Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda
New COVID-19 Safety Guidelines (August 2022)
New Safety Guidelines (August 2022)
On August 24, the Vestry of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church adopted new, simplified COVID-19 Safety Guidelines. Masks will still be required for all who attend in-person worship services and events. In summary, the changes include the following:
Removal of 100-person attendance cap
Removal of 6-foot spacing and pew spacing
Remove Restroom Limit of 1 at a time
Allowing Communion to be served at the rail
Allowing Communion to be served in one or both kinds
Clarifying Indoor vs. Outdoor Eating
Below is the complete text of the resolution adopted by the Vestry.
The following resolution is presented to the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church of Savannah, Inc., for consideration on August 24, 2022. The resolution may be amended and/or voted upon electronically.
Whereas, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued streamlined public health guidance on August 11, 2022 (https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/p0811-covid-guidance.html), now, therefore, it is
Resolved, That the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church of Savannah, Inc., authorizes in-person worship gatherings, with the following safety guidelines in place at all times:
1. All attenders are required to wear masks that cover the nose and mouth at all times (except while reading, officiating, preaching, or singing, if fully vaccinated and/or standing at a distance of at least fifteen (15) feet from the congregation, e.g., at the lectern);
2. Masks will be provided to those who come without them;
3. Hand sanitizer available at all entrances;
4. When Communion is served, it may be received at the altar rail or in the pews, in one kind (bread only) or in both kinds;
5. Obligation for all worshippers to contact the church if they test positive for COVID-19 within 5 days of attending for contact tracing (names of the infected will not be shared);
6. Volunteer ushers will enforce these safety guidelines throughout the service;
7. Door knobs and handles, stair rails, pews, handrails, and light switches will be disinfected before all services; and
8. Worship services will still be available to view online;
9. Obligation for worshippers to stay home if they test positive for COVID-19, even if they are asymptomatic (see the CDC’s quarantine guidance here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fif-you-are-sick%2Fquarantine.html); and be it further
Resolved, That when the CDC considers Chatham County, GA, to have a Low or Medium COVID-19 Community Level (per https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html), the following additional guidelines are in place:
1. Light refreshments may be served at indoor public events;
2. People must still wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking; and be it further
Resolved, That when the CDC considers Chatham County, GA, to have a High COVID-19 Community Level (per https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html), the following additional guidelines are in place:
1. Hugging and handshakes are discouraged, even at the Peace;
2. Refreshments may not be served at indoor public events, including after worship;
3. Refreshments may be served outdoors;
4. Refreshments may be served in small groups of less than 15 fully vaccinated people.
We, the undersigned, acknowledge that the above resolution was duly adopted by the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church of Savannah, Inc., via electronic vote on August 24, 2022.