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Moving Forward with New COVID Protocol at First Lutheran

By May 21, 2021News
On May 13, the CDC issued new guidelines that no longer require vaccinated persons to wear masks in most indoor circumstances or outdoors.
On May 18, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and Health Department Director, Pat Lopez, reported the Health Department has moved the Risk Dial to green. The current directed health measure will expire at midnight today, Thursday, May 20. Beginning 12:01 am tomorrow, Friday, May 21, all spaces indoors and outdoors are open 100%. There are some requirements for gatherings over 500. The mask requirement has ended, but people not vaccinated “should” wear masks. Some vaccinated may choose to continue wearing masks, e.g. those around children ages 5-12. Businesses may continue to require masks.
Neither the CDC guidelines nor the local or state directives give much specific guidance for churches. However, the numbers are trending in the right direction. Vaccinations continue. Approximately 67% of adults 16 and older have received at least the first dose and more than 50% are completely vaccinated. About 11% of youth 12-15 have received at least the first dose. The daily case rate hovered in the 13-15/100K range from February to the end of April. Since May 1 it has been dropping steadily and is now 3/100K.
Moving Forward at First Lutheran Church
Adults who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks at First Lutheran Church (*with one exception). Adults who are not vaccinated should wear masks, but we will not ask for proof of vaccination. Each group can decide their comfort level and may forgo masks, if all are vaccinated.
*We have worked hard to be a church that welcomes people of all ages and circumstances. We strive to welcome all in a manner that does not put them in unnecessary risk. Our members under age 12 do not yet have the opportunity to be vaccinated and ages 12-15 have just become eligible. So, we will continue to require everyone to wear masks for now in gatherings indoors where children are present, including worship.
Masks will not be required for outdoor activities.
Activities, including worship services, will resume without limits on capacity or numbers. We encourage all attendees to be respectful of others and maintain appropriate physical distance.
We will relocate the Saturday evening service to the Chapel, beginning Saturday, May 29.
We will resume congregational singing in worship with masks.
We will no longer require attendees at meetings and worship or visitors in the building to sign in when entering.
The task force will meet again in two weeks to assess the current situation and further discuss the question of fellowship time on Sundays, with coffee, juice and donut holes, and other indoor events with food. In the meantime, individuals may bring their own beverage inside.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available in the coming weeks.
If you have any questions about the new protocol, please contact Pastor Steve Griffith.
Kathleen Simley

Author Kathleen Simley

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