As we take steps to reopen the church facilities, we will continue to seek God’s wisdom and guidance and will be obedient to Him first and foremost. Furthermore, Real Life Church will adhere to National, State and Local Government Health/Safety and Scientific guidelines for reopening under acceptable safe conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we resume worship and ministry in our facilities during this pandemic, we should not expect business as usual. Because of the risk of illness (known and unknown) and potential for severe illness, even death (for some with underlying medical conditions), it’s imperative that we proceed cautiously in our reopening.
Therefore, we must establish safety guidelines and safety measures to ensure all Real Life employees and attendees can work and participate with an acceptable degree of safety. As circumstances continue to change during this pandemic, we will update our COVID plan to reflect current guidelines. We will implement applicable guidelines and recommendations from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), Department of Health (DOH), and our state and local government.
Employee Procedures During Work Week (M-F)
- Maintain a social distance of 6 feet from other employees when possible
- Masks may be worn at anytime but encouraged when 6 feet of distance is not possible
- If underlying medical conditions exist then the employee may choose to work from home, if possible
- Work-related meetings may take place virtually or in an area where social distancing is possible
- Employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 need to notify their supervisor and stay home.
- Employees who appear to have symptoms when they arrive at work or who become sick during the day should immediately be separated from others, provided a face mask if they are not using one, and sent home with instructions and guidance on how to follow-up with their healthcare provider.
- Sick employees should follow the CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until they meet the criteria to discontinue home isolation, in consultation with their healthcare provider.
Staff/Volunteer Protocols During Ministry Events
- Maintain a social distance of 6 feet from attendees when possible
- Masks are required for all volunteers/staff when inside the buildings unless there is a medical exception or unless the person is on stage speaking/singing
- Staff/volunteers who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 need to notify their supervisor and stay home.
- Staff/volunteers who appear to have symptoms when they arrive at church or who become sick while on campus should immediately be separated from others, provided a face mask if they are not using one, and sent home with instructions to follow-up with their healthcare provider.
- Sick staff/volunteers should follow CDC-recommended steps.. Staff/volunteers should not return to campus until they meet the criteria to discontinue home isolation, in consultation with their healthcare provider.
Reporting and Notification When an Attendee Tests Positive
The following information outlines the steps that RLC will follow when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 of a person who was at the church facility:
- We will encourage attendees to notify us if they or someone in their family who recently attended a Real Life service/group meeting/event tests positive for COVID-19.
- RLC will follow guidelines and procedures outlined by state and local public health officials. Our local health department will handle the contact tracing process in a confidential manner and collaborate with the church on how to address the situation if needed.
- If we are notified or become aware of a positive test of someone who recently attended an RLC service/event then we will immediately notify via email/text those who attended who may have had close contact with the individual at that service/group meeting/event. For those without an email address or cell phone number to text we will make a phone call to notify them.
- We will not give medical advice about what they should do but will only notify them that someone who was also at that service/group meeting/event has tested positive and if they have questions, concerns, or need guidance to notify their healthcare provider.
- Because of our obligation to protect the privacy of attendees and employees as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) federal laws, the church cannot release specific information about a confirmed case. We cannot reveal the name of the individual who tests positive even when asked by someone who attended the same service/group meeting/event. If the individual chooses to disclose that information then that’s fine, but we cannot.
- We should make sure we express concern for the individual who tests positive, assure them of privacy as we notify others, and follow up with them during their illness.
- In the event of an outbreak, it may be necessary to shift to online services exclusively for a certain period of time. Be mindful that a change to online services exclusively may have to be done quickly with less than a day’s notice.
- Attendees, employees, and others should refrain from sharing inaccurate information. Please do not spread rumors as this may create panic, anxiety, and mistrust for your church family
Protocol When a Child/Student/Attendee/Employee Exhibits Symptoms
The following information outlines the steps that RLC will follow when an attendee or employee exhibits COVID-19 symptoms while at the church facility:
- If the person is an employee or adult attendee, he or she will be sent home immediately.
- If the attendee is a minor, a parent will be contacted and asked to pick up the child immediately.
- A face covering will be given to the person if he or she does not have one. If the person is a minor, he or she will be taken to an isolated area away from others until being picked up by a parent/guardian.
- The child will be supervised by a staff member who maintains at least six feet of space and wears personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Attendees/employees will be advised to contact their healthcare provider or the local health department for further guidance or general questions about COVID-19 and information about testing.
- Areas, where the attendee or employee may have been, will be closed off immediately and cleaned/disinfected properly.
Good Hygiene Practices to Remember
Review the following hygiene practices and do your part to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. It is a good idea to review these practices with your volunteers and participants as well.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer;
- Keep your social distance (at least six feet of space) from others;
- Wear a mask/face covering when in public;
- Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
- Stay at home if you are not feeling well.
- If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare professional.
The safety of everyone associated with our church is extremely important as we work together to support each other during this time.