Dear COvenant partners,
The newest strain of COVID-19, the Omicron variant currently makes up approximately 95% of all COVID-19 diagnoses and is reportedly easily spread between individuals regardless of vaccination status. However, Omicron symptoms are not as severe as previous strains and do not appear to last as long. Most fully vaccinated persons who test positive for COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms that are similar to the common cold or flu. Those symptoms usually go away within 2-3 days with over the counter medications. The CDC reports that those who are immuno-compromised and those who are unvaccinated tend to experience more severe symptoms.
As your leaders, we care deeply about your overall health and safety and have discussed the pros and cons of maintaining an in-person presence or returning to a virtual-only worship experience. After prayer and careful consideration, we have decided to continue our in-person worship services on Sundays at 9:30am and continue to stream on our social media platforms
Here are some of the reasons why:
- God has not cleared our Lead Pastor to close the church.
- Majority of the Covenant partners who currently worship in person have been vaccinated or plan to get vaccinated soon.
- Many persons are back at work and have resumed many of their normal day-to-day activities. The church does not pose any more risk than any other in-door activity.
- We have updated our protocols for maintaining the safety of our partners based on the latest guidelines from public health officials.
- The symptoms of the current strain are similar to those of a common cold or flu and, according to health officials, do not appear to be as harmful as previous strains.
- Those who would like to continue attending in person understand the risk and will cooperate with safety measures in place to keep everyone as healthy as possible.
- We understand that the church is more than a place of worship, it is also a place of healing and community. While many have gone back in to work, many have not and the only outlet that some people have is the church. We’ve been told on several occasions that being in the presence of other believers and experiencing worship in-person reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in our members. We know that the mental health impact of COVID-19 is just as real as the physical impact and take this very seriously.
- We are closely monitoring the status of the pandemic and public health recommendations and will continue to seek God in an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible. We reserve the right to make updates to our policies and procedures as necessary to ensure the safety of our members.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our in-person church community, we will:
- Continue practicing social distancing and ask that you comply with the ushers and greeters regarding seating inside the sanctuary and standing in the lobby area.
- Require that everyone wear a cloth mask covering their mouth and nose while on church grounds. We will provide masks for anyone who does not have one and request that it be worn appropriately.
- Prevent crowding in indoor common areas by limiting restroom usage to 2 persons at a time in either restroom. We are also asking that in-person attendees exit the church immediately following service to fellowship.
- Provide hand sanitizing stations and request that in person attendees utilize hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the building. We strongly encourage everyone to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Require all meetings to be held via the Zoom Conference platform.
- Require that persons who are experiencing cold or flu symptoms (e.g., cough, runny nose, fever, shortness of breath, chills, headache, congestion, body aches) have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 worship with us virtually until the recommended quarantine period has ended.
Covenant, we are all in this together. As the body of Christ, it is all of our responsibility to ensure the health and safety of each other. We ask that you stay in faith and pray with expectation as we bombard heaven for healing of our land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 assures us that God can and He will.