We have had the good fortune and God’s kindness of participating in communal worship outdoors this summer, as well as Christmas Eve. We are excited to resume our communal worship services Indoors on Ash Wednesday February 17 and on Sundays beginning February 21. We want to reassure our community and any visitors that we will be maintaining the highest standards of health and safety including limited attendance, safe physical distancing and wearing masks.
Mask Wearing: We will be wearing masks at all times inside the building. See details here from the CDC on mask types.
Singing: We love music and we love our choir, but our choir will not be singing during our worship services in this season. We will also be asking parishioners to abstain from singing during services.
Physical Distancing: Our sanctuary has a enough space that we would to be able to accommodate a fairly large number of worship service participants, even with significant physical distancing. We have organized groups of participants to only attend services periodically in order to keep our average attendance at closer to 10% of our maximum occupancy. Markings will clearly indicate seating arrangements that will exceed the minimum 6 feet physical distancing requirements.
Contact Tracing: We will be gathering two pieces of contact information for each attendee and taking attendance at each service so as to know who to follow-up with in case we become aware that one of the attendees has come down with the virus.
Self-Attestation: We encourage anyone who feels sick to stay home. To help avoid welcoming people with symptoms into the building, we will ask people to acknowledge they are not sick prior to attending.
Air Exchange: We have consulted with a variety of experts on healthy buildings. From this research in recent months, we have concluded that our building’s HVAC system will have a very small impact on mitigating the risk of the spread of Covid-19. The protocols of mask wearing, physical distancing, and washing hands address the vast majority of the risk of spreading Covid-19. That said, we have recently cleaned/maintained our heating and air handling systems and installed upgraded filters. We will also be maintaining indoor temperatures at colder levels that require the heating and air exchange systems to be running for the majority of the time the building is occupied. This will maximize exchange of fresh air in the building. To accomplish this, we may need to keep some exterior openings (windows and doors) open. Our sanctuary is designed so that heated air comes up from the floor then gets drawn back out and exhausted through overhead vents at the front of the sanctuary which is a safer means of air exchange as it limits cross-flows of air.
Air Cleaning: We have invested in multiple portable HEPA air filtration devices that we will position around the sanctuary.
Cleaning: We will be cleaning all frequently-touched spaces before, in between and after services. We will have removed all Bibles and Hymnals from the pews so as to reduce risk of spreading the virus through sharing these materials. We will be limiting access and cleaning the bathrooms at least hourly per state guidelines.