Below is the current Covid 19 response plan for re-starting in-person services at St. Andrew’s united Church. At this time we are planning to restart in person services on October 4th, 2020 but watch this page or our FaceBook page for updates as matters can change quickly!
St-Andrew’s United Church
Moose Jaw, SK
COVID-19 Re-opening Plan Adopted September 17, 2020
Public Worship at St Andrews United Church will resume in accordance all the health directives promulgated by the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Social gatherings before or after Services (including coffee and donuts, potlucks) will not take place during this initial phase of reopening. More personal settings such as the minister’s offices or meetings remain restricted to gatherings of 2-3 people or no more than can be safely spaced out in that specific room.
The health and safety of everyone is first and foremost. To be successful we will need to continue to do what we are already doing, namely: to follow public health measures, practice physical distancing and good hygiene and to continue to act responsibly. All those attending worship services do so at their own risk. It is important for individuals and families to take responsibility for protecting themselves – and others. Prior to attending Services, congregants should use a self-assessment tool to determine whether it is safe or not to attend.
Online services will continue be available via normal means YouTube and/or Facebook.
Saskatchewan Self Assessment Tool can be found online at:
Symptoms of COVID via Saskatchewan Health Authority:
Testing is available and recommended if you have unexplained new or worsening symptoms (even mild symptoms) that may include one or more of the following:
- Muscle and/or joint aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Loss of appetite (difficulty feeding for children)
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
You can obtain a referral to a community testing centre by phoning:
- HealthLine 811
- Your family physician
- Your nurse practitioner
- The following people must stay home for the sake of others in the community:
- Those with COVID-19, or those who live with someone with COVID-19;
- Those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19;
- Anyone feeling sick with a cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat, even if symptoms appear to be mild or resemble a cold;
- Anyone at high risk from COVID-19, for example, those with chronic medical conditions, especially with upper respiratory or flu-like symptoms, and;
- Those who have recently travelled outside of Canada.
- The following individuals are encouraged to stay home for the sake of the wider community:
- Those who live with someone with upper respiratory or flu-like symptoms;
- People, especially the elderly (over 65 years of age) with underlying or pre-existing medical conditions; and
- Family members who live with elderly people or those at risk.
II. Preparing COMMUNITY MEMBERS for Reopening
With the Sanctuary able to hold 650 people, the government mandate of 30% means we are able to have just over 200 people for Sunday morning worship. This will include volunteers assisting with the protocols as well as with the service.
1. This plan has been approved by St Andrew’s Church Council and availability will be communicated via:
- Phone – Phone teams communicate to members that the plan is available;
- The minister will announce prior to online services that the plan is available member;
c. The plan being posted on the windows facing the church parking lot.
d. By social media – website and Facebook
Copies of the plan can be received by:
- Email – the primary distribution method for our re-open plan
- Delivery – congregants can call the office and a copy will be delivered to their home.
- Placed in conspicuous spots on the pews for congregates to take home.
- Posted at the front of the entrance for review by congregants as required.
- The plan will be posted on the church’s website and Facebook pages.
2. Physical Distancing
- Except for members of the same household, physical distancing of at least 2 metres is to be observed everywhere on the church property (in the church, front steps, in the parking lot, etc.); and
- People are not to gather in the entranceway or near the doors of the church before or after Sunday Worship. If the minister wishes to greet church community members, physical distancing must be maintained and wearing a face mask is strongly recommended.
- Infants and children should remain with their parents at all times.
3. Use of Masks:
- Use of face masks/coverings in accordance with Health Canada recommendations are required to attend service, unless there is a medical reasons. Please check with the Minister for this. Masks will be required in the hallways / stairwells and other common spaces in the building.
- It will be helpful if the congregation members could provide their own masks, however the church will have masks available for church community members who need one;
III. Preparing the Church Building for Reopening
- Signs will be placed on church doors and office windows to indicate current service times and procedures.
- Public Health Agency of Canada posters/promotion will be placed on the church doors and within the building such as:
- Bathroom – washing of hands poster
- Physical distancing Posters within the church
- iii.COVID19 Information within the Church.
