Guidelines for Incremental Reopening of Congregational In-Person Gathering
May 15 2020
Suggested Policies and Guidelines to Return to In-person Worship
Dr. Stephen Shirley, medical director for multiple nursing homes in Mississippi, in consultation with his church leadership, has devised the following helpful suggestions for returning to in-person worship. It is being offered simply as a resource.
- COVID self-evaluation safety process to determine whether an individual is safe to return to an in-person church before an effective vaccine is available.
- A questionnaire, to be answered each Sunday, to determine whether you should remain at home on that particular Sunday to avoid potential disease transmission to other church members.
COVID SAFETY SCALE
If you (or someone in your household) score four (4) points or greater, you should consider avoiding large in-person gatherings, such as church until the advent of an effective vaccine. If you score less than four (4), it is reasonable to attend large in-person gatherings with appropriate precautions, including face masks and some degree of social distancing.
- 1 Point for age 60 or older
- 1 point for African American ethnicity
- 1 point for Hispanic ethnicity
- 1 point for COPD or excessive smoking or vaping
- 1 point for hypertension/heart disease
- 1 point for active treatment for cancer/autoimmune disease
- 1 point for obesity (BMI greater than 30)
- 1 point for diabetes
QUESTIONNAIRE FOR EACH POTENTIAL WORSHIP ATTENDEE TO ASK EACH SUNDAY
If you (or someone in your household) answer yes to ANY of the questions below, you should watch worship on FACEBOOK or a church website, on that particular Sunday, to avoid potentially infecting other church members.
- Do you have chills and temperature (greater than 100 degrees)?
- Have you taken any fever reducing medicine in the past 4-6 hours?
- Do you have a cough?
- Do you have a sore throat?
- Are you experiencing shortness of breath?
- Are you experiencing any acute digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, loss of appetite or vomiting?
- Are you experiencing a loss of taste or smell?
- Have you been in contact with someone with or under investigation for COVID in the past two (2) weeks?
Other resources listed below: