Risk Reduction in the Age of COVID-19
Coronavirus and the disease COVID-19 will be with us for some time. Only an effective vaccine or herd immunity can control this very contagious virus. While we wait hopefully for a vaccine, the only option is some form of risk reduction. Despite some resistance to the recent “Stay Home Stay Healthy” approach used in Michigan it has been successful in slowing the spread of COVID 19. Now that the virus is contained, we need to remain vigilant both individually and in groups.
In the early days of this pandemic we knew very little about the novel Coronavirus and recommendations for mitigation (slowing the spread) were based on knowledge of how most other viruses behave. It was assumed that Corona virus spread by attaching to large droplets from coughing or sneezing, and thus the six foot distancing rule. Now scientists have learned that the Coronavirus is also spread by aerosols that travel great distances and that COVID-19 can be can be spread in this way by asymptomatic people.
Now that people are no longer confined to their homes and having contact with people outside their households all activities have some risk and no one risk reduction technique is 100% effective. Managing risk will mean being aware of our own health and immunity factors and layering multiple risk reduction strategies. Risk reduction is something we need to do for each other, not just for ourselves.
❤️We will continue throughout the summer to re-evaluate with the guidelines and the science of when to safely re-open.
Risk Reduction Techniques
- Distance, distance, and distance
- Outdoor gatherings
- Face masks
- Avoid small spaces (hold small group meetings in largest available space)
- Maximize fresh air flow indoors (open windows and furnace settings)
- Avoid lingering to limit contagion. Contagion is determined by total exposure.
Total exposure = amount of virus x distance x time x personal health and immunity
Getting Back the ❤️ of Worship
We will continue throughout the summer to re-evaluate with the guidelines and the science of when to open.
Beginning in July, office staff returns to normal office hours in the building. Tuesday and Thursday 10-1 for secretarial. After using office, please clean desktop and keyboard. Wash hands before leaving building.
Phase 1 will begin on Sunday July 12 and continue on July 19 and July 26 through August with our normal time of 10 a.m. We will meet outdoors in the back yard with everyone bringing their own chairs and masks. If you don’t have masks we will have some available. Masks are required.
- The Narthex doors will be open to walk thru to the back yard. You will be greeted and given directions by an Elder.
- The offering baskets will be placed on the table in the Narthex.
- You will take your own chairs to the back yard where two ushers will direct you where to set up your chairs with social distancing.
- For those who are at risk and not comfortable worshiping this way, the sermon will be available online later that day.
- 🌂☔️💦💧☂️If it is raining or threatening to rain we will revert back to conducting the service the way we have been doing it since the onset of Covid-19 – online for the sermon and a Zoom family gathering at 10:30 a.m.
- 🎼🎤🎹❤️Each Sunday there will be a full service with prayers, Assurance of Pardon and Confession of Sins and singing. Even though we will have to sing with masks on at least we will be making a Joyful noise for the Lord.
- July 12 will be Communion Sunday. Sue Fink is in charge of Communion. She has purchased communion kits that come in individual packets. Sue will place the individual kits (while wearing gloves) into two baskets covered with two communion napkins. Pastor and the two Elders will wear gloves. Pastor will remove the napkins and give the baskets to the two Elders.
- The Elders will take the basket to each participant. The participant will hold our their hands and the Elder will then drop a communion kit in their hands. There will be a trash can with a plastic bag for participants to dispose of the communion kits.
What will it look like?
- We will return to services in our church building.
- Masks will be worn at all times by anyone over two years old. We will have some extras for people who forget their own.
- When entering church hand sanitizers will be available. If you prefer you can wash your hands in the bathroom before service.
- We will maintain at least 6ft of distance between us and anyone not part of our household.
- To limit aerosol spread the congregation will not be singing but may hum along. 5. Monthly communion service will use communion kits as in Phase 1
- No food will be shared. Coffee and snacks will not be served. Please finish your own coffee and snacks before you enter the building.
- Fellowship will be practiced at a distance. Warm words encouraged but please maintain distance and skip the hugs and handshakes.
- The sermon will continue to be posted on our website after service for people at high risk and anyone uncomfortable with the service as described above.
- If you are feeling ill, please watch the sermon on the website later.
- The church will be thoroughly cleaned each week starting in September by Friday or Saturday for Sunday service.