The guidelines provided here for our Coronavirus Contingency Plan were created to align with Opening Up America Again guidance from the White House and Responsible Restart Ohio guidance from our statehouse specific to Ohio. 

Level 3

Online worship services only; no gatherings at the church. All government recommendations will be complied with.

PREVENT SPREAD:

  • Keep praying and trusting!
  • Keep washing those hands!
  • All in-person gatherings will be canceled until we are back at Level 2 and the Church Council determines we will resume (worship services, small groups, meetings, etc.).
  • Implement remote meetings (phone, email, or online/video).
  • Suspend home visitations.
  • Local hospital procedures will be followed if an emergency visit is needed. 

BUILDING BRIDGES:

  • Continue implementing care for older adult friends and members of our congregation.
  • Continue weekly online service via Facebook and website; invite friends and neighbors to join.
  • Continue to use team to call and send cards to quarantined/hospitalized persons.
  • Continue to coordinate groceries and errands for those who need help.
  • Be on the lookout for opportunities to assist others who may need help.
  • PRAY with and for those who are fearful, lonely, ill, etc.

PREPARE:

  • Keep lines of communication open. Regular OneCall updates will be made as well as passing information on through newsletters/email, Faithlife, and Facebook announcements.
  • Individuals not on social media will be regularly contacted with updates/information.
  • Strongly encourage mailing tithes and offerings to the church or through online giving using Faithlife or Facebook.
  • Continue online worship services and meetings (phone, online/video, etc.).
  • PRAY some more and continue to pray.


Level 2

Online worship services; may be entirely online (as in Level 3) or with a smaller group at church preparing an online service to be recorded for scheduled viewing or livestreamed. Smaller gatherings (under the number recommended by the government) may begin to gather at some point during this level. Government recommendations will continue to be followed. All regathering steps for our church will be conducted with a phased in approach in this level.

PREVENT SPREAD:

  • Keep praying and trusting!
  • Worship services remain online; depending on level of infection in our area and government restrictions, online service may move to a small number at the church to record or livestream.
  • If smaller gatherings meet at the church, the following items are recommended: 
  • Hand washing strongly emphasized. Plenty of hand sanitizer will be available at all gatherings inside the church.
  • All individuals will observe proper social distancing.
  • Entry to the church is limited to one set of doors and all who enter will be required to use hand sanitizer immediately upon arrival. Exiting church will be through a different set of doors than the entry point to help maintain social distancing.
  • Strongly encourage wearing a mask or facial covering to protect others while gathered together. 
  • Temperature checks will be completed by individuals prior to arriving at the location; the church will have “no touch” thermometers on hand if requested.
  • Individuals who have any flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sneezing, etc.) OR who have been around someone else who has had symptoms are asked to STAY HOME.
  • We will not observe communion.
  • All handshaking and hugging at gatherings eliminated.
  • General guidance is that high-risk individuals will be asked to stay home. However, if high-risk individuals are part of a smaller gathering at the church, extreme caution will be used. NOTE: the Center for Disease Control has established that older adults are still most affected by this virus.
  • Disinfecting wipes used in children’s areas (nursery and classrooms)
  • Outside gatherings may occur with appropriate precautions observed.
  • Similar guidelines are recommended for any church endorsed event that meets in a home (i.e. small groups, bible study in one’s home, etc.)
  • Continue to stress the importance of hand washing.
  • Circle Sundays and gatherings where food is shared will not be held; coffee/tea area closed.
  • No in-person hospital and nursing home visitations; follow hospital and nursing home requirements. Very limited home visitations.
  • Church offices open by appointment only.
  • Doorknobs, handles, switches, and other similar items will be wiped down with disinfectant immediately following any gathering at the church. Church will be cleaned according to the normal schedule but may require additional manpower to assist the custodian.

BUILDING BRIDGES:

  • Contact older adult friends and neighbors for wellness checks.
  • Continue to use team to call and send cards to quarantined/hospitalized persons. (Call the church to volunteer)
  • Help coordinate getting groceries and running errands for older adults and families as needed; volunteer to make deliveries to older adults in our congregation.
  • PRAY with and for those who are fearful, lonely, ill, etc.

