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IMPORTANT Task Force for Operations Update COVID-19 Guidelines

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The Task Force for Operations Update
January 2022
 
With the recent surge of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus, the Task Force on Operations of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania issues these recommendations for our parishes as they gather for worship and community life:
  • It is strongly encouraged that all parishes follow the recommended guidelines for virus mitigation as found here: https://diocesecpa.org/parish-news/coronavirus-facts-precautions-and-prayers/. The persistence of the virus and the longevity of the pandemic calls for continued diligence in the use of mitigation techniques to prevent the spread of disease. Thank you for your faithfulness and for keeping each other safe in this time.
  • During the winter months when the Omicron surge is expected to be at its height, consider moving parish meetings and activities that can be online to a digital format.
  • Clergy who have access to home tests should test themselves on the day before gathering for worship. Tests are being made available by the diocesan offices as we are able to acquire them and can be reserved for pick up by emailing Canon Chad Linder at clinder@diocesecpa.org. We understand that tests are not foolproof, but they can be an indicator of the presence of the virus. In the instance that a positive test result is obtained, it is recommended that the clergy person either 1) move to online worship for that week 2) contract a supply priest if available 3) make arrangements for Morning Prayer to be read in her/his absence.
  • Clergy who have been exposed (been within 6 ft. of a person with Covid for 15 minutes, indoors) should follow the recommendations above for 4 days following exposure.
  • Continue to pray for those who are affected by the virus: those who are sick, those in isolation, our unvaccinated children, those with vulnerabilities, those who mourn, health care professionals, teachers and other essential workers.
 
Keep us, Good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort, knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
 
(from the St. Andrew’s, State College “Prayers for a Time of Pandemic” found here: https://diocesecentralpa.s3.amazonaws.com/2020+Website/Easter+Holy+Week/Prayers+for+a+Time+of+Pandemic+(1).pdf

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Carolyn Patterson at cpatterson@diocesecpa.org or Canon Chad Linder at clinder@diocesecpa.org.

Important Links

  • The Bishop, diocesan staff, and The Task Force on Operations have been tracking COVID-19 INCIDENT RATE PER 100,000 PER 7 DAYS / New Cases / PCR % Positivity, by county. To view the most recent Diocesan COVID TRACKING SHEET, please CLICK HERE.

  • If an individual exhibits symptoms, or is not vaccinated and has had known contact with someone COVID-19 positive, please follow the CDC guidelines found at this LINK.
  • For more detailed CDC guidance, please CLICK HERE.
  • To access the CDC’s COVID-DATA-TRACKER for county level transmission status, please CLICK HERE.

 

Previous Update

November 2021

As we approach the Holiday Season, the Diocesan Taskforce for Operations wants to remind parishes to remain vigilant protecting the health of one another. As of November 12, all counties within our Diocese remain at a High Level of Community Transmission of COVID-19 as defined by the CDC.

Here are the current recommendations of the Taskforce, based on the most recent CDC guidance.

Indoor masking for all persons should continue while in an area of high or substantial level of community transmission (currently all of PA as of November 12, 2021. See link #2 below to access current information).

  • Vaccination is strongly recommended.
  • Individuals should be respectful of each other’s personal space in all indoor settings.
  • Parishes should continue to maintain attendance logs to facilitate contact tracing, if necessary.
  • External groups and individuals should follow the same guidelines established for church members.
  • Communion should continue in one kind only (bread). If wine is desired, individual paper or plastic cups should be used and respectfully discarded. The use of the common cup or the practice of intinction is strongly discouraged.
  • If an individual exhibits symptoms, or is not vaccinated and has had known contact with someone COVID-19 positive, please follow the CDC guidelines found at this LINK.
  • Continue recommended cleanliness standards.
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