Reopening Task Force Update

The current state of Coronavirus in Central New York has changed and many businesses and some churches have reopened, but many churches remained closed.  The statewide positive testing rate for the virus was 0.78% on August 19 and was the 12th straight day, the positive test rate was less than 1%. Central New York’s positive test rate was 0.7% on August 19, compared with 0.6% on August 18. The positive rate in the region has been 1% or less much of the last month. As conversations have progressed with the DCC Reopening Task Force would like to observe and study school plans for in-person learning since the dynamics of public education activities and church activities share similar risks (small spaces, food service, large gatherings, etc…). This would allow our church to observe and collect more information about best practice reopening. The state currently limits our capacity of occupancy at 50% for in-person worship. 

If Coronavirus rates remain low and there are no outbreaks in schools and businesses, the Reopening Task Force and the Board of Trustee approve of the following:

1. Observe in-school practices and rates of inflection in area school districts.

2. If current levels of infection remain low in the general public and schools, the first return to in-person worship would be October 4, 2020. Observing school systems and rates of infection will provide the needed data to confirm reopening.  If there is an outbreak that requires us to hold on reopening, the congregation would receive updated information that in-person worship would not occur.  The balcony could be used for larger family groups for increased capacity.

3. In-person worship would require everyone masked, temperature checks upon entering the building, reservations via website or telephone to the church office, no social congregating inside the building, no hymnals, no Bibles, no bulletin, no congregational singing, separated seating to maintain a distance of at least six feet, ushers to seat individuals and families, and orderly entrance and exit of the sanctuary. There would be instrumental and solo singing for worship music. There will be no child care.

4. Online worship services will continue to be recorded and shown on YouTube and Facebook at 5:30 PM on Saturday and 9:00 AM on Sunday when in-person worship resumes.

5. Children, youth, and adult discipleship groups would meet via Zoom or other virtual meeting platforms.

The reopening plan could be subject to change based on health safety conditions.

Reopening Task Force: Greg Stock, Pastor Alan Rudnick, Pastor Cindy Mapstone, Shirley Myrus, Chuck Doolittle, Mick Thorpe, and Abel Searor