Dear Members of the First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council,
On June 23, 2020, church leaders were invited to a conversation with Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Government of NL. There was time to ask questions for clarification about the attached guidelines and have general conversation with one another. Thursday, June 25, 2020 will see us go into Alert Level 2 in our COVID-19 re-entry process. You will see that we are now permitted to have gatherings in our church of 50 people or 50% capacity which ever is less. So a maximum of 50 people.
The guidelines presented by the Health Authority is very similar to the guidelines produced by us in the Region. It was good to see we are on the same page.
We are recommending you take your time in your re-entry. We have heard that some of our churches have made the decision to continue to do church virtually and not re-enter the building until the Fall. Some have decided to try opening and see what that looks like; with all of the guidelines and restrictions.
· Plans need to be in place before re-entry.
· Physical Distancing needs to continue (those in the same household can sit together).
· List of people and contact for each event in the church needs to be kept. Health Authority suggests 14 days. We are suggesting you keep them for one month and then shred.
· Cleaning after each event is still crucial even if there is only one event a week.
· Clergy with multiple congregations in one Pastoral Charge need to be extra diligent in social distancing (ex. not be the person to hand out anything, communion, etc.).
· If you are planning day camps in your church, or at one of our UC Camps, you have to follow the guidelines for day camps on the website (no overnight camps).
· If you decide to serve communion, it must be one person passing out the elements, with a mask, with hand sanitization. Congregants need to sanitize their hands before and after they take the elements. People will need to be asked to bring their sanitizer or as a church you will need to provide it to your congregation.
These are just a few highlights. Please see the below guidelines and the guidelines previously circulated by the Region.
Rev. Faith March-MacCuish, Executive Minister
First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council