14 Mar Addressing the COVID-19 virus
Hi St. Giles family,
In light of the developing COVID-19 virus, we wanted to let you know the steps we are taking to ensure our family and community is safe during the coming weeks as we continue to worship together.
We are not exercising this caution out of fear, and we’re confident that the risk to our community still remains low at this time, but we are keen to protect those who are considered more vulnerable in our community, and therefore we plan to be diligent in stopping the spread of germs where possible.
First, know that our prayers to God are for those who are ill with this virus and for those who care for them, especially in countries that have been most affected. We also pray for health and frontline workers as they face their daily tasks. And we remember those communities and businesses that have been affected and any people facing discrimination as a result of the virus.
Public Health officials tell us that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to any virus. General prevention measures include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Stay home if you have influenza/respiratory virus symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, trouble breathing).
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
- If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
During worship this Sunday, we will:
- We have suspended shaking hands in favour of a friendly smile to welcome you at the door!
- Make hand sanitizer available in the worship space and throughout the church building for all to use.
- Have extra Kleenex boxes available for everyone to use.
- Use alternate forms of greeting to hugs, handshakes, etc., if or when necessary.
- Remind people who use our church during the week to wash their hands regularly.
- Wipe down commonly used surfaces such as hand rails and doorknobs
- Offering will be collected before worship on offering plates at the entrance rather than passing down the aisle.
- We will have Coffee Hour. Our coffee hour volunteers will exercise additional precautions to ensure that all food and drink preparation areas are kept spotless. We had a Public Health Inspection just this week and we passed with flying colours!
Please use reliable sources of information when you are looking online, such as:
- Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Situation Overview
- Risk-informed decision-making for mass gatherings during COVID-19 global outbreak
We will continue to monitor this situation and respond to developments based on advice asit’s released by the Government and by the Presbyterian Church in Canada. And of course, we’ll be sure to keep you in-the-loop with any updates to our plans and protocols.
Please continue to pray for our country, and our world, at this time. We pray that God would protect those who are vulnerable, heal those who are sick, and comfort those who are mourning. We pray that God would continue to give us wisdom to respond to this situation, and that our responses would be characterized by the peace, trust, and faith that we have been called to!
Thank you for helping us to keep our community healthy!
We love you, and we look forward to seeing you soon,
Your St. Giles Family