COVID-19 Protocol – Updated April 6, 2022
Update: Cases are dropping across the country. There is a lull in COVID activity with predictions about new variants and outbreaks. Congratulate ourselves that we have come this far in the pandemic. Remember those who have died, those who still get sick, and those who suffer effects of COVID. Continue vigilance and protect ourselves and others.
Jesus calls us to love God and to love our neighbor, including the weak and vulnerable. Each congregation should continue to examine their own situation and make the best decisions they can. Our overall recommendations have not changed. Anyone can mask. If someone is sick, they should not come to church. If coughing or sniffles for whatever reason it is good to wear a mask.
The CDC has updated their recommendations for masking using more criteria but still base it on level of community transmission. North Dakota currently has low or medium community transmission with no recommended routine masking. Click here for the community transmission information from the CDC website.
Vaccination, masking, distancing, and quarantine or isolation when exposed or infected are still the best recommendations. Breakthrough infections happen, but full vaccination plus boosters as recommended are the best overall protection. Everyone should wear masks in indoor settings when community transmission risk rises above moderate. Have some at-home COVID tests available.
Until we see recommendations to return to our previous methods of precautions it is time to return to normal as much as possible. Each congregation needs to make decisions different from these considering their local situation. Worship together, sing, pass the peace (contact is not needed), enjoy fellowship, use a common cup if desired. Understand that some will prefer to receive only bread, which is full communion. Open windows when the weather permits. Livestreaming has benefits to consider even beyond limiting exposure to possible COVID.
Be watchful for changes in our COVID situation. News and information come from a variety of sources. Look to local, tribal, state, and federal public health for thoughtful recommendations. The CDC has much information on their website: click here This includes information on vaccination and boosters recommended for various groups as well as a full description of isolation and quarantine.
Please direct questions to the diocesan COVID-19 task force as we monitor the situation.
John Baird (chair), Amy Oksa, Christie Iverson, Harvey Henderson, Mary Johnson, Matthew Cherian