A day does not go by without a news story about how the Delta variant of COVID-19 is causing a rise in the number of people contracting the virus and the subsequent increase in related deaths. We are not out of the woods yet. With this in mind, the diocese will continue to require congregations to follow strict COVID Protocols.
Our protocols are essentially the same as those promulgated on June 22, 2021. However, they have been clarified and are presented below.
All volunteers and/or employees working with children are required to be vaccinated and must present proof of vaccination if asked. Vaccines for children below the age of 12 are not available. We are called as Christians to protect the weak and vulnerable and the best way to protect our children against COVID and its variants is to be vaccinated and wear a mask.
The CDC maintains the best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to wear a mask and social distance when among people not in your family AND ABOVE ALL get vaccinated if you are medically able to do so. Let us all do our part to encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible and, when available, get a booster.
On behalf of Bishop Lucinda Ashby,
The Reverend David H Starr
COVID Protocols Revised as of August 18, 2021
Indoor gatherings are permitted and masks are required. The number present at a gathering is dependent on how many persons may be in the space properly socially distanced.
Outdoor gatherings are preferred. Masks are optional, but strongly suggested. Maintaining social distancing is recommended.
Maintain reasonable distance, especially indoors. The CDC recommends a distance of 6’ from others not in your household.
Good ventilation decreases the risk of the virus spreading. Maintain good ventilation when gathering inside.
Masks that cover the nose and mouth must be worn indoors. Due to the dangers inherent in the Delta variant, masks are strongly suggested outdoors.
Bread only. Distribution with gloves or tongs preferred. However, other TOUCH FREE methods may be used.
Hand sanitizer must be provided at gatherings on church property. Clergy and Eucharistic ministers should use it before distributing communion.
Choir members must maintain a distance of at least 12′ from each other and from the congregation while singing without masks. Soft congregational singing, indoors behind masks is permitted.
Minimal food and drink may be provided. Gloves or other TOUCH FREE methods for distributing food is mandatory. Wrapped food is preferred.
Other groups using parish facilities:
Any groups using parish space must agree to abide by diocesan and parish protocols.
Any person, volunteer or employee, working with children must offer proof of vaccination. Masks must be worn at all times and all protocols carefully followed. Use hand sanitizer and practice social distancing indoors and outdoors as possible with the little ones.
Our goal is to be mindful and caring of those at risk; who that is may shift depending on research, vaccination, and individual health concerns.
For more information, visit the COVID resources page.