Our understanding of safety and our analysis of violence strive always toward the social totality. As such, we’ve developed COVID protocols, synthesizing our politic and our analysis of the terrain. What follows are guidelines developed through study and struggle, which culminated in a political education workshop last month and these subsequent, democratically-decided points. Notably, the public health / pandemic landscape is always changing; our guidelines will periodically update to reflect this.
- COLLECTIVE CONSENT + COLLECTIVE SAFETY
In participating in BED events or working in-person with tenants, BED members agree to follow as many of the COVID-19 mitigations listed as we are able and make every effort to protect ourselves and other tenants.
If you can’t follow one of the protocols we have set out, communicate with others you will be meeting before meeting with them, and ask for support from others who can bring PPE, coordinate test pickups, or help bridge the gap in other ways.
- THE SOCIAL TOTALITY, FROM HOUSING TO TRANSMITTABLE DISEASE
Protecting each other from contracting COVID-19, and caring for each other while we are sick, is a part of our political program.
We will take cues from the most cautious person in the room and abide by their comfort level. This means being aware of nonverbal cues (like people masking or standing apart) and asking for consent before choosing to remove protections.
- Where can I get PPE + tests?
Especially while NYC has relatively accessible free tests/masks, we operate on an abundance mentality for using those. We will make it easy for each other to be safe. If free city programs end we will make a collective effort to obtain the protective gear we need.
- CDC-provided free n95 masks for pickup at local pharmacies (screenshot of link?)
- Free rapid + PCR testing sites in NYC (regardless of insurance)
- Stock up on free rapid tests from most libraries and some cultural centers in BK. If you say you’re going to an event tonight they will let you take 10-20 tests.
- MEETINGS AND PUBLIC EVENTS
- All in-person events will have a contact tracer who will take attendance and notify people in the event of a COVID exposure in the group
- In-person event organizers will make sure there are spare tests and masks at every event
- Anyone attending an in-person event should wear a well-fitting N95/KN95. If this is not an option, a surgical mask is far better than a cloth mask.
- At this time, given case spread in NYC, we will all get at least rapid tests prior to attending any in-person gathering, and PCR tests when possible.
- At this time, in-person meetings and events should not take place indoors.
5. IN OUR HOMES + INDOOR PUBLIC SPACES
- Always test before going to meet a tenant.
- Bring extra rapid tests when you can and offer them to the people you are around.
- Offer everyone going indoors together high quality masks if possible (N95 or KN95).
- Try to talk outside when feasible. If not, maximize indoor air flow by opening windows and doors.
- If traveling by car, wear masks for the car ride and open windows when possible.
6. IF YOU HAVE COVID OR AN EXPOSURE – BED
*What is exposure?
- We are taking a broad view of exposure in the name of community care and transparency and consent; people can only accurately evaluate their risks if they know what’s going on around them
- A definition: exposure is being in the same room as or talking to someone who then tests positive for COVID
- Let the contact tracer from any in-person events you were at within the past 5 days know, and they will get in touch with other attendees for you.
- Let anyone else that you were around in or outside of your home know of your test result. Someone can help message people if you ask!
- Do not attend any in person BED events until you are no longer contagious, and try to stay home as much as possible until you are no longer contagious. If you must go in public, make sure to wear an N95 mask the whole time so as to limit spread to others.
*You are still contagious until you test negative by a rapid twice 24 hours apart.
7. IF YOU HAVE COVID – CARE FOR YOURSELF
- Request paxlovid ASAP. It is a free drug that reduces your risk of hospitalization/death by 88%. We have BED members who can help navigating this system, ask in #help-needed!
- If having trouble breathing- get a pulse oximeter ASAP. Check our internal asset map or ask in #help-needed to borrow one from a BED member!
|What happens molecularly?
|PCR amplifies (multiplies) small fragments of the target, and for this reason is very sensitive to low levels or fragments of virus
|Rapid is like a pregnancy test, it takes your exact sample and makes the presence of the virus visible
|What does it tell you?
|PCR may tell before you are contagious; has high accuracy and will continue to show a positive likely for weeks following infection, even if no longer contagious
Gives access to make future medical / insurance claims in the case of long COVID
|Rapid tells if you are contagious, for the next few hours
|When do you use it?
|PCR testing on days 3 & 5 post-exposure important
|Rapid testing on day 3-5+ anytime you feel a little unwell/like you have a cold