Updated November 4, 2022
COVID PROTOCOLS FOR WORSHIP AND BUILDING USE
DO NOT COME INTO THE BUILDING IF YOU:
- Are exhibiting possible Covid-19 symptoms (especially fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing)
- Are in isolation because of a positive Covid-19 test or close exposure to Covid-19
- Attendees: We strongly encourage that all in attendance at Sunday services and church programming be fully up to date on their vaccinations, as part of our covenant with each other and in recognition of the medical vulnerability that exists for some members of our congregation. Our choices as to Covid-19 protections can have a very real impact on those around us, so we ask that everyone please be respectful of others in this regard.
- Volunteers: Anyone volunteering in person at church is strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated; we do not require proof, but trust in your commitment to our covenantal community.
- Staff: All members of the staff are required to be vaccinated.
- We check the community risk level for COVID in Middlesex County each Friday afternoon https://covidactnow.org/us/massachusetts-ma/county/middlesex_county/?s=37352486. If the community risk is MEDIUM or LOW, masks are optional in the building. If the community risk is HIGH, we require masks. That said, we support everyone who chooses to wear a mask to keep themselves or others safer, no matter the community risk level.
- We provide seating in one designated section of the sanctuary where masks are required at all times for those who sit in this section.
- Church groups, after discussion among themselves, may choose more stringent mask requirements for themselves, but may not reduce them. We encourage church groups to consider a hybrid option if possible, if members of their group do not feel comfortable meeting in person.
- We encourage everyone to be tested for Covid-19 if you have any symptoms or have been exposed to someone with Covid-19.
- Fresh air helps mitigate the transmission the transmission of Covid-19. We will crack open windows and doors during worship, weather permitting. Please dress appropriately.
- We broadcast our Sunday services so that anyone who is not feeling well, who has been exposed to Covid-19, or who is concerned about attending in the building may attend from home.
- We will offer social hour online and in the vestry, provided we have the volunteers to do so. For social hour in the vestry, the same protocols apply for mask wearing as for worship.
- External groups who are renting space at First Parish can set their own Covid-19 guidelines for their group.
We believe that the high vaccination rate of our members and community and use of the following precautions minimize the risk of viral spread sufficiently. Each individual and family will need to decide if they are ready to worship in person. The Covid task force will continue to meet as needed and monitor conditions from several government and medical sources, particularly: https://covidactnow.org/us/massachusetts-ma/county/middlesex_county/?s=37352486. We will inform the congregation of any changes to these protocols, should conditions or recommendations from the CDC around the Covid-19 pandemic change.