CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE – March 12, 2020

At Lake Harriet UMC we take the health and well-being our congregation, staff, and community very seriously. We are monitoring coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical professionals, and local health departments. In addition to ongoing efforts to maintain a safe and healthy environment, we have temporarily implemented the following precautionary measures.

 

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • If you or a family member is sick, may have been directly exposed to the virus or have traveled to a high-alert area (currently South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan), please follow the CDC guidelines and refrain from attending church services during the 14-day incubation period and instead worship with us online Sundays at 9:00 and 11:11a.
  • If at any time you are not comfortable attending worship, please join us online.
  • Follow the guidelines from the CDC to help prevent the spread of the virus. (General CDC guidelines are listed at the end of this information.)

 

STAFF & VOLUNTEERS

  • Our staff and volunteers are committed to maintaining a healthy environment and will wash their hands frequently.
  • Staff who are sick or may have been exposed to the virus will stay home for the recommended quarantine period.
  • We will suspend all routine, ongoing visits to our home-bound or shut-in members to prevent the possibility of spreading germs to them. We will continue to visit people in more emergency situations.

 

WORSHIP

  • In addition to regular cleaning by a professional cleaning service, we are sanitizing highly touched surfaces before and after worship and programs.
  • We have hand sanitizer available throughout our building, and we have additional hand sanitizing supplies on order. As we await delivery, you may want to carry your own hand sanitizer so you can use it as often as you wish.
  • Rather than pass the offering plate, baskets will be placed at the Sanctuary entrance to receive weekly offerings and welcome sheets.
  • We will suspend offering Holy Communion via intinction (the common cup) and now serve precut bread and grape juice in individual cups.
  • When greeting one another, we encourage you to consider options such as: smile, use sign language, a friendly wave, a fist bump, an elbow tap, a slight bow, say “shalom.” Our staff and volunteers will still greet you warmly, just not shake your hand.
  • During Sunday coffee fellowship, cookies will be individually wrapped with napkins and handed to each person by a gloved volunteer.

 

SMALL GROUPS AND CLASSES

  • We are not canceling small groups and classes at this time, but we encourage you to use precautions appropriate for your own personal health situation.
  • If coronavirus continues to spread in our local community, we will follow the guidance of the health department and CDC.
  • As a regular practice in our Sunday children’s enrichment hour classes and the nursery, we disinfect all surfaces and toys and encourage frequent hand washing, however keeping your child home if they are symptomatic is the best way to prevent the spread of illness.

 

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From the CDC: YOU CAN HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.