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  • Epworth

UPDATED Epworth Covid-19 Protocols

Updated Guidance for In-Person Worship & Gatherings

Masks continue to be required indoors during worship and in common areas of the building. Coffee hour / fellowship time has resumed indoors with additional seating also provided outside.

Contents:

Worship

In light of ongoing concerns for health and safety, we are proceeding with the following protocols:

  1. Masks must be worn by everyone 2+, regardless of vaccination status. Well-fitting respirator masks, such as an N95 or KN95, are strongly recommended and available upon request. (The only exception is the pastor, liturgist, and soloist, who must be fully vaccinated, remain at least 12 feet away from congregants, and test negative within 12 hours.)

  2. Because singing is a high risk activity, singers of the choir are required to be fully vaccinated and keep their masks on while singing.

  3. If you have tested positive for Covid-19, please participate via livestream following the positive test.

If you have Covid-19 symptoms (such as cough, congestion, fever or chills, loss of taste or smell, body aches, shortness of breath or sore throat), please participate via livestream.

If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please test within 3-5 days of exposure and consider participating via livestream.

  1. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance

  2. Ventilation: The Epworth sanctuary is equipped with two 42inch fans which circulate external air flow from the sanctuary entrance and out through the attic.

6. Holy Communion: We will celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month. At the direction of the ushers, you are invited forward to one of two communion stations to receive the elements of Holy Communion. Please take an individually wrapped communion kit (gluten-free), or tear a piece of bread from the loaf and take a cup from the tray. Empty communion cups can be set on trays at the end of each rail. You may partake of the elements at the communion rails, in your pew, or outside the sanctuary doors.

7. If you are worshiping via the livestream, please have a piece of bread or cracker and juice or water ready.

8. Coffee/Fellowship Time : Following worship, everyone is invited indoors to Fellowship Hall for coffee, tea and light refreshments, for a time to chat and reconnect. Masks are required unless actively eating and drinking. Tables and chairs will also be set up in the Hopkins lawn for those who wish to partake outside.

Livestream Worship will continue. Tune in every Sunday at 10am to participate:

· Watch on Facebook Live (no account or login required)

· Watch on our YouTube Channel

· Watch on our Website


Small Group Gatherings: Group Discernment for Acceptable Risk

Epworth small group gatherings (which includes older adult ministries, committees and other church-sponsored ministries) of fully-vaccinated persons may hold their meetings at Epworth indoors and may remove masks in their meeting place given that all of the conditions are met:

  • Group is not open to the general public*

  • Group is limited in size to no more than 100 people

  • Group is limited in access to the same, regularly gathering group*

Additionally, groups must identify a protocol leader who will be responsible for:

  • Confidentially verifying that the small group wants to proceed under the new principle which allows masks to be removed if conditions are met, being intentional in including everyone who wants to participate

  • Ensuring that the group adheres to these protocols

  • Maintaining six feet of social distancing between individuals/households when unmasked is recommended.

  • Signs will be posted near entrances promoting self-assessment for symptoms (see document below)

Masks must continue to be worn in common areas of the building and during high risk activities, including singing.

Building Access

  • Only use the Hopkins Street entrance. (Construction workers use the Napa Street entrance.)

  • Sign in and sign out.

  • Hand sanitizer is available in the lobby.

  • All in-person gatherings/activities should be scheduled in advance with the church office.

  • Masks must be worn indoors by everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in common areas of the building.

Children and Youth Ministries

  • Children and youth ministries (Godly Play, youth group and camps). Epworth’s protocols follow the priorities of the Berkeley Public Schools:



Church Office Hours

Graciela De Reza, Church Administrator, host office hours on Monday from 7am-3pm and 9am-5pm Tuesday-Friday.


Testing Positive and Contact Tracing

If Epworth is notified that an employee, vendor, worshipper or other visitor has tested positive for covid-19 (which should be done by contacting the church office or Pastor Kristin), we will follow CDC and Cal/OSHA guidance related to contact tracing and notification.


External Building Users/Renters

Groups with prior building use agreements or a previous relationship with Epworth may apply for a new building use agreement. Please indicate your desired meeting days, times and locations for meetings to resume in June 2022 or later here:


Building users/tenants without a previous relationship with Epworth with be considered on a case by case basis as capacity and schedule allows. You may request meeting space here: https://airtable.com/shrsNRhO1JNZVTbH8


Food & Drink

Small group gatherings operating under the "Group Discernment for Acceptable Risk" protocol may consume food and drink indoors, though eating and drinking outdoors is encouraged.


Further Communications

Additional guidance will be shared weekly in This Week at Epworth. Please subscribe to our email list here.

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