Phase 3 Update
This past week we have been swimming in a number of new details related to our COVID-19 response. On one end we had Governor DeSantis move the state into ‘Phase 3’ along with a few specific orders related to fines for not wearing masks, etc. and on the other end we were working on how best to communicate a recent report of a couple of members testing positive to the Coronavirus.
We are not health experts, so we have sought the counsel of doctors, epidemiologists as well as CDC guidelines about the best way to handle this and make clear how we’ll respond in our facility and communications moving forward. We believe that taking this approach aligns with what we have shared with you all multiple times this year about coordinating closely with Seminole County and Medical professionals since that is the county our facility is located.
First and foremost; we will continue following the guidelines we had already set in place.
• Stay home if you are feeling sick
• Wear masks (when moving about the facility, during worship and while seated)
• Wash your hands regularly
• Physical Distancing while gathered
We learned in the process that ‘exposure’ to the virus is considered when one is within 6 ft of the infected individual for more than 15 minutes without a mask. That alone makes tracing types of contact even harder given the size of our facility and variety of gatherings.
We also learned that the guideline for recognizing the illness and getting tested is when the individual first starts showing symptoms. From our understanding these symptoms in the individuals did not occur until Saturday/Sunday so exposure was limited. Those that did have symptoms did contact individuals that were around them even up to the day before. Please know that, as of this writing, these individuals are doing well and are quarantining through next weekend.
From a legal opinion: Because of HIPAA laws we should not share the names of those infected which in itself causes communication hurdles. Our apologies if there was a different expectation set at any time through these past months. This will continue to be our approach moving forward.
Based on this and the above scenario we can not clearly determine where someone got the virus, whether it be here or somewhere else. But we are acknowledging that cases have occurred.
Be assured we are deep cleaning, sanitizing and purifying regularly throughout the week. A huge “Thank you” to Paul and your team! As one of our doctors reminded us: “With a church our size, we will continue to have exposures to viruses and cases of disease - like influenza, heart disease, and cancer. We will encourage individuals to confidentially share disease exposures with other members, seek testing, and track cases. The church is not a healthcare entity but we do pursue health and wellness and take that seriously as a place for the gathering of the Body of Christ.”
As always, your prayers for individual health, the wellness of our gatherings and leaders as well as the health of our community are important. Our continued following guidelines when gathered is important. But we ultimately put our hope in Christ, the head of the church for true wholeness, healing and health.
Let us serve one another by keeping these important prayer rhythms and safety practices in place while we look to Christ together to lead us through this season in the life of His Church.