Resuming indoor services is going to take quite a bit of preparation. The following document outlines the necessary requirements as outlined by the CDC and Pennsylvania government. We are doing our best to provide a safe environment for everyone, and as you will see, proper preparation and execution will require a number of volunteers.
If you would like to volunteer to help with preparations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plan for Safe Services
Determine maximum attendance permitted
Determine what options will be available for congregants at higher risk of severe illness that limit their exposure risk
Develop a plan for entrance into the building and egress from the building
Enter church down center aisle
Rope off rows not to be used
Assure physical distancing is followed (family groups may sit together)
Dismiss by rows from the back of the church to avoid crowding using the side aisles
Assure no gathering in the foyer.
All attendees must exit the building immediately at the conclusion of service or meeting
Attendees must sanitize the bathrooms immediately after use and must assure physical distancing
Safety Actions, Signage and Messaging
Masks are required at all times on DVCC property
Require physical distancing of at least 6' at all times
Remind congregation to avoid physical contact (e.g., shaking hands, hugging or kissing)
Remove Bibles, Kleenex and another other frequently touched objects from the sanctuary and throughout the building
Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or walkways and signs on walls, to ensure that staff and children remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times (e.g., guides for creating "one-way routes" in hallways).
Post signs in highly visible locations (e.g., entrances, restrooms, fellowship hall) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs (such as properly washing hands and properly wearing a mask).
Include messages about behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19 when communicating with staff and congregants.
Promote healthy hygiene practices through emails and other reminders.
Have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, tissues, sanitizing wipes and no-touch trash cans.
Encourage staff and congregants to maintain good hygiene practices by
Washing hands with soap and water for a least 20 seconds. Whenever soap and water are not readily available, hand saunter with at least 60% alcohol can be used.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of their elbow. Used tissues should be thrown in the tase and hands washed.
Intensify cleaning, disinfection and ventilation.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily.
Clean and disinfect shared objects in-between uses.
Avoid use of items that are not easily cleaned, sanitized or disinfected.
Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, and using fans.
If multiple services or meetings are planned, schedule the services or meetings to allow time for cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces.
Train all staff and volunteers in the above safety actions. Consider conducting the training virtually, or if in-person, ensure that physical distancing is maintained.
Monitoring and Preparing for Infections
Maintain healthy operations
Check state and local healthy department notices daily about transmission in the community and adjust operations.
Designate a staff person to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns.
Staff, volunteers, and congregants should be aware of who this person is.
This person should be contacted if a staff member or congregant becomes sick or has been exposed to anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.
This person should be aware of state and local regulatory agency policies related to group gatherings.
As volunteers often perform important duties (e.g., greeters, ushers, childcare), there should be similar monitoring, planning, and training for them.
Volunteers and staff may need to increase in numbers to implement cleaning and safety protocols and to accommodate any additional services or meetings.
Communicate clearly with staff and congregants about actions being taken to protect their health.
Check for signs and symptoms
Develop a plan for pre-registration and onsite registration of all attendees to provide basic information needed for contact tracing.
Determine if a plan is required to take temperatures
Encourage staff or congregants who are sick or have had contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home.
Share the CDC's criteria for staying home with staff and congregants so they know how to care for themselves and others.
Consider posting signs at entrances with this information.
Encourage those who have been exposed to COVID-19 to self-monitor for symptoms and to follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
Procedures if Infections Occur
Prepare a plan for closing the building if any staff or congregant tests positive, show signs of the virus or has been exposed to someone who has contracted COVID-19.
Close off areas used by the sick person and do not use the area until after cleaning and disinfection.
Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep disinfectant products away from children.
Identify an area to separate anyone who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 during hours of operation, and ensure that children are not left without adult supervision.
Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone who becomes sick at the facility to their home or a healthcare facility.
Plan for back-ups and/or substitutions should a staff member or congregant getting sick
Notify local health officials if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the facility and communicate with staff and congregants about potential exposures while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.