To our Community members and attendees,
We hope you are all keeping well.
As the month of Dhul Hijjah sets in, we feel saddened that ‘normal gatherings at our centres’ as we once knew them, are still a faraway thought, as the pandemic continues to spread. It is not easy for any of us to be home in these months, especially with three ‘Eid celebrations around the corner, and several other occasions in the month, where we commemorate the early sacrifices in the mission of Imam Husayn (a), and prepare for the months of Muharram and Safar.
The COVID-19 Crisis Task Force met on Tuesday July 21, 2020 to discuss the way forward as the majority of the province moves on to Stage 3, and certain measures fall in our favour.
Looking back, the ISIJ of Toronto was one of the first centres to close on March 3rd, 2020, well before the Government mandated closures and it was, indeed, a well calculated and wise decision. While the province has indicated that places of worship may open with 30% building capacity, we, too, have deliberated on whether it is safe for us to reopen our centres at 30% building capacity. We have decided that we will not be opening for the upcoming Muharram programs, nor will we open for weekly Thursday evening programs, or other such events.
In today’s report, the province of Ontario reported 103 new cases, with an increase in hospitalizations. On Wednesday the province reported 165 new cases, with more than half attributed to individuals under the age of 40. While York and Hamilton regions, among others, move to Stage 3 of the reopening plan this Friday and many businesses and organizations try to adjust to a ‘new normal’, we are not yet out of the woods, and so we must tread with caution.
The COVID-19 Crisis Task Force continues to emphasize the importance of following provincial and regional guidelines such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings, adhering to physical distancing measures and practicing physical hygiene and sanitization. The guidelines are continuously being reiterated and the measures in place are here to stay for a while. As a result, the COVID-19 Crisis Task Force will continue to monitor the situation, but will now convene on a bi-weekly basis and update the community and attendees twice a month.
Last week, we shared with you that we are opening our increasing the number of attendees for funerals and reopening for weddings for a maximum of 50 individuals.
Insha’Allah in the coming weeks, we hope to reopen our centres for Fajr prayers (not in congregation), to allow us to further fine-tune protocols and monitor our processes. Should this phase go well, we will then open up for Dhuhrayn and Maghribayn furāda prayers at prime time.
We appreciate the support of the community during these unprecedented times. Your well-being and safety is our topmost priority.
With Salāms & Du’ās
ISIJ Secretariat Office
Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto
905.695.9786 | firstname.lastname@example.org