CCUMC’s Re-Entering WEll Procedures

CCUMC’s Re-Entering WEll Procedures

CCUMC’s Re-Entering Well Procedures

SAFER AT HOME PHASE

We will follow these baseline practices:

  • Online worship services only
  • Church activities meet online, including all Bible studies and small groups

If the pastor and staff choose to live stream or pre-record for worship services from the church building, the only people permitted to do so are the pastor, the director of worship and music arts, the church administrator, and the minimum number of additional volunteers or staff needed for running technology or assisting with worship. All other aspects of worship will be done from home.

General building operations:

During the Safer at Home phase, staff are permitted limited access to their offices and the building in order to address essential needs only (mail processing, deposits, custodial coordination, preschool support, etc.)

SMALL GROUP PHASE A (current) 

The pastor and church leaders will consider moving into Small Group Phase A using regional data, widespread availability of testing and contract tracing, adequate protective equipment (PPE), an abundance of cleaning supplies, and cleaning protocols are in place and able to be followed. Physical distancing measures, handwashing, and mask wearing remains essential.

If someone who attends an in-person small group or event becomes ill during the event or after the event we will enact the response and communication plan (see “what to do if someone becomes ill” and notify the Montgomery County Health Department and cooperate fully with contract tracers. Infected persons will remain confidential per department of health protocol and will not be disclosed by CCUMC leaders.  

We will follow these baseline practices:

  • Sunday morning worship services are live-streamed
  • Bible studies, small groups, meetings and events may meet online or may request meeting outdoors at the church. Outdoor meetings must be approved by the church and must follow CCUMC’s Re-Entering Well procedures.

Preschool is able to resume indoor classes. Preschool leadership will be in close coordination with church leadership.

Outdoor, in-person events and small groups may occur at the church. A request must be made by using the Event and Small Group Request Form. Requests must be approved by the pastor and church office.

Outdoor worship services may be held at the church, including communion services, drive-thru communion, baptisms, weddings, and memorial and committal service. 

All outdoor, in-person events must follow CCUMC’s Re-Enteirng Well procedures.

General building operations:

  • Signs posted at entry points for indoor and outdoor events that encourage people to follow procedures, maintain social distancing, wear masks, and return home if experiencing covid-19 symptoms.
  • Hand sanitizer available at every entry point
  • Church staff, as well as volunteers who make pre-arrangements with church staff, may work in the church building. There should be no more than 10 number of church staff and church volunteers in the building at one time and all will maintain social distance and wear a mask. Church staff and volunteers should take every precaution to distance from and not disrupt the preschool.
  • Church office functions should be limited as much as possible to ensure essential operations and church administration.
  • Masks must be worn in the church building at all times.
  • Cleaning procedures, including cleaning between users and groups, must occur in compliance with CCUMC’s Re-Entering Well procedures.

Small Groups and Events in Small Group Phase A:

In Small Group Phase A, in-person events and meetings may be held outdoors. Initially small groups and events are limited to a maximum of 20 people. After successful implementation of Small Group Phase A we may consider larger groups up to the maximum number permitted by local health officials.

In Small Group Phase A:

  • No one should attend if feeling ill, presenting with covid-19 symptoms, or is awaiting a covid-19 test result
  • Small groups and events must be approved in advance by the pastor and church office
  • Small groups and events are only held outdoors
  • People must pre-register to attend
  • Initial maximum attendance limited to 10 people for indoor events, 20 for outdoor (may be increased following successful implementation of Small Group Phase A)
  • Masks must be worn at all times by people 2 years and older
  • Social distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained with people not in your household
  • No physical contact with people not in your household
  • Children remain in the care of parents for the entire time a family is at the church
  • No singing or speaking in unison
  • If outdoors, self contained nonshared food items are acceptable with appropriate distancing (6-10 feet apart before removal of masks)

Instructions for Small Groups and Events during Small Group Phase A:

  • A small group or event will not occur without approval by the pastor and church office. Requests will be made through the Event and Small Group Request Form.
  • Each small group or event must have a designated point of contact who is identified to the pastor and church administrator. This designated point of contact is responsible for ensuring that all procedures are communicated and followed, including providing an attendance and contact information list to the church office within 24 hours of the small group or event.
  • If someone from a small group or event becomes ill during or after the event, the designated group leader will immediately contact the pastor and the re-entering well response and communication plan will be followed (see “what to do if someone becomes ill”).

