April 3rd, 2022 Covid-19 Update

Whereas

  • the Maine CDC is recommending indoor mask wearing only when the covid transmission risk is “significant” or “high”

  • The 7 day-rolling averages of York County Covid cases and York county hospitalizations are low.

  • Vaccination rates in Maine are high and in our congregation are very high

 

The Covid Task force is updating protocols as follows:

Worship

  • Our capacity will increase to 150 starting Easter Sunday.

  • We will require advanced sign-ups for Easter Sunday services.  Those who do not sign up cannot be guaranteed.

  • We will no longer require sign-up for worship starting April 24 EXCEPT for potentially high attendance offerings.

  • We request all non-vaccinated people to wear masks inside all South Church buildings.

  • For Worship and other events in our sanctuary, we ask Vaccinated individuals to wear masks until they are seated, and then they may remove them.

  • Starting April 24, masks will be optional for vaccinated individuals.

  • We communicate that anyone who wants to wear a mask for any reason is more than welcome to do so.  

  • A ¼ of the church will be alternate row seating for those who wish more space

  • We allow deacons to pass the plates to collect the offering.  We instruct the congregation to simply hold up a hand if they do not want the plate passed to them.  

  • We allow people to greet one another, but instruct them on how to do so in a way that allows each person to communicate whether bow, handshake or hug is OK

  • Communion will be served using the single serving cups through April. Beginning in May of 2022 we will offer communion with separate elements and deacons will pass the service trays to distribute.  We will also make the single serving cups available for anyone who would prefer to receive that way. 

  • Singing will be allowed without masks. 

  • Because we are allowing more interaction and touch, we humbly request people use hand sanitizer as they enter the building or join us outside for worship.

  • We will continue to ensure at least 4 windows are open at least 3 inches each to improve air movement and flow.

  • There is no restriction on the number of people participating in the choirs, as long as they are vaccinated.

  • We continue to ask everyone to practice the highest level of regard for the welfare of others by conducting self-assessments before entering our buildings.

Fellowship

  • Fellowship will be offered outside, when possible, through the warmer weather.

  • The Fellowship committee will review Fellowship hour protocols and decide where we will host in warmer weather.

  • For Easter Sunday, Fellowship hour will be between the 8:15 and 10:30 services and will be outside if the weather allows and in the fellowship room of the Church

Protocols may be adjusted at any time for health reasons (following CDC), and in order to best welcome, treasure, and accommodate our members and guests.