Phased Reopening of the Alachua Temple

During Phase 1a of the reopening of our temple, for the next few weeks starting May 14, 2020, we invite individuals and their immediate family members to sign up for a time slot to come for darshan and lead the kirtan during one of our arati ceremonies on a particular day. For now we will limit attendance to one individual or family per arati. (That is, only your own immediate family members who reside with you in your household.)

Click here to sign up.

After you sign up for a time slot, you will get a text or email confirmation with your allocated day and time.

You and/ or your family will be able to come to the temple wearing your face masks, enter through the men’s side door of the temple room, use a little hand sanitizer before playing the instruments, and serenade the Lord and all the devotees watching via the Youtube live channel.

Class givers can continue to come over as you have been. You may now be accompanied by your mask-wearing family members.

Everyone coming to the temple must wear a face mask. Not covering your chin, not hanging off of one ear, but covering your nose and mouth. We realize this takes a bit of practice to become a habit, but still we don’t have the energy to remind you more than once; after that you may need to stay home and practice.

Phase 1b is still a week or two away, to be announced, depending on how long it takes to work out the staffing details. This would include deity darshan for everyone on Sundays. You would be able to come to the temple and take a spaced position in a queue outside along the veranda, and would be welcomed into the temple room in small groups of 3 to have darshan of the Lords. There would be a live kirtan in the temple room, with a tent and chairs set up socially distanced outside, where those who wish to do so would be able to sit and hear the Sunday afternoon class. On your way out you would be able to pick up Sunday feast prasadam to-go plates. You would also be able to pick up prasadam without coming into the temple room, if you choose.

It will take a bit more coordination and security before we start this phase.

These phases will be a trial. If we find that we cannot make it manageable, or if virus cases are going up too much in our area, we will again cut back on visits.

This COVID-19 will be with us for many months to come. This is simply a medical fact. Some amount of spread and infection is inevitable. The symptoms from this active disease range from making you feel very uncomfortable to extremely sick to a possible loss of life. You must assess your personal risk and the quality of your state of health. We are urging everyone who is vulnerable to this disease to continue sheltering at home, such as senior citizens with underlying health conditions, including but not limited to diabetes, high blood pressure or auto immune diseases. You can continue to watch the temple programs online as you have been, to greatly lower your risk of infection. We have grocery shoppers at the ready for you, and if you would like feast prasad, we can arrange delivery. Contact the temple office or Ram Govinda Das via the contact info at the bottom of this newsletter.

Alachua County is a mandatory mask-wearing county. If you do not have a face mask and need one, we can try to help you. Radha Dasi at HK Social Services also has resources for you. It is not as hard anymore to get a mask for you and your family. Children over 2 years old should also have a mask. This is not optional. All social distancing rules continue to apply. Stand at least 6 feet apart from each other when you chat and socialize.

We will be adding new security guards at the front gate. From 9 am – 2 pm, Radheshyam Pokhrel will be out front. At 2 pm, Vishnu Das will come on, and Gadagraja will continue from 6 pm until the last pujaris leave for the night. We want to have more devotees trained to monitor activities at the temple so that we can feel secure and follow “the new normal” as it develops. If you are interested in doing security guard service especially on weekends, please contact Mukhya D.D. or Tamohara D.

Thank you for your cooperation.

On behalf of the temple management board,

Mukhya Devi Dasi – temple president

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