As you have seen, there have been significant increases in the number of COVID cases in our community, increases in hospitalizations, and increased impacts in our own congregation. We had a probable transmission event this past week (see below), and are working to safeguard both the physical and spiritual health of the congregation. In light of this we are moving forward with two sets of additional protective measures. First we are implementing general measures to enhance our safety for gathering together long-term. Second we are implementing special short-term measures designed only for when we have a probable transmission in the congregation. The goal of these secondary measures is to allow time for any probable transmission to become evident (develop symptoms and/or obtain test results, etc.) while still meeting essential spiritual needs in person safely.
Given our situation we are currently in the "probable transmission" mode until mid-next week. This means that Sunday services will require masks. We realize that these restrictions are at best uncomfortable and perhaps even difficult. We also believe that these measures are tangible forms of showing love for one another.
Response to General Increase (measures in place until Tippecanoe county is back to “yellow” status):
- 9AM: remains masks required service
- 11AM: please wear a mask in the building until you are seated
- 5:30PM: masks strongly recommended for adults & children 5+
- Bible Studies: masks encouraged
- Meetings: whenever possible conduct meetings virtual. If in person wear masks and social distance.
- Quarantine: We will honor quarantine guidelines from the dept. of health.
Response to Probable Transmission Event (temporary measures for 10 days afterward)
Our definition: a situation where a person was likely contagious, but had not yet developed symptoms and therefore had "close contact" with others in the congregation. This is often the case for several days before symptoms begin. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a close contact as anyone within six feet of a confirmed case for more than fifteen minutes. You will receive general notification about potential transmission events in order to be aware and take extra precautions. Those with close contact will have already been contacted individually. When applicable following positive test results, the Tippecanoe County Health Department will notify individuals regarding quarantine. If you have not been notified, then you were not in close contact and do not need to quarantine.
- Worship: Masks required for all services for adults & children 5+
- Bible Studies: masks required + virtual options provided
- Meetings: all meetings virtual (session, deacons, committees)
Announcements: Because of this higher level of carefulness, the youth group babysitting service project is being postponed until a later date.
- If you are high risk or caring for someone high risk, strongly consider participation virtually. Increase your safety factor.
- If you are symptomatic, quarantined, or believe you have been exposed please stay home and participate virtually.
- If you develop symptoms or receive a positive test please contact the COVID committee (Ben Larson).
We are grateful to the committee guiding on these matters; thank you!
-The elders of IRPC