Covid-19, a virus that originated from Wuhan, China, has completely shifted the lives of billions. It spreads like fire, infecting millions of people all around the world. It has now become more than just a threat to one’s physical health, but also the mental health and economies worldwide.
Because of CDC guidelines, large social gatherings are discouraged. This puts the church in an interesting position. We should be responsible to keep our congregations as safe as possible, while also maintaining the identity of the Church to reach our flock and the lost. These restrictions have made gatherings hard to do, but not impossible to accomplish. Here are a few things that add an extra step of keeping a safe, church gathering, as we continue to adapt to what we now call the “new normal.”
Guidelines for a Safe Church Re-Opening
- The COVID-19 test should be administered among pastors and staff. Any team and pastor who will speak in front of a crowd should positively assure to be healthy.
- Provide protections for staff and congregants at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Offer options for staff at higher risk for severe illness (including older adults and people of all ages with certain underlying medical conditions) that limit their exposure risk. Offer options for congregants at higher risk for severe illness that limit their exposure risk (e.g., remote participation in services).
- Regularly sanitize the establishment, before and after each service.
- Have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for those who can safely use hand sanitizer), tissues, and no-touch trash cans.
- Social distancing. We cannot emphasize this enough, ALWAYS practice social distancing.
- Encourage use of masks among staff and congregants. Note: Masks should not be placed on children younger than 2 years old. Masks are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.
To this day, no vaccine has been made to fight this virus. Pharmaceutical companies are still in the phase of clinical trials, and it could take months to finish. Face masks, face shields and social distancing has proven effective so continue to love thy neighbor. For more information check out cdc.gov/coronavirus to find more information on the virus and appropriate steps to help keep your congregations safe!