Church staff and lay leadership continue to closely monitor the latest COVID-19 wave fueled in large part by the Delta Variant. There are once again increasing hospitalizations and deaths predominately (but not exclusively) among unvaccinated individuals and reports of more mild “breakthrough” cases in vaccinated groups.
We are aware a few congregations locally have had temporary closures due to COVID exposures. A few churches in Brown and Marion County have opted to return to all virtual services. Our goal is to maintain as much of our “reopened” status as possible, including the long-planned restart of Children’s Learning Time to coincide with the restart of school in Monroe County.
If we are going to make this work, we need your help:
- The single most important action you can take is to get vaccinated if you are eligible and medically able. The fully FDA-approved Pfizer Vaccine is safe, free, and readily available to those 12 and up. The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are also safe and free. We can offer assistance if you are considering getting vaccinated or need help accessing a vaccination site.
- Do not come into the church building if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. We know the arrival of fall allergies plus cold and flu season will increase the likelihood we all will experience COVID-like symptoms that most likely will not result in a positive COVID diagnosis. Still, we ask you to exercise abundant caution and show concern for our wider community. We will do our best to facilitate a hybrid option for those unable to attend events and meetings in person. Remember, hybrid-worship access is already available via: firstuc.org/online
- Wear a mask at all times in the building (unless alone in a private office or classroom space), maintain social distancing, and wash or sanitize hands frequently. These fundamental mitigation strategies are still extremely important. Redouble your efforts.These acts are especially critical around children who do not yet have access to a vaccine.
- Start planning for COVID booster shots and your annual flu shot. We can offer assistance if you need help accessing a vaccination site.
It is clear that COVID-19 will not be gone in 2021 and is unlikely to be gone in 2022. The exhaustion, frustration, sense of loss, anger, and other emotions you feel are real and valid. You are not alone. Yet, our obligation to each other and to the wider community to act carefully and responsibly continues.
We will continue to keep you updated as this situation evolves.