We are so excited to reopen our sanctuary for live worship on June 27-28! As we’ve developed our reopening plans, we’ve been keeping a watchful eye on the latest COVID-19 information, examples of outbreaks, and how other churches are reopening. We live in a world saturated with information and misinformation, but the following points are agreed upon by the vast majority of people, and have been some of the guiding information in our approach to reopening:
- It is possible for someone to have COVID-19 and be contagious, while not having any symptoms.
- There have been situations where a large number of people in an enclosed room for a period of time were infected together (9 in a restaurant, 52 in a choir rehearsal, 94 in a call center, 127 in a nursing home), which indicates that the virus can spread through the air.
- According to the CDC, out of all the known COVID-19 cases in America since March 1st, there has been a 0.2% rate of hospitalization for people over the age of 65, meaning at most only 1 out of every 500 people 65 and older who get COVID-19 end up in the hospital.
- However, people with underlying health conditions, such as severe asthma, serious heart conditions, liver disease, kidney disease, obesity, diabetes, and weakened immune systems are at higher risk for having a severe illness with COVID-19.
- To the best of our knowledge, it is likely that few people in our congregation have immunity for COVID-19 (i.e. they have not already been infected with COVID-19).
We are always learning more about COVID-19, but for now this information calls for caution, but not panic. We do not need to act out of fear, but we do want to act out of considerate love for others.
We cannot eliminate all risk when we gather for worship (if you attend, you are assuming the risk). This is why we strongly encourage those who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to stay home, at least during the initial steps of our reopening. But what we can do is take steps to mitigate the risk, while still enabling our congregation to gather together relatively safely to worship our wonderful Savior. With this in mind, our reopening plans are largely geared toward keeping people spatially distanced from others.
Please keep in mind as you read through the details of our plans that this is a constantly evolving situation, and these procedures may change at any time. This is simply the first step of our reopening for worship.