Changes in Temple Operations due to COVID-19
Update as of 05/11/2020
Utah has eased some of the COVID-19 related restrictions in recent days. As a result of this easing, the medical community expects to see a rise in the number of cases over the coming two weeks. Prevention is extremely important as there is still no proven treatment for COVID-19. We feel it is better to take slow, small steps that are safe and definite.
Due to these considerations, the Temple complex will remain closed for the near future. We do this in the interests of the health and safety of our community, volunteers and priests.
We will continue to evaluate best practices that we could adopt from other houses of worship and guidelines from State and Federal agencies. Thank you for your support of the Temple and ICC.
Update as of 03/06/2020
In response to the increasing levels of the COVID-19 outbreak, and in keeping with Governor Herbert's recommendation of limiting mass gatherings, the Executive Board of the SGHTU will be taking the following steps.
These steps will be taken immediately and are expected to be in effect until the end of April 2020. However, the Exec Board will reevaluate these on a weekly basis and communicate any changes to the devotees via the e-newsletter, Facebook page (facebook.com/UtahGanesha/)and the Temple website.
All Temple special events, starting with this Saturday's Dhanvantri Homa, and regular abhishekas and pujas, will go ahead but will be conducted only by the Priests. There will be no direct devotee participation in these events. We will live-stream all special and regular events and strongly encourage our devotees to participate in these online at https://utahganeshatemple.org/live
No new requests for private puja, inside and outside the Temple will be accepted.
All previously booked private pujas, will be evaluated by the Priests and postponed where possible. There may be some situations where the puja (such as a shraddham) cannot be delayed. In such cases, we ask the sponsors to limit the total attendance to 10 people or less.
The Temple kitchen will be closed.
Devotees will be given dry fruits as prasad for all events.
Annadanam sponsorships are suspended. We will allow all weekly sponsorships to be canceled and any payments already made can be refunded.
The Temple reserves the right to regulate entry as appropriate.
These are in addition to the recently implemented changes in the day-to-day Temple operations:
Shiva Abhishekam will be performed only by the Priests.
Prasada will be handled only by the Priests.
Placing of Sadagopuram/Sadari/Kireet on individuals will be discontinued.
The use of the common bell in the Temple hall will be discontinued.
Priests will continue to take sankalpam from all devotees but touching of the vessel during the sankalpam will be discontinued.
We will not be accepting outside supplies, such as milk, fruits etc. for any religious services.
The following will not be available during pujas and for general use within the Temple:
Bhasma / Vibhuti
Kumkum / Vermillion
Chandan / Sandalwood paste
We strongly advise members with cough, fever and respiratory symptoms to stay home to protect yourself and others in the community. Based on the current reports, elderly and those with chronic health problems are at risk for COVID 19 and other infections and are recommended to avoid large social gatherings at this time. More information can be obtained on the course of this outbreak at the CDC website http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
We are implementing these difficult measures to protect this community, the Temple staff and volunteers during these extraordinary times.
May Ganesha continue to guide us and help us overcome these difficult times.