At its August 1 meeting, the Covid Response Task Force whittled Good Shepherd's Covid Safety Plan down from 19 pages to only three. Many of the pieces of our previous plan dated from a time before vaccines and from when we had not yet begun to meet on-site again. We feel good about this update, which follows after this report.
That said, Covid cases are still surging in King County, and we know of a number of parishioners and their family and friends currently battling the virus or only recently recovered. We continue to require masks during worship. We have pediatric masks for young children available at the door.
Those who join us after worship for coffee and snacks are encouraged to wear masks whenever you're not actively eating and drinking. Every moment with a mask on is helpful is reducing potential spread of Covid.
Remember: even with high-quality masks such as N95 and KN95, your mask is better at protecting others from you than it is at protecting you. Instead of trying not to get Covid, please do your best not to give Covid.
All of the Covid Response Task Force's determinations are conditional and can be tweaked or revoked in the event of a new surge or a new, deadly variant of the virus. If you have recently received a booster shot, or if you have not yet let us know you are vaccinated, please do so at http://tinyurl.com/goodshepvax.
The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Updated August 1, 2022
The following outlines the current safety procedures at Good Shepherd to protect those using our spaces from the spread of Covid-19.
In keeping with the dynamic nature of the pandemic, this document will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Protocols Required for Utilizing any Good Shepherd Building Space:
- Signs reinforcing required protocols will be posted:
- Confirm that any organizations currently utilizing the church building or facilities:
- All organizations utilizing church space will follow Good Shepherd’s cleaning and disinfecting protocols, adopted directly from CDC guidance for community organizations:
- minimize air from them blowing from one person directly at another person to reduce the potential spread of any airborne or aerosolized viruses.
- If someone starts to feel ill, begins to exhibit symptoms, or reports being diagnosed with COVID-19, immediately:
- If at the church, ask the person(s) to immediately go home and call their medical provider for direction.
- For at least one hour, avoid confined indoor areas the sick person had occupied.
- Advise our pastor of the event.
- Follow the instructions in Appendix 1, “What to do if someone becomes sick or is diagnosed with COVID-19.”
- Signs communicating that masks are required during public worship.
Note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance
- Information regarding masks:
- https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/current-guidance/masks.aspx (Updated April, 2022. Includes information on the best masks to use)
- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/free-masks.html (updated March, 2022)
- Masks are required here (kingcounty.gov) (Pdf of required mask poster)
- “Stop the Spread” and “How to Protect Yourself and Others” posted outside Seaman Hall for Saturday Meal recipients and on the front counter of the church office:
- Have Church of the Good Shepherd listed as an additional insured on their liability policy with coverage of at least $1 million.
- Agree to indemnify The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd for claims arising from their operations at our facilities. This may be documented in the building use agreement.
(Updated Nov. 2021)
Protocols to be Utilized for Continuing Worship in the Nave (in addition to those above):
- Place hand wipes, hand sanitizer, disposable tissues and no-touch trash receptacles in the narthex, nave, and any other spaces utilized for worship. Assure there are enough to facilitate easy access by worshipers.
- Assure the following are available in the narthex and the worship space:
- Hand sanitizer
- A supply of sanitary, individually packaged masks to provide worshipers who arrive without one.
- As weather permits, open windows to increase air flow inside the nave before attendees arrive. Advise ushers if anyone is medically unable to wear a mask to sit them near an open window with air exiting the nave.
- In the event that the Covid Response Task Force identifies more appropriate safety practices, they reserve the right to adjust these.
Guidance for Specific Rooms:
1. Smaller rooms with poorer ventilation include the Sacristy, Vesting Room, Prayer Shawl Room, Copier Room, and the portables. Masks must be worn when more than one person is in one of these rooms.
2. The Gathering Room, Play Room, and Covenant Room are available for small meetings. Follow all the protocols stated above.
Reflect and Adjust Protocols:
- Solicit input from the rector and ministry leaders.
- Adjust protocols as needed.
- Develop childcare protocols once it becomes viable again.
Appendix 1. What to Do if Someone Becomes Sick or is Diagnosed with COVID-19
Updates as of July, 2022
What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 (wa.gov) (Updated April 2022)
COVID-19 Symptom and Exposure Flowchart for Schools and Child Care (wa.gov) (Updated March 2022)
https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/care/quarantine.aspx (Updated June 2022)