Dear Tabernacle Staff and Church Family,

During the last few months, you have tasked our committee to come up with protocols that would help keep our congregation safe in the face of COVID-19. We have gone through a long year of not being able to be face-to-face! Now, however, we are approaching the metrics originally set, and voted on, for returning to in-person worship. Thus, we propose that we re-start in person worship on May 2nd, at 30 percent capacity of the overall sanctuary. 

As we approach that week, we suggest that the church: 

Open up an online registration to help limit the amount of people in the sanctuary on any given Sunday. When registering, congregants would be asked these three questions::     

  • Have you or anyone in your family had a fever, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath in the past week?
  • Have you or anyone in your family been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks?
  • Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days?

If there is a “yes” answer to any of those questions, that congregant would be asked not to attend. We would suggest that registration would begin on the Monday before that weekly service and end on Thursday (or when capacity is reached).

Then, on Sunday morning :

We have a team check-in through one main door asking the same three questions. Again, if the answer to any three of these questions is “yes”, that congregant would be asked to leave the premises until they can answer no. Since congregants sign up online, the church will have access to a roster in case there is a need to notify others of a positive exposure. 

We also suggest: 

  1. We provide hand sanitizer stations upon entry.
  2. We ask that all family units stay distanced from one another. 
  3. Congregants would be asked to leave after worship without prolonged gathering and chatting.
  4. Face coverings required for anyone over 5.
  5. Guests should be encouraged to report to staff if anyone tests positive within 5 days after being in worship.

We are so excited that things are trending the right way! If this trend begins to trend back to over a positivity rate of 7.5 percent, we will have to shut down again until that specific spike subsides. Thanks to vaccines, good mediation efforts and the grace of God, we see the light at the end of this long tunnel.  As we navigate our way back into the building, we recognize the need for holy space while acknowledging that, even without the building, we have been God’s church throughout this pandemic year. As we move forward, may we do so with grace and understanding while cheering one another on as we live out God’s unique call in our lives. 

Your Covid Protocol Team
Mark Snipes, Jessica Corbitt, Lugene Fernald, Anita McCarty and Jerry Jones

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