The recent increase of COVID cases in the city in familiar places like grocery stores and gyms may have raised concerns about the Church’s approach. Most importantly we have no known exposure to the virus amongst our staff or our congregation. In this blog/email you will see a reminder of our precautions. They are purposely cautious and so far have served us well.
We want to reassure you that we are watching developments carefully. Along with general updates provided by the Province, Rusty meets monthly with other clergy and Dr. Strang to discuss precautions specific to faith communities. We will act to ensure your safety and the safety of our staff.
The Province of Nova Scotia provides regular and specific updates to Churches about Public health precautions. This update is in response to the recent increase in cases in the city. Public Health has reinforced the need for continuing precautions and care especially as we move our activities inside.
As of now, we are unaware of any direct risk to staff or to the Congregation but if we are advised of an incident or a heightened risk – we will notify the Congregation and, depending on the extent of the risk, we may invoke a complete closure of facilities and ask staff to work at home.
As a reminder here are our COVID protocols.
- You must not attend services or meetings in person if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat) or if you have travelled outside of the Atlantic provinces in the last 14 days, or have had close contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Staff offices have been designated “personal spaces” and are off limits to all others. The parlour is set up as a meeting space and for Zoom meetings for a maximum of 10 people.
- Attendance at Worship is by pre-registration to a maximum of 80 people.
- Physical distancing (2 m /6ft) is required at all times except for members of the same household.
- Everyone is to sign in on entering the church in order to support contact tracing in the event that an attendee tests positive. These records will be maintained for 30 days and then destroyed.
- Hand sanitizer is to be used on entering and leaving and non-medical facial masks are required at all times while in the church.
- Shaking hands, hugging, touching or passing items between people compromises the two-metre distancing rule and must not occur except between members of the same household or family. Even outdoors the distancing and mask precautions are required.
- If there is an onsite exposure, all members, building staff, and any volunteers who were on site at the time will be notified that an exposure may have occurred and that attendance lists from that time (and up to two weeks prior, as applicable) will be shared with Public Health for contact tracing purposes only.
- Kitchen facilities are closed.
- Meeting organizers must control entry into and exit from the meeting area. Individuals are to enter or leave the meeting area by family group or socially distanced.
- Please leave the meeting area clean and place all garbage in containers provided.
- Only one person at a time is permitted in washroom facilities.