PREPARE:

  • Keep lines of communication open. OneCall updates, newsletters/email, Faithlife and Facebook announcements, phone calls to those not on social media. 
  • Encourage use of online giving (Faithlife, Facebook, etc.), text, or mail tithes and offerings to the church.
  • Daily devotional thought sent via email, Faithlife, and Facebook
  • Pastor will continue to monitor situation; Council will determine when to move back to Level 1 or prepare for the next level.
  • PRAY some more.


Level 1

Most events as normally scheduled but with precautionary measures in place. Follow government recommendations. Large gathering restrictions are lifted. All regathering steps for our church will be conducted with a phased in approach in this level.

PREVENT SPREAD:

  • PRAY & TRUST... we are a praying people and we are a people who have seen God at work through our prayers. We pray and trust Him!
  • Worship services may be in person with the following precautions:
  • Those attending will be asked to wash hands or use sanitizer upon arrival.
  • Proper social distancing guidelines will continue to be followed as required. 
  • Use of a mask or facial covering to protect others while gathered together may be encouraged depending on current state of infection and safety practices.
  • Individuals who have any flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sneezing, etc.) OR who have been around someone else who has had symptoms are asked to STAY HOME.
  • Older adults and high-risk individuals will be asked to exercise extra precaution about whether or not to attend.
  • Communion observed with only prepackaged elements.
  • Continue to exercise caution with regard to handshaking and hugging at gatherings. “No touch” greet your neighbor in worship service.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all gatherings (youth, small groups, etc.).
  • Disinfecting wipes will be used in children’s areas (nursery and classrooms).
  • Sunday School, children’s church, and Kingdom Kids will be reintroduced using a phased in process (refer to Opening Up America Again guidance).
  • Sunday evening studies may continue online as we begin to open up; they will be phased in.
  • Caution will be exercised regarding whether or not to continue with scheduled events where our older adults normally take part. NOTE: the Center for Disease Control has established that older adults are still most affected by this virus.
  • Paper products (bulletins, handouts, etc.) will not be distributed in this level.
  • Circle Sundays and gatherings where food is shared will not be held; coffee/tea area may be “manned” to keep multiple people from handling the coffee pot.
  • Minimize in-person hospital, nursing home, and home visitations; some nursing homes and hospitals may still be prohibiting visitors. 
  • Church offices remain open but may have limitations.
  • Continue to stress the importance of hand washing.
  • Doorknobs, handles, switches, and other similar items will be wiped down with disinfectant immediately following any gathering at the church. Church will be cleaned according to the normal schedule but may require additional manpower to assist the custodian.

BUILDING BRIDGES:

  • Continue checking on older adult friends and older adults in your neighborhood.
  • Continue with caring for older adults in our congregation to see if they need any help to minimize public exposure.
  • Continue with making contact with “higher risk” people to let them know you are available to help (older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease).
  • Continue to contact people who have young children and let them know you’re available to help.
  • PRAY with and for those who are fearful, lonely, ill, etc.

PREPARE:

Keep lines of communication open. OneCall updates, newsletters/email, Faithlife and Facebook announcements, phone calls to those not on social media.

Encourage contact with those who do not use technology.

Council will determine the steps back to “normal” (Level 0) services and assess our preparation for the next level or, if required, to move back to Level 2.

PRAY some more.

 

Level 0 – Back to life as normal...

  • The church Council will make a determination as to when we will be considered “back to normal.” There is an expectation that “normal” may look different than before the virus for quite some time.
  • Church Council will continue to make adjustments and determine proper precautionary measures that will remain in place, adjusted, or removed.
  • A phasing in process will be followed to allow for returning to normal.
  • Circle Sundays, gatherings where food is shared, and the coffee/tea area will resume when Church Council approves; additional precautions may be observed when restarting. 
  • Keep lines of communication open: OneCall updates, newsletters/email, Faithlife and Facebook announcements, church bulletins, and announcements at church.

Helpful websites

Ohio Department of Health https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home 

Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus page https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/ 

Responsible Restart Ohio: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/responsible-restart-ohio/welcome/responsible-restart-ohio

CDC Coronavirus Page https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html 

Opening Up America Again: https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/

Church of God Ministries Statement https://www.jesusisthesubject.org/corona-virus-statement/