COVID-19 Re-Entry Plan Phase II
PHASE II- RE-ENTRY INTO FACILITIES AND WORSHIP (THINKING FORWARD)
STEP 1. MASKS
- All persons attending in-person worship services must wear a mask throughout the entire service, including clergy and other service participants when not actually engaged in leading the service.
- Congregations should have a supply of masks on hand that can be given away, but it is recommended that people bring their own.
- Please see COVID-19 Resources page for ways to make masks or purchase them.
STEP 2. SOCIAL DISTANCING IN SANCTUARIES, FACILITIES AND WORSHIP SPACES
- Maintain 6 feet of social distancing, not just once people are inside, but from the time they leave their cars, as they enter the worship space, and as they exit the space and return to their vehicles.
- Social distancing requirements dramatically reduce the seating capacity of a congregation’s worship and fellowship spaces (25% of pre-COVID-19 seating). For example, to maintain a six-foot distance between households in the sanctuary, every other pew or row of chairs should be empty.
- Each pew or row should be no more than half-filled.
- Congregations should calculate the seating capacity for social distancing.
- Develop and communicate a plan for social distance seating.
- Ushers and greeters should be trained to maintain social distancing and safe practices in the facilities and designated worship space.
- Families who live in the same household should sit together.
- If multiple services are offered requirements for cleaning before and after each service are operative.
- Follow state guidelines for Healthy at Work for staff working in shared office space. Find these guidelines at www.HealthyAtWork.ky.gov
STEP 3. CONSIDER WORSHIP COMPONENTS CAREFULLY
- Microphones- Members and worship leaders should not pass or share microphones at any time. If possible, consider the use of wind screens, sanitized and replaced after each service.
- Bulletins - It is recommended that bulletins and other non-essential touchable items not be used in Phase II. If bulletins are utilized, they could be placed in the pews for designated seating prior to each service. Members should take the bulletins with them once they are touched.
- Entrances/Exits/Hallways - Decrease the number of individuals touching doors by propping them open or have one person open doors for those entering/exiting. Sanitize all door handles after gatherings.
- Visitors/Hospitality/Greeters - Maintain social distancing practices at all times. No contact greetings (no shaking hands or hugs). Have masks available for visitors if needed. Dismiss in an orderly way to ensure social distancing. No coffee stations or food, snacks or meals at this time. Greeters should inform guests of expectations regarding precautions regarding distancing, hygiene and wearing of masks. Ensure doors are propped open for ventilation and so that doors need not be touched.
- Offering - Online giving should continue and be encouraged for those able to do so. Churches should design a method of receiving an offering with a box, basket or bucket in an established place where people may drop their offering. Individuals who count money should use gloves to count and prepare the deposit.
- Technology - This is an opportunity to leverage technology. Consider providing digital material for services ahead of time or project information in the sanctuary.
- Multiple services - Consider offering multiple services to encourage greater opportunity for social distancing.
Choir/Music Ministry and Congregational Singing - Some of the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky
were traced to a choir rehearsal.
- Singing is a very efficient and effective way to spread the novel coronavirus.
- Choirs should not lead gathered worship music until late in Phase III.
- Choirs should not assemble at this time.
- Consider instead using soloists, duets, or small ensembles where a greater than recommended social distance can be practiced.
- If congregational singing takes place, masks are absolutely necessary and should be worn during singing.
- Worship leaders should rethink how to include music with pre-recorded solos and video projection.
- Churches should begin to think into this very carefully; especially, related to special events, Christmas, etc.
Nursery and Child Care/Children’s Ministry
- As long as local and state guidelines do not allow child care centers to open, churches should not provide nursery or child care.
- Children will need to sit with their families during worship.
- A children’s moment may still be a part of worship; however, children should remain seated with their families while someone speaks to them from the front of the worship space. Childcare and children’s ministries may resume in Phase III.
- It is recommended that children under 2 not wear a mask. See for more information: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/Cloth-Face-Coverings-for-Children-During-COVID-19.aspx
Food and Meals
- For the foreseeable future (late in Phase III) and probably until a vaccine is widely available, food, beverages, potlucks and shared dinners/receptions must be avoided.
- Touching serving utensils and movement along a food line is extremely contagious.
- Late in Phase III, a congregation might consider catered, plated dinners with servers. This minimizes proper distancing and contact with surfaces and utensils.
- In addition to the above, seating for a congregational meal will require appropriate social distancing.
Resurgence and Outbreaks
This “new normal” will continue for the foreseeable future until there is a breakthrough regarding a vaccine.
Churches should continue to offer online worship and discipleship, and be prepared for resuming online-only
worship should there be a resurgence of COVID-19 in our state or in your community. A resurgence of COVID-19
or an outbreak in a community or church will mean communities and states may return to Healthy at Home.
Should a COVID-19 case be confirmed in a church setting, local health departments will be notified and contact
tracing and possible quarantine of congregants may occur. Health ministry navigators will be available to assist
local churches as needed.
Guidelines for Drive-In Worship
Churches may consider offering “drive-in worship,” although guidelines must be followed to do so safely.
- Coordinate with your local law enforcement or emergency management agency.
- Utilize volunteers or signage to direct parking.
- Everyone, including volunteers, staff, and clergy, must follow social distancing guidelines at all times.
- Only members of the same household per vehicle.
- No one should leave vehicles for any reason.
- No bathroom facilities.
- No playground.
- Park every other spot
- No one exchanges anything including offering and communion elements.
The tabs below will lead you to further explanation of the three Phases of the Re-Entry Plan.
Contact the members of the Re-Entry Task Force at email@example.com