The priority during this time is to live into the purpose of the church while promoting the safety of our staff, volunteers and community. Every group who meets at the church must carefully adhere to these guidelines until the church instructs otherwise. All in-person gatherings, indoor or outdoor, will require 6-foot social distancing between all persons (excepting those who are in household groups) and face coverings. No use of restrooms will be allowed unless expressly approved by the Executive Director, Chris Slupe, in advance of any group event. If any individual refuses to follow the rules and requirements, the individual must be asked to leave the in-person gathering. If the non-complying individual refuses to leave the gathering, the gathering will immediately end and those in attendance must leave the church property.
Before Coming to the Church Property:
Consider your risk of spreading COVID-19. Do not come to the church if you or anyone in your group:
- Are experiencing any symptoms such as fever of 100.4 or higher; cough; shortness of breath; repeated chills or muscle pain; sore throat; new loss of taste or smell, congestion, or nausea or diarrhea.
- Have been officially diagnosed with COVID-19 until you have been fever-free for 72 hours without the use of a fever reducing medication AND it has been at least 10 days after symptoms began or you tested positive. In some instances, you may be asked to provide confirmation of negative testing.
- Reside with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
- Have traveled within the past 14 days:
- To an area designated by the CDC as a location of “widespread transmission of COVID-19 with restrictions”
- To a state or area that the State of Virginia requires to quarantine upon return.
When you are on-site:
Health Acknowledgement Forms
- All groups hosting an event at the church must have each participant complete a health acknowledgement form. These records will be given to the Executive Director, Chris Slupe, within 24 hours of the event or, if preferred, Pastor Chris Riedel. Groups with a special concern for anonymity (e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous) may put the records in a sealed envelope with the understanding that the Pastor will review them only in the event of an outbreak requiring contact tracing. Persons who cannot affirm ‘yes’ to all the statements on the form will not be able to participate in the event.
- Every person should review their own health using a Health Acknowledgment Form before attending an in-person gathering at the church. One of the following two methods of health acknowledgement must be used for every in-person gathering.
- Health Forms Online. Each group must send all event participants the attached form. Each participant should complete and sign the form and return it to the group via email or mail prior to the event.
- Entryway Health Acknowledgement. Groups may print this form and post it at the entryways used for each in-person gathering. Persons entering must read the form, acknowledge that they can affirm ‘yes’ to all of the statements on it to a volunteer posted at the event entryway, and provide their name and contact information, which the volunteer will record and the church will keep. This list of names will be given to the Executive Director, Chris Slupe, within 24 hours of the event or, if preferred, Pastor Chris Riedel. Groups will need to develop a plan for keeping persons socially distanced during this entry process.
- Maintain six-foot distance between you and others except for in cases of incidental contact including passing in the hall or restroom.
- Limit your movement, not wandering to unnecessary locations. Do not congregate in common spaces.
- When in-person meetings are necessary, adhere to the official state or local gathering limitations and use rooms large enough to maintain social distances.
- Face coverings are required to be worn at all times, whether indoors or outdoors. The nose and mouth must be covered at all times. Social distancing protocols should be maintained.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Do not share food, beverages, dishes or utensils. No food or drink may be consumed inside church buildings. Outdoors only - Each person or household may bring and consume their own food, or, in the case of children, a store bought/prepackaged snack may be served. A six-foot social distance must be maintained while eating. Face coverings must be removed properly (i.e. removing and reattaching masks by ear loops so as not to touch the outside surface). Face masks must be promptly put back on when finished eating. Six-foot social distancing must be maintained at all times while eating.
Clean Meeting Space
- For indoor events, clean and disinfect your meeting space prior to leaving for the day. Cleaning supplies will be provided in each Janitor’s Closet and all kitchens. Contact Chris Slupe, Executive Director, if disinfection supplies are running low. Items to clean include:
- Table and counter surfaces
- Chairs and armrests
- Commonly touched items, including door handles and light switches
- Restrooms, if used
- Copier, if used
- If you use a class or conference room, clean high-touch surfaces and follow any additional guidelines, if any, posted in that room.
- If you have significant contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with anyone other than those in your group while at the church, please make a note of those people. You will be asked for this list should you contract COVID-19. In this situation, significant contacts within two days prior to the start of symptoms or test date will be informed of potential exposure. Your name will not be released.
- If you or anyone in your group experiences symptoms or have a positive COVID-19 test:
- Go home immediately.
- Notify Chris Slupe, Executive Director, and provide your Contact Tracing list for at least two days prior to your first symptoms.
- Follow guidelines for care provided by your physician. Some individuals with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Even if you are feeling fine, you should not come on-site until you have met criteria to do so (see above). Doing so, may endanger others.
This is a unique time in our world and in ministry, with change happening at a rapid pace. More than ever, we are required to have flexibility, creativity, intentionality, accountability and grace.