COVID Safety @ St. Paul’s
ST. PAUL’S COVID PROTOCOL SPRING 2022
UPDATED 27 MAY 2022
Our practice from the beginning of the Pandemic has been to follow the guidance of the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health and to apply that guidance to the particular context of our church community. We continue to watch the latest variants and employ COVID protocols. Currently, masks are strongly encouraged (though not required) on the premises with the exception – a mask must be worn in the lobby area, Monday – Friday.
OUR GUIDING FRAMEWORK:
- We believe that worshiping in person at the church remains a vital part of the Christian life and also contributes to our social and emotional well-being. At the same time, we will do all we can to provide safeguards and alternatives for those with health concerns.
- Masking does provide a measure of self-protection, but the main reason for masking is to protect others, especially children and other vulnerable people, in our community when we may be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19.
- Vaccination (w/booster) provides significant protection for most people against hospitalization and severe illness when breakthrough infections occur. Getting vaccinated also helps us protect the people who are more vulnerable to the virus. Vaccinations are not required for attending our worship services but are strongly recommended. Vaccine Information from CDC.
- For those of you who feel more comfortable at home, we continue to live stream our services throughout the week.
- If you have received a positive COVID test within a week of attending worship or an event at St. Paul’s please contact the church HERE.
PREVENTATIVE MEASURES AT ST. PAUL’S:
- While masks are no longer mandatory, we still STRONGLY RECOMMEND masks for any person (age 3 and up) when inside our church building;
- Masks are required in the lobby of the Parish House, Monday – Friday.
- All teachers and leaders of children and students are vaccinated and required to wear masks in the classroom;
- All worship leaders must be vaccinated and will continue wearing masks during worship (with the exception of the choir);
- Our HVAC system has been updated to the highest filtration system it can handle;
- Staff have, for the most part, returned to the office but may still work from home;
- Smaller, distanced gatherings are allowed indoors;
- Food and drink are now permitted indoors;
- Simple receptions may be held indoors and outdoors (this includes Sunday social hour following the service)
WHAT TO EXPECT IN CHURCH:
- Masks are now optional, but recommended during the service;
- Distancing – We continue to emphasize distancing during worship and we ask you to be considerate when choosing a seat. The balcony is available for seating, as well as distanced seating in Scott Hall;
- Overflow in Scott Hall – Scott Hall in the Parish House is available for those who want to be on-site, but wish to maintain the highest level of precaution.
- Contact-less communion (bread only);
- Please only attend worship and receive communion if you are healthy and non-symptomatic with COVID-19 or any other transmittable disease that could compromise the health of another congregant. We also strong encourage vaccinations for all who attend worship services or visit the church.
WORSHIP FROM HOME:
- We will continue to stream our Sunday worship services at 10:00 a.m. on Facebook Live and on our website. We’ve gone through a lot of expense and effort to offer services online. Attending worship services virtually is a good, holy, and wise decision. If you’re experiencing any symptoms or are at high risk for severe illness, join us online.
BUILDING USE AND IN-PERSON MEETINGS:
Church offices are open from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Friday. Staff and Clergy members are returning to work from the church offices, while some continue to work from home virtually. More and more we anticipate we will return to office work as the pandemic subsides. Additionally, we are starting to return to in-person meetings. We also realize that some of you have found the ease of Zoom meetings a good and helpful thing. We ask that you contact the staff before visiting the church so we can ensure your access and safety. Plans to increase the number of in-person meetings at St. Paul’s will largely be determined by the staff persons leading your ministry area and other safety and staffing considerations.
Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers as we thoughtfully and safely enter this new season together online and in person!