A NEW CHANGE TO OUR COVID POLICY!
PUBLISHED MAR 3, 2022
As you know, we have a Reopening
Task Force (a.k.a. The Virus Reopening Committee) that keeps watch of current
COVID trends, COVID numbers in El Paso County, Federal & State policy, and
CDC guidance. This committee advises the Lead Minister and Church Council
on the recommended way forward to keep the congregation as safe as possible in
light of current COVID conditions. After reviewing recent data, the
committee has found that COVID numbers in El Paso County, including
hospitalizations, new cases, and deaths are going down. El Paso County is
currently rated “yellow” or medium, but calculation of the numbers indicate
COVID cases are much lower and El Paso County should be rated “Green,” or low
risk. Based on this, and the fact that our congregation is nearly 100%
vaccinated, the committee has advised and the Lead Minister and I have agreed
that broad policy on COVID masking practices can change.
This means in short that:
- Masking for services and events is now optional, but
affirmed. This means masks are no longer required to be worn by service
attendees, but we as a congregation support and affirm those who choose to
continue wearing masks if they so choose.
- People can speak at a microphone in front of the church without
a mask. (as long as speakers are vaccinated and boosted.)
- Eating and drinking is allowed in the church once again.
- Performers can sing and play musical instruments without masks.
- The Chancel Choir can sing without masks.
- The Nursery WILL reopen, but the attendants must
be vaccinated, boosted, and masked while caring for the
children. There will be two HEPA filters in the Nursery for the
- HOWEVER: Proof of vaccination will still be required
for event attendees.
There are more details to come on
policy. But these are the main points. The change actually went into
effect for the Tuesday (March 1st) Choral concert. I understand that for
some of you this change may not be welcome, as you may have factors that keep
you at higher risk, or you simply feel more at ease with masks. Remember,
anyone can continue to wear a mask if they want. It is just not
required. As we enter the third year of COVID we are learning that
COVID is likely here to stay, and as such we cannot wait for a condition of
zero cases of COVID to remove masks. Nor can we wait for zero risk. We
must take the opportunity to relax restrictions when we can, and allow more
normalcy when overall safety levels are high enough to do so. We are in
that period now. No one knows how long it will last. We may have
another breakout which would require masking and restrictions to be put in
place again, but until then let's enjoy a bit of freedom. Making it easier
to breathe, talk, sing, hear and recognize others, as well as communing with
each other. For those of you for which this policy change does not work,
we will continue live streaming services so that physical attendance is not
required to attend worship. But for any and all of you who can attend,
please do! So we can commune together in person.