 12 weeks of lockdown many of you are very happy to be out and about more freely with the most recent easing of restrictions on 6 June. And, of course, we now have the opportunity to re-open our Clubhouse, and our various Activity Groups can resume face-to-face meet-ups again, if desired. We do however, find ourselves needing to re-open to a “new normal” in terms of how activities and events take place at the Clubhouse. The guidelines issued by the Federal Council, which can be found on the BAG website, still need to be followed in regards to hygiene, social distancing/masks, and contact tracing to help ensure everyone's well-being.

Hygiene

Frequent hand washing, for at least 20 seconds, is still needed. We have hand sanitizer available in the Clubhouse, but thorough hand washing is the better health option. Please encourage everyone upon arriving at the Clubhouse to wash their hands before joining the meeting.

Social Distancing

BAG guidelines still stipulate maintaining 2 meters of space between yourself and others. With this guideline in mind, the maximum capacity of Club spaces is greatly affected. For example, our large Function Room, can now accommodate 13, and the Board Room’s new maximum capacity is 8. The Lounge/Sofa area has a limit of 5 people. The Kitchen has space for 3-4 depending on which side of the island everyone is standing.

Masks

When social distancing cannot be maintained, then face masks are recommended by WHO. Mask wearing can increase the capacity in our spaces, and for some activities where the 2m spacing guideline is impractical, we have masks.

Please note that while masks provide some protection to the wearer, their primary function is to protect others. COVID-19 testing - in a wide variety of locales - has revealed that anywhere from 40-45% of all those testing positive for the virus displayed no symptoms at all. The only way to truly know if you have the virus is to be tested and one could become infected since the test. From this perspective it is much easier to understand the benefits for all of mask wearing.

Contact Tracing

An additional BAG requirement that comes with the 6 June easing of restrictions is the need for attendance lists at all events and activities. This allows for easier contact tracing should a Club member test positive for COVID-19. Each event coordinator and Activity Leader needs to ask those attending an event to sign in. Please be sure the name, email address, and phone number is legible, so we can contact should the need arise. The attendance list needs to contain the name of your group or event and the date on which it took place. After the event ends, please place your attendance list in the designated tray on the tall table in the Club entrance.

Food

Unfortunately, for the present, the open food buffet is out. Hotels, restaurants and cruise ships are for the most part, doing away with their self-service buffets for the foreseeable future, and so are we. However, due to the generosity of one of our members we will have the use of a ‘sneeze guard’ and some dome food covers for use when food is on offer at Club events. No open food can be left in the Clubhouse anywhere, and any snack foods must be served with utensils or in individual serving size containers. No communal bowls of chips, nuts, or similar items such as plates of cheese or vegetables are allowed. Items such as cookies, muffins, pieces of cake need to be individually wrapped in plastic wrap - which we have in the kitchen. And as always, please remember to thoroughly wash your hands before any food preparation.

Kitchen

All items used in the kitchen that are dishwasher safe must be cleaned in the dishwasher to ensure proper sterilization, including water carafes. All other items must be placed in a sink of hot, soapy water and rinsed in hot water and left to dry. All surfaces where food was prepared must also be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed off. You will find disinfectant on the kitchen counter in addition to soap.

Further measures

Our Clubhouse is being routinely cleaned with disinfectant, and it is vital that we all work together to keep Clubhouse spaces tidy and clean after use. Disinfectant for those visiting the Clubhouse is available in the Reception area, in both bathrooms and in the kitchen. You will also find a box of masks in the Reception area.

We will all be living with this virus for some time to come yet, but by supporting each other we can all make the ‘new normal’ a bit easier to adjust to.

Thank you all for your understanding and support.

Cassandra Budlong
Vice President
Clubhouse Operations

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