COVID-19 UPDATE – August 19, 2021
The Task Force had hoped to announce a full return to a pre-COVID worship and building use. However, with the Delta Variant and additional emerging variants, life continues to be uncertain.
All of us watch the news, the CDC announcements and Gov. Wolf’s press releases. They all show that a large number of Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated and our State is better than some others in new cases and hospitalizations. But unfortunately, the rising tide of the variants is lifting case numbers in all states and counties. Additionally, children under 12 and folks with compromising health issues cannot receive the vaccine, leaving them exposed to COVID.
Therefore, until further notice:
INSIDE THE CHURCH BUILDING:
MASKS – For everyone, masks are required inside the church building including: Worship, meetings, visits to the office, Scouts, Music- In-Motion. Hand sanitizers are available. When working in the building in isolation, including the Pastor, staff, housekeeping, etc., a mask is not required, but must be worn when others enter the room.
WORSHIP IN THE SANCTUARY –Masks are required. Marked off pews and hand sanitizer use will continue. Maintain 6 ft. of social distance and refrain from touching, hand shaking, etc. When receiving the Eucharistic elements, keep your mask on and consume the elements at the cup disposal station. The Pastor and Communion Assistant will be masked for Communion distribution; they may elect not to be masked when speaking from the pulpit, lectern, altar. (The Worship and Music Committee will inform you of any changes to the worship service schedule as cooler weather arrives.)
BUILDING USE – Masks are required for meetings, gatherings, visitors, Scouts, Music-In-Motion, Choirs, etc. The Kitchen and Lounge Kitchenette remain closed. Food preparation, coffee hour, and food for receptions/meetings is not permitted. Hand sanitizers at the building entrances will continue to be supplied. With revised CDC guidance, we are not returning to fogging or wipe down of high-touch areas.
CHURCH ACTIVITIES ON THE LAWN, PARKING LOT:
WORSHIP ON THE LAWN – Masks continue to be optional and are not required for worship attendees. For Communion: hand sanitizer use will continue, please consume the elements as you proceed back to your seat, the Pastor and Communion Assistant will be masked for distribution. (8AM Service on the Lawn will continue as long as weather permits.)
HOME COMING – the October 9th planned “Home Coming” activities scheduled for outside including: children’s fiesta, yard sale, entertainment, refreshments outside and in a tent will be held with mass being optional. Any activities held in the building, such as a book sale, will require masking.
BECOMING ILL WITH COVID SYMPTOMS OR TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
The following protocols remain in place:
1. If you become ill with COVID symptoms and you were in the church building or in contact with staff or a member of St. Paul’s, you are responsible to promptly notify Pastor Burkhart or a Task Force member.
2. Any member of the Staff or Council who becomes aware of an individual ill with COVID symptoms is responsible to notify Pastor Burkhart or a Task Force member.
From Gov. Wolf: “Vaccination is an important way that all of us can keep our family, friends and community members safe from more contagious and more dangerous variants of COVID-19. Low case counts and high rates of vaccination in eligible people are what keep all of us, including the immunocompromised and children under twelve, safe.”
We welcome your input, suggestions, concerns. Please feel free to contact any Task Force member: Pastor Burkhart, Suzanne Butler, Carla Hausmann, Russ Johnson, Peg Sennett (Chair), or Council President, Russ Kaltreider.