Coronavirus and Places of Worship

Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2020 | News & Announcements

We've heard from our faith-based community that some would like to begin offering in-person service. We're providing this information for places of worship resuming in-person operations. Across the country and globe, we continue to see restrictions on large gatherings. Public health experts continue advising this to slow the spread of COVID-19.

We recognize:

  • the constitutional rights to gather with others for faith-based activities.
  • public health experts' continued advice to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Virtual Worship Service

We urge Wyoming worshipping communities to limit their gatherings to remote (virtual) gatherings. While less than ideal, this is the best way to protect people from the COVID-19 virus.

Drive-In Worship Service

Drive-in approaches use in-car radios or cellular communications, combined with other social-distancing protocols. This method can also protect the health of service participants. We can help faith communities to avoid a negative effect on nearby residents and traffic. Contact Sgt. Brian Look for assistance at 616.257.9711 or send a message with this webform.

Indoor Worship Service

If choosing to offer indoor service, we hope that faith communities will:

  1. Provide remote opportunities for vulnerable populations or others unable to attend.
  2. Screen persons seeking to attend. Use recognized screening criteria and precluding those with symptoms from entering the premises.
  3. Use:
    1. Social distancing protocols. This keeps participants at least 6 feet away from persons who don't live in their households. Consider these protocols in relationship to choirs, music ensembles, worship teams, etc.
    2. Personal protective equipment such as masks.
    3. Many hand-sanitizing dispensers, especially at entrances to the buildings and rooms.
    4. Frequent cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces.
    5. Modified ventilation practices to filter inside air and circulate outdoor air. This could include opening doors and windows and using fans to bring in outside air.
    6. No-touch trash receptacles.
  4. Display signage that:
    1. Explains proper mask use.
    2. Explains and promotes hand-washing hygiene and the use of tissues when sneezing.
    3. Discourages handshaking, hugging, and other physical contacts.
  5. Report to the Kent County Health Department if anyone at a service displays symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.
  6. Avoid offering food shared from common dishes, like a buffet or family-style serving. Instead, use pre-packaged boxes or bags whenever possible.
  7. Train clergy and lay leaders about these guidelines and how to help others follow them.

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