COVID-19 Re-Opening Plan
A Plan to Reopen Church Properties for Communal Use and Worship in the Era of Covid-19
Maintaining the safety of our congregation and community at large remain our top priority. If at any moment the local infection rate increases, or the Session feels that it is not feasible or safe to maintain social distancing while worshiping, the decision to close again is reserved by the Pastor and Elders serving on Session at the time. We share a responsibility to each other and our communities to stick to these rules and recommendations, to avoid the Church when not feeling well, and report anything related to Covid-19 to church leadership. We do a good job of taking care of one another, let’s show that we can do that still, despite what the outside world may look and feel like.
· Parking: It is requested that the few parking spaces behind the church be left for those congregants who would otherwise need the ramp in the front of the building. This action allows them to use the elevator from the Fellowship Hall to the Sanctuary and back down afterward.
· The elevator should only be used by members of the same household at one time.
· Seating will be roped off to create the most effective and distanced seating options possible.
· When sitting, consider the size of your household and be cognizant of the ability of others to sit with their households. While we are all excited to be returning to worship, we must always maintain the household by household rule to reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus.
· Entering the building and sanctuary must be done through the NORTH NARTHEX.
· Exiting the building and sanctuary must be done through the SOUTH NARTHEX.
· Until the 33% capacity is limit is lifted, no more than 44 individuals will be permitted in the sanctuary at a time. [This number reflects first floor use, and does not include the worship team]
· Masks must always be worn.
· There will be no congregational or choral singing – this further reduces the risk of unnecessary particles in the air. *Jodie will be working to highlight soloists throughout the modified worship services.*
· Please limit your movement in and out of the pew once seated.
· There will be no collection plates or communion elements passed.
► Collection plates will be placed at each Narthex for your donations, gifts, and tithes.
► Communion Elements will be pre-measured and portioned and distributed to the pews on Communion Days in advance of worship by the Elder of the Month. This will then be cleaned up after service by the EotM, utilizing proper PPE and safety measures.
· Ushers will be specially trained and asked to commit to being available for specific Sundays. Bonnie Trevett will operate the Usher Training and Scheduling with the support of Session. [or specific Session Ruling Elder]
· The Ushers will maintain a count and notify church leaders when we hit maximum occupancy.
► At that time, it is expected that congregants respect the current limitations, and opt for the virtual worship option that morning.
· We will continue to provide virtual worship options for those unable or uncomfortable with communal worship at this time.
· The restrooms will have cleaning products in them – please take the time to use them before and after your use to help share the responsibility of keeping the congregation healthy
· Trustees will be responsible for disinfection before and after worship, and as deemed necessary by Session or Board of Trustees.
· Doors will be propped open with fans on as long as is feasible to help circulate air.
· Everyone entering the church buildings will be required to complete a Covid-19 Health Screening Form to help reduce the risk of viral spread. These forms help ushers to determine if someone should opt out of in-person worship and will also be maintained to assist in contact tracing should we end up with a case among our congregation.
· There will be no Sunday School or Preschool available. Christian Ed will be looking into activity sheets and other appropriate solo activities for the children who are not used to sitting through an entire worship service.
· As much as we miss each other, there will be no coffee hour or gathering after service until it is deemed safe to do so by the State and CDC, and the Session approves the decision.
· There will be no sanctioned use of the Sanctuary or Fellowship Hall until deemed safe and approved by Session.
What if I am not feeling well?
· Stay home! Watch the service online and we’ll be sending you energy and love.
· Contact your doctor immediately if you are exhibiting any of the symptoms of Covid-19.
· If you test positive and have had contact with anyone at the Church or have been in the Church, please contact Jen immediately so that Session can take necessary steps to prevent additional spread.
What if there is a positive Covid-19 test?
· Once you contact the office, Reverend Plank and Session will be notified. The church buildings and all church activities will be closed for a minimum of two weeks from the date of notification to ensure the safety of cleaning crews. The Church and members of Session will communicate this information and after the threat of surviving particles has passed, the church and any affected church properties will be cleaned and disinfected. Communication will be sent when the church will reopen.