COVID Health Update (revised)
Sisters and brothers, the last week of July, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued new Public Health guidelines regarding the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. I trust that many of you are hearing and reading the same news that we are. Here is the latest from the CDC website online. And, this website provides a current reading for county stands with respect to risk of transmission of the virus.
Since July 29's level of COVID transmission was at “Substantial” in Loudoun County (and has generally remained there), our PRG (Post-COVID Re-entry Group) met to discuss changes to our COVID policy with respect to in-person church activities – especially worship. With input from our CLT & MLT chairs and one of our Lay Leaders, the PRG agreed on the following changes to our COVID policy.
In light of the increasing risks associated with the Delta variant of COVID-19, even for the fully vaccinated, we recommended and the Church Leadership Team subsequently approved the following changes to our LUMC Post-COVID Recover Policy. These changes follow the latest guidance from the CDC, and are offered in an effort to keep all participants safe and well as we continue in-person activities.
For indoor, in-person activities, while we are at the “Substantial” level of transmission:
Masking –all participants are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask. We will have masks available on site.
Distancing – we strongly encourage all participants to practice physical distancing and refrain from handshakes and hugs.
Registering – all participants are required to check-in/register for worship and other church activities by pre-registering ahead of time, or registering at the time of participation.
Get the whole document here: Covid Recovery Policy, rev. Aug 8
The Virginia Conference has also shared a message about the latest CDC guidance. Read it here.
We echo the sentiments shared by Rev. Heather Wray’s husband, Rev. Daniel Wray, in writing to the Round Hill UM congregation, that we are following the latest CDC recommendations and taking extra steps “to keep each other and our community safe”. We look beyond personal preferences to the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these… you did for me.”
Rev. Heather Wray, the members of our PRG, and I thank you for your understanding and your willingness to do what is needed to care for ourselves, one another, and for our community at large. We continue to monitor the conditions in our community and commend your flexibility and resiliency as we discern how best to bear witness to the grace and love of God in Christ while caring for one another.