COVID Task Force Report #1 #1
January 10, 2022
The newly established NYAPC COVID Task Force met for the first time on Tuesday evening. The Task Force reviewed our current operations and policies and discussed whether they should be updated given the high prevalence of the highly transmissible Omicron COVID variant. After reviewing the available epidemiological data and CDC and D.C health recommendations, the Task Force decided to continue with in-person worship, even though the prevalence of COVID is very high. The Task Force believes that the risk of viral transmission during in-person worship can be adequately minimized. Therefore, in-person worship should continue for those desiring to worship in the sanctuary. The church also maintains high standards for masking and recommends vaccination and boosters for all those attending in person. Current on-site attendance is also less than 25% capacity, and worshipers can continue to distance themselves from those not in their bubble. Additionally, we have good ventilation and air filtration systems and enhanced cleaning, which further reduces the risk of transmission. Finally, NYAPC’s hybrid worship service allows individuals to choose to worship in person or online. The Task Force might have reached a different decision if we did not have hybrid worship. At present, the Task Force recommends the following:
- Maintain current policies and requirements for masking and social distancing for in-person worship and indoors while on campus.
- Recommend using KN95/KF94/N95 masks for those attending worship services in person, and work toward providing those at the entrances for worshipers.
- Encourage all those attending worship services and teaching in-person to have received both doses of the vaccine and a booster. And asks anyone to stay home if they are not feeling well.
- Continue current policies of passing the friendship pad while having offering plates at the front and back of the sanctuary as there is more close contact when passing the offering plate.
- Pause in-person choir rehearsal and in-person singing in worship, shifting to a combination of soloist and digital anthems that use the musical gifts of paid soloists, staff, and our hybrid worship capacities. Singing for masked and socially distanced congregation members may safely continue.
- Move the Tuesday office staff meeting from every other week in person to Zoom only. Staff will be in person in the building on a limited basis for individual work as needed. If you need to come to the building or meet with staff, please reach out and schedule in advance.
- Pause one-off building and space rentals from outside groups for January
- Adult Sunday school, Children’s Sunday school and nursery care may continue as long as fully vaccinated adults and caregivers are willing to teach and to provide care. We will pause nursery care and children’s church school for January 9th with plans to fully assess the weeks ahead.
- Currently, NYAPC does not conduct COVID contact tracing when informed that someone tested positive shortly after attending worship. Individuals testing positive after attending worship are responsible for communicating with individuals they encounter but are not required to report their test results to the church. If a positive case is reported to the church, we may not reveal the identity of the infected individual.