- Pews designated for seating will be clearly marked and 2m distance indicators will be placed on the floor.
5. Entrance and Exits:
- Entrance and exit doors should be propped open, where/when possible, as people enter/exit so that congregants need not touch the door handles or doors;
- Entrance to the church will be restricted to the main lower entrance at the front of the church for entrance into the building. Ushers/greeters stationed at the main church entrance will monitor those who enter, reminding them of the requirement for physical distancing of 2 metres and the need for hand sanitization. Members of a single household may enter and exit together, since they do not need to practice physical distancing with each other; and
- Once the maximum of 30% capacity is met, entry to the church will be restricted. People who simply show up for Service at the door must be turned away in a polite and respectful manner. Doors will be closed and locked 10 minutes after the start of service.
- To exit the church, attendees will exit the same way they entered, starting from the back of the sanctuary. People will be directed when to leave.
6. Seating in the pews: To maintain physical distancing, seating
is will be restricted to every third pew. Pews that can be used for seating will be clearly marked. Unused rows may be conveniently closed off with painter’s tape, which will not damage the pews. Disinfection of used pews must be done following each Service via the caretaker.
7. Use of Restrooms, Kitchens;
- Congregates will be discouraged from using the washrooms on Sundays during services. Restrooms will have 80% alcohol spray bottles for disinfecting after using during the week.
- Kitchens are off use until further notice.
8. Cleaning and Sanitizing/Disinfecting:
- The church high touch points will be disinfected prior to opening and again after the Service. The disinfection prior to opening for service will be done by the ushers/greeters, once service has ended the doors to the sanctuary will be closed until the caretaker has completed this disinfection process. This includes but not limited to door knobs, light switches, banisters and pews.
- An adequate stock of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies, including disposable gloves and aprons for cleaners, should be readily available at the time of reopening;
- The minister and any volunteers leading worship should wash their hands thoroughly before beginning Service;
- Hand sanitizing should take place near the entrance to the church for those entering the building. A bottle of sanitizer, touched by many, should be avoided. Instead, use of an automatic dispenser or having an usher/greeter wearing a mask spraying the hands of those entering the building is recommended.
- At this time, bulletins will not be distributed. Announcements will be made by the minister at the beginning of the service as well as posted online.
- All hangers, paper and other loose printed items will be removed from the foyer and hallways;
- Collection plates will be placed on hold. There is a box at the back of the church where people can drop their offerings. Congregants will be encouraged to sign up for Pre Authorized Remittance.
- Hymn books will be prohibited until further notice. If congregants would like to use a Bible during the service, they are encouraged to bring their own but will be provided if requested from the Bibles that are used on a two week rotation.
- Readers will be provided the reading via paper format. The Scripture Readings will be completed at the lectern mic, the Minute for Missions will be completed using the microphone on a stand in front of the communion table.
10. Other Considerations:
- Communion will be put on hold until further notice.
- While music is integral to worship, congregational singing and choirs will not be utilized at this time. Music will be limited to instrumental and solo singers. At all times the use of physical distancing will be factored into this option, with a minimum of 4 metres between the masked sing and the congregation. Musicians will be responsible for cleaning and disinfecting musical instruments following use. Microphones will not be shared until disinfected.
- Passing of the Peace – congregation must maintain physical distancing and avoid physical contact, passing of the peace will be provided using alternative means. The minister will provide directions on how to complete the passing of the peace.
- Sunday School – there will be no Sunday school activities planned until further notice. Children’s time will occur during worship however children will stay with their parents.
11. Contact Tracing
- In accordance with references, names will be collected of anyone who physically attends the service and held for a minimum of one month. In addition, a photo will also be taken, by the minister, to compliment and facilitate the contact tracing if required. The photo will not be shared and will be deleted within a month of the date taken.
- A sign-in clipboard will be installed on the wall just through the blue fire doors past the church office for recording weekday visitors. Group users and individuals entering St. Andrew’s space must sign in. Groups leaders can sign in on behalf of their group, if they keep their own attendance list
With everyone working together following our St. Andrew’s Re-opening Plan, we can try to enjoy an in-person worship and keep everyone healthy and safe.