The First Church COVID Team of healthcare and building experts continues to monitor pandemic-related developments. We share your frustration that local virus activity—an incidence rate of 240 people per 100,000 at the time we’re writing this—precludes indoor gatherings.
With increased knowledge about viral transmission, however, we are pleased to announce our revised policy that allows safe gathering for in-person outdoor activities including outdoor worship.
The science tells us that outdoor gatherings are very safe, especially with masking and distancing. As long as masking is maintained and people from different households maintain six feet of physical distance, our revised policy only limits outdoor gatherings by venue capacity (30 square feet per person to maintain necessary distancing).
Reverend Jennifer is exploring options in local parks that will allow us to have monthly in-person worship services, weather permitting.
Leaders: As your First Church team or group plans, we invite you to be in conversation with all the members of your group about their needs for safety and accessibility. Try to find a solution that will meet all your members’ needs, be they related to mobility, hearing, social interaction, or COVID safety. If you have questions about the new policy, or how to meet the needs of your team, contact the staff member assigned to your group.
Given the recent spike in viral incidence in the past few weeks and the emergence of the more dangerous Delta strain, we are leaving all indoor limitations in place at this time. As transmission hopefully falls in the coming weeks and months, we will continuously evaluate our criteria and adjust as needed based upon our constantly evolving understanding of the virus. The COVID Team will keep the congregation updated as we work to find creative solutions to facilitate safe gatherings.
The COVID Team
Find complete and current First Church COVID policies at these links: COVID Open/Close Policy & COVID Precautions Policy