At St. John’s, the Safe Operating Task Force and Church Council have been guiding our changes in operations due to COVID-19.

Update August 23, 2022:

We will continue to follow the CDC’s guidance, using the weekly Rice County community risk levels to determine our masking practices. We will make it easy to know what to do by including this risk level in our weekly E-Voice and by using signs on the entrances.

When Rice County is RED:

  • We will use masks at both worship services and when moving throughout the building.

  • We will continue the current policy of allowing leaders and members of group activities to make their own decisions once the group is in place. This includes removing masks if desired at coffee, once seated.

  • We will follow the same guidelines for funerals.

When Rice County is YELLOW or GREEN:

  • Masks will be optional at both Sunday services and funerals.

  • We know that some people will continue to wear masks for a variety of reasons and we welcome that.

  • Small groups and their leaders may continue to decide what is best for their groups.

 

Update March 18, 2022:

The Safe Operating Task Force met on March 16 to review the status of Covid-19 in our community before implementing the announced changes we had planned for March 20. The task force brought the recommendations described below to the Congregational Council, which approved them, effective 3/20/2022. First, is the background.

The CDC releases a risk level for each county every Thursday evening. These are based on weekly case counts, new hospital admissions, and the percentage of locally hospitalized patients who have Covid-19. Green is low risk, Yellow is medium risk, and Red is high risk. Here is the link to the CDC information:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html

Rice County was green on 2/24 and 3/3, then red on 3/10, then yellow on 3/17.

Beginning March 20, we will adjust our masking practices weekly in response to the CDC’s county risk level report. We will make it easy to know what to do by including this risk level in our weekly E-Voice, and by using signs on the entrances.

When Rice County is RED or YELLOW:

  • We will use masks at both worship services, and when moving throughout the building.

  • We will continue the current policy of allowing leaders and members of group activities to make their own decisions once the group is in place. This includes removing masks if desired at coffee, once seated.

  • We will follow the same guidelines for funerals.

When Rice County is GREEN:

  • Masks will be optional at both Sunday services, vespers, and funerals.

  • We know that some people will continue to wear masks for a variety of reasons, and we welcome that.  We will require masks in some circumstances as listed below.

  • Small groups and their leaders may continue to decide what is best for their groups.

You can help make this work for everyone, and help keep everyone safe, by following these simple steps:

  1. Stay completely up-to-date on vaccinations for Covid-19 and other respiratory infections, including influenza.

  2. Always bring a mask to church (even if we are in the green). You will then have it available if you are in a conversation with someone who needs to use masks.

  3. Watch your E-Voice for the updated level on Thursday evening/Friday morning, and read the signs we will keep posted on the doors.

  4. Expect things to change, even weekly.

  5. Do not come into St. John’s if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection.

  6. Do not come into St. John’s if you have a proven Covid-19 infection for 10 days, even if you are asymptomatic.

  7. Wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask (such as an N-95 or KN-95) for 10 days after known exposure to Covid-19, or for 10 days with any respiratory infection.

  8. Expect that some people will be wearing masks for quite a while, and all of us will probably wear masks from time to time.

Thank you again for your patience, goodwill, and support of one another and our congregation. Please send any comments or questions to Pastor PamPastor Jonathan, or Council President Rod Christensen. The Safe Operating Committee will reconvene in a few weeks to reassess the situation.

 

Update January 14, 2022:

THE SAFE OPERATING TASK FORCE has met to discuss our approach to the latest surge in Omicron infections. Due to the highly infectious nature of this variant, we urge everyone to consider the following before coming to any in-person events during the rest of this month:

  1. Be fully up-to-date on your Covid vaccines (adults should be boosted if eligible).
  2. Wear a close-fitting mask (N95 or KN95 if possible) at all times when in the building. Removing masks during small group gatherings is no longer permitted.
  3. Stay home if you have any symptoms of illness, even if you have not tested positive.

We hope this surge will be short-lived but are mindful that the disruptions to essential functions in our community like health care and education will be profound if we don’t all do our part.

SMALL GROUP MEETINGS of the congregation are encouraged to meet online until the end of the month. Those who choose to meet in person should follow the guidelines above carefully.

COVID-19 Updates Prior to 2022

 

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