September Covid Updates for Churches

September Covid Updates for Churches

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1 Peter 4:10 God has given each of us a gift from the great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
 
The Southern New England Conference UCC region has reached approximately 67% of the population fully vaccinated! This is good news; however a deeper look at the data identifies socially vulnerable communities, and populations report full vaccination rates of only 45% to 56% across the three states.

We have not reached the time when restrictions can be completely lifted. We must remain vigilant to protect those who are vulnerable, children too young to be vaccinated and those with immune deficiencies.
We can be part of the solution by sharing accurate, evidence-based information about the safety of the vaccines.
 
Remember Patience Increases Well-Being. We can all get through this pandemic if we practice patience and remain dedicated to reducing the spread of the virus. We can do this though broad, community-wide vaccination and following the CDC Multiple layer prevention strategies for schools to keep students safe:
  • Universal indoor masking
  • Physical distancing
  • Hand washing
  • Vaccination for all eligible people.
  • Regular testing
Here are the best resources for information and decision guides for faith communities:
This document compiled in June 2021 continues to offer relevant websites for covid response.

Key Websites for Accurate Coronavirus Information - Southern New England Conference of the UCC  

CDC- COVID-19

Myths and Facts About Covid-19 Vaccines
Where to get a vaccine in your state: High Risk Population Community Education

COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative: A Toolkit for Black and Hispanic Faith Communities

COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative with Rev. Traci Blackmon

Ventilation Questions

COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality: Best Practices for Houses of Worship (3/10/21) Video from Mass. Interfaith Power & Light. Curt Freedman, Professional Engineer and adjunct professor at Western New England University provides an overview of the factors houses of worship should consider as they plan to resume in-person worship. How to calculate capacity of the sanctuary, improving ventilation, use of filters and air purifiers and other topics.

A Guideline to Limit Indoor Airborne Transmission of COVID-19 Martin Z. Bazanta,b,1 and John W. M. Bushb – a Scientific Study of airborne transmission and statistical analysis.
Singing Safety Updates  

The Hymn Society: Care filled worship and Sacramental Life in a Lingering Pandemic

Sing! The Center for Congregational Music:
This link gives detailed information about what questions to ask before singing in any way as it is the riskiest activity related to transmission.

COVID-19 NFHS Study Update April 2021
 
COVID Conversations: Clergy Ask The Doc // with Dr. Regina LaRoque

Massachusetts Council of Churches Covid Response sponsored this webinar with Dr. Regina LaRoque, from Mass General Hospital, who compared the aerosol spread of coronavirus to cigarette smoke. She asked if someone were to smoke a cigarette where the person is singing would you be able to smell the smoke? If yes, then the virus could travel to that distance. Aerosol does not spread in a specific distinct direction. Dr. LaRoque spoke very reasonably and clearly about the risks and ways to mitigate but not eliminate risk.

Minnesota Department of Health, Recommendations for Music Activities and Performances During Covid-19 lists specific circumstances and mitigation methods for music and performances.
Re-entry Guidelines for Faith Formation Programs

Recording of August 26 Health and Wellness Webinar

Slides from August 26 webinar

Keeping Kids Safe and Healthy While RE-Gathering Gathering for In-Person Worship article by Anita Peebles

CDC Toolkit for posters and signs

Faith Formation and the Delta Variant blog post by Debbie Gline-Allen
Liability
 
The Insurance Board provides this FAQ that may help 
 

Contact Information

Deborah Ringen

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Author

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Deborah Ringen

Deborah Ringen MSN, RN-BC is a Faith Community Nurse and the Minister of Health and Wellness for the Southern New England Conference, UCC.

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