Guidelines for All Church Gatherings during COVID 19

Purpose – To allow us to safely gather on and off the church property.

Leadership Responsibilities – A specified leader:

  • Assumes responsibility that these guidelines are explained to participants and strictly followed so we can safely gather.
  • Ensures availability of masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies etc.
  • Ensures appropriate ratio of leadership to youth or children staying within the limits of total numbers allowed.
  • Is authorized to correct unsafe behavior. If there is a pattern of non-compliance, or the weather forces a change in plans, the leader will ask attendees to leave or terminate the gathering.

Participant Responsibilities:

   We all agree to follow these guidelines with care as we strive to love our neighbors.
   People are discouraged but not excluded from attending if:
  • They have health concerns or are over 65
  • They or a member of their household have traveled recently (within 1-2 weeks), have a history of possible exposure, risky behavior or have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • They feel they would have difficulty following these guidelines.

Participant Screening: 

  • Before you leave your home: If you are feeling sick or have a temperature, we ask that you stay home.
  • On arrival: A mask will be provided if the person arrives without one. Hand sanitizer or an opportunity to wash hands using proper technique will be provided.

Social Distancing:  6 feet apart is the minimum for people of different households.  10 feet is better.  Strictly enforced.

Masks/Face Coverings:  Facemasks are a key component for everyone’s safety.  We are asking everyone to wear masks and to do so correctly. If you do not have a mask/face covering, we can provide you with one.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. The only exception to this is when walking or hiking; when everyone is widely dispersed, and for children 5 years of age and younger.

Sanitizing surfaces:  Should be done before and after the event with appropriate products.

Chairs:  Please bring your own chair when you can.

Food and Drink:  Bring your own.  No shared food.

Restrooms:  Ideally, use the restroom right before you leave your home! Once at the location of the gathering, only one person at a time is allowed in the restroom.  Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them before returning.

Church Van:  Private vehicles are recommended. Minimize the number of people as much as possible when the van is used for food deliveries.  No more than 4 people.  Everyone must wear their mask and sit as far apart as possible.

Recreational Games:  Keep your social distance and avoid a lot of touching of shared objects.  Keep some sanitizer nearby, and use your own equipment, rather than sharing when possible. Stick to games where players can be spaced six-feet apart, and avoid such games as volleyball or basketball where players come into close contact.

Examples of Gatherings:  Bible study and small group discussions, Bonfires, hiking, kayaking, sidewalk chalk drawing, biking, crafts with supplies from home, occurring under the portico, or at someone’s home.

Types of Gatherings:  Session is responsible for what gatherings are allowed at any point in time understanding that this will change as conditions change.

The “Church Gathering team” will continually monitor the local and regional situation in order to suggest an increase in gatherings or halt gatherings on short notice pending the next meeting or email vote of session if conditions worsen.

Good Resources for objective review of present conditions include:

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/individual-states https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard

COVID-19 Data Dashboard

Gathering A – Outside, Small
Maximum number of people = 10

Time limit = 1.5 hours

Gathering B – Outside, Medium
Maximum number of people = 20
Time limit = 2 hours

Gathering C – Inside, Small
Maximum number of people = 4 per 200 square foot room.  10 max in an over 1000 square foot room (Gathering space) while preserving 6 foot distancing.
Open all windows and doors when possible and set air-conditioning or heat to fan on.
Time limit = 1 hour

Gathering D – Inside, Medium
Number of people = 5 per 200 square foot room.  20 max in an over 1000 square foot room (gym) while preserving 6 foot distancing.
Open all windows and doors when possible and set air-conditioning or heat to fan on.
Time limit:  1.5 hours