(Clicking on type in red will take you to referenced documents)
As winter and the holiday season approach, lower temperatures with rising cases, and opportunities for community and family gatherings, the Post-COVID Re-entry Group (PRG) asks churches to help members remember how important it is to mitigate the risk to stop the spread. Therefore, each local PRG in the Virginia Conference should communicate the following expectation of observing best practices to those worshiping in your church:
- Members eligible to do so should be vaccinated as it is the “best proven method of protection” against infection. We also ask churches to promote the reason why it is important to get the flu shot during this time.
- As of Oct 5, all cities and counties in Virginia are still at high or substantial risk of transmission so all members should wear masks until transmission rates drop to acceptable levels as determined by your church’s PRG.
- Churches and their PRG team should observe the transmission rate within their community and decide whether or not to ask fully vaccinated members to wear a mask.
- “We ask each church’s PRG team to continue to monitor their local situation and review their Mitigation Assistance Plan (M.A.P)” using “the tools of vaccination, wearing masks indoors, and maintaining proper distancing,” in order to mitigate risk and improve safety (link: Aug 12 guidance). Any changes to your church’s original M.A.P. should be submitted to your DS for review and communicated to the congregation.
- If you attend church gatherings and subsequently test positive, we ask you to share the news so the spread can be controlled. Use best practices on “What happens when the church is informed about a positive case?” (Link: Best Practice
PRG team added two Best Practices on the following subjects.
Go to PRG Best Practices page to see how a church can host a hypothermia shelter, and video resources to encourage vaccinations.