Chester Presbyterian Church
Pandemic Next Steps & Indoor Worship Return
The apostle Paul advises Christians that “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” and that they should “take care that your liberty does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” (I Cor. 8:1, 9) Which is to say the minimum standard is not necessarily the guide by which the faithful should operate. Church gatherings offer the opportunity for people of mixed vaccine status to be together for a length of time with limited ventilation. Members of our community, and those we would welcome into community, may remain unvaccinated and/or at higher risk of COVID transmission Some (children under 12, the medically fragile and immunocompromised) have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Such members deserve the highest care and protection of the faith community. There is also a significant opportunity to set an example of faithful people expressing the love of Christ in following sensible precautions.
From that faith framework and continuing to adhere to protocols and safety precautions set in place by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Chester Presbyterian Church has adopted the following Policy and next steps for returning to indoor worship and other activities beginning June 1, 2021.
The following items are completed upon arrival for both staff and visitors:
- Visitors and staff should sanitize their hands upon entering the building.
- Signs will continue to be posted with questions for self-selection. An affirmative answer would indicate the person should not attend the indoor activity.
- Do you have COVID-19 or a respiratory illness; or are you currently awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test?
- Have you been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with anyone who has COVID-19 or is ill with a respiratory illness but has not been tested for COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
- Have you or anyone you have been in close contact with live, work or travel in an area with a large outbreak of COVID-19 disease (hot spot) in the last fourteen days?
- Are you or anyone you have been in close contact with under current advisement by public health to quarantine or self-isolate?
Health Screening: Do you have any of the following symptoms which are related to a new/recent illness and cannot be attributed to another health condition?
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fatigue, muscle or body aches
- Sore throat, congestion or runny nose
- New loss of taste or smell
For Children aged 2-15: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)* Have you (or parents) noticed or experienced:
Unusual Weakness or Fatigue, Red Rash, Abdominal Pain, Vomiting and Diarrhea, Red Cracked Lips, Red Eyes, Swollen Hands or Feet (*Johns Hopkins Medical Center).
Higher Risk. (Please consider your risk factors to decide if attending in person is safe for you.)
Uncommon conditions (sickle cell diseases, severe blood disorder, or HIV infection)
Immunosuppression (chemotherapy or transplantation)
Chronic kidney or liver disease
Children who are medically complex
As of June 1, 2021 100 people is the indoor maximum allowance for non-worship activities.
CPC janitorial staff are responsible for disinfecting the building: bathrooms, railings, stairwells, high touch points, etc. Our usual cleaning crew comes in each day to clean tables/chairs, vacuum, clean bathrooms using disinfectant.
Executive Order 79 (effective May 28, 2021) encourages individuals five-years and older to continue to wear masks. Given that fully vaccinated individuals have a low-risk of contracting Covid, and recognizing worship and other activities welcome both vaccinated and unvaccinated, all entering CPC are asked to wear masks. Fully vaccinated may remove masks during worship and/or a meeting. Unvaccinated individuals are asked to continue to wear a mask throughout the activity.
Visitors and staff should continue to wash or sanitize their hands frequently. Hands are washed for 20 seconds with warm water and soap. If soap and warm water are not available, visitors and staff may use hand sanitizer that is provided by CPC.
Any person who exhibits symptoms associated with COVID-19 or other contagious illness (fever of 100 degrees or higher, persistent dry cough, or shortness of breath, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) should not enter the building or attend outdoor gatherings.
If any visitor or employee has attended worship or other event at CPC and subsequently tests positive for COVID-19, please contact the church office. CPC will contact Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to determine next steps and will immediately notify the CPC membership/households. No names will be shared with the membership. Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 must stay home for at least 14 days and return to CPC with a doctor’s note attesting that they are no longer contagious. (Contact tracing, follow up, and other necessary notifications shall be the responsibility of and performed by the State of Virginia (VDH or responsible agency).
Physical Distancing Strategies
Unvaccinated individuals are asked to respect social distance guidelines of six feet spacing between individuals. This applies to moving about the building as well. All worshippers are invited to step outside to socialize following worship.
We will continue to use “non-passing” practices: (Bulletins, Communion, Books, Offering).
Fully vaccinated individuals are welcomed to participate in the choir.
We’re All In This Together!
As you can see, we will do our very best to care for and keep everyone at CPC as healthy as possible. We need your help at home too! Continuing to stay home if you are sick remains an effective contribution in demonstrating Christian care for others.
CPC will continually monitor the COVID-19 situation for steps beyond those noted in this document.
CPC Return Policy (adopted by the session 5/27/21)