Coronavirus Update (March 16)
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the cause of concern for many people. As of Sunday, March 15th, the Lambton Medical Officer of Health reported the outbreak level of risk for local residents remains low, and that as of now there have been NO confirmed positive cases in Sarnia-Lambton. Regardless of this update, we must not be complacent in how we conduct ourselves at Redeemer Lutheran Church.
Our English District office has put together some information for the Church with regard to general health information about COVID-19 and also information regarding how best to handle questions and concerns about the Coronavirus in the church's life together. This outline may be found using the following link:
Specifically for Redeemer, many of you have been wondering if we will be instituting any changes to reduce the chances of contacting or spreading the virus during our worship services or weekly activities.
Our Board of Directors met this past week, and the following changes to our Worship Service have been instituted effective immediately. These precautions will help reduce members’ risk of exposure through managing social distancing and contact during Service. Until such time as this pandemic is declared ‘under control’:
We will cease the practice of extending personal Greetings and Blessings.
We will not be offering the Common Cup during the Sacrament of Holy Communion. We will only be offering individual cups.
We are also calling upon those in attendance at our Worship Services to keep in mind the recommended practices from English District, adopted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Practice social distancing by maintaining a minimum distance of 1 meter (or 3 feet)
when talking with others before and after service
when choosing your seating in the pews
when approaching the communion rail
Secondly, eliminate personal contact through hugging or shaking hands.
Thirdly, remember to clean your hands frequently, regularly and thoroughly with either an alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.
Finally, please remember to follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Remember, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid contact and exposure - following these actions will go a long way to reducing your risk.
Some members have also asked if we are considering suspending Worship Services. The Lambton Medical Officer of Health have adopted CDC’s recommendation that any public gathering of over 250 people be cancelled - this has been instituted in many of our local venues. For now, it is our aim to continue to hold regular Sunday services – this decision was made in consideration of our weekly attendance numbers (consistently less than 100) as well as the recommended practices we are instituting.
Be assured we will be assessing our situation day by day, and if the situation warrants, we will take further actions, which could lead to temporary suspension of service. The health and well-being of our congregation is of highest importance and we ask that everyone use your own good personal judgement to determine whether you feel safe to join in public worship. We also ask that if you are sick or if your personal health situation may put you at increased risk, please follow the recommendations of the CDC and stay home.
~ Dan Hansen, President