SMALL GROUP PHASE B

Small Group Phase B follows the procedures outlined in Small Group Phase A and adds the option to allow in-peron, indoor small groups and events in designated meeting spaces. Children may only attend indoor events if parents and/or caregivers remain with children through the entirety of the event. Mask wearing and social distancing are required.

Please note that Small Group Phase B does not include procedures for indoor worship.

If someone who attends an in-person small group or event becomes ill during the event or after the event we will enact the response and communication plan (see “what to do if someone becomes ill” and notify the Montgomery County Health Department and cooperate fully with contract tracers. 

In Small Group Phase B:

  • Online options continue (and hybrid meetings offered when possible) for people who do not feel comfortable attending or who have risk factors
  • No one should attend if feeling ill, presenting with covid-19 symptoms, or is awaiting a covid-19 test result
  • Small groups and events must be approved in advance by the pastor and church office
  • Initial maximum outdoor attendance limited to 25 people (unless increased following successful implementation of Small Group Phase A)
  • Initial indoor attendance is limited to 10 people (and is less in certain indoor spaces). For rooms that could accommodate more than 10 under these procedures, additional attendance may be permitted following successful implementation of Small Group Phase B). 
  • People must pre-register to attend
  • Masks must be worn at all times by people 2 years and older
  • Social distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained with people not in your household
  • No physical contact with people not in your household
  • Children remain in the care of caregivers for the entire time a family is at the church
  • No singing or speaking in unison
  • No food consumption (except for communion)

Instructions for Small Groups and Events during Small Group Phase B:

  • A small group or event will not occur without approval by the pastor and church office. Requests will be made through the Event and Small Group Request Form.
  • Each small group or event must have a designated point of contact who is identified to the pastor and church administrator. This designated point of contact is responsible for ensuring that all procedures are communicated and followed, including providing an attendance and contact information list to the church office within 24 hours of the small group or event.
  • If someone from a small group or event becomes ill during or after the event, the designated group leader will immediately contact the pastor and the re-entering well response and communication plan will be followed (see “what to do if someone becomes ill”).

General building operations during Small Group Phase B:

  • Signs posted at entry points for indoor and outdoor events that encourage people to follow procedures, maintain social distancing, wear masks, and return home if feeling symptoms.
  • Hand sanitizer available at every entry point
  • Church staff, as well as volunteers who make pre-arrangements with church staff, may work in the church building. There should be no more than X number of church staff and church volunteers in the building at one time and all will maintain social distancing and wear a mask. Church staff and volunteers should take every precaution to distance from and not disrupt the preschool.
  • Church office functions should be limited as much as possible to ensure essential operations and church administration.
  • Masks must be worn in the church building at all times.
  • Cleaning procedures, including cleaning between users and groups, must occur in compliance with CCUMC’s Re-Entering Well procedures.

WORSHIP RE-ENTRY PHASE

In addition to online worship services, small outdoor services, and in-person small groups and events, we may consider in-person worship services in the church building with a set number of people at each service (based on CDC guidelines and local government covid-19 protocols).  

General recommendations for indoor, in-person worship services:

People must pre-register to attend a worship service. 

We must have a clean-up crew to clean all surfaces between services. 

All people must wear cloth face masks while in the church building. 

Households must worship together. 

Attendance in the sanctuary, including staff and volunteers, will not exceed 45 groups in designated seating arrangement. 

Pews will be pre-marked to facilitate social distancing during worship.

No congregational singing or unison speaking.

No-touch alternatives will be used for sharing peace, receiving offerings, and participating in worship. All print materials, including Bibles and hymnals, will be removed from the pews.

No bulletins will be offered. Audio/visual technology will be used instead.

Life rituals (baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals) may be held in the building while adhering to re-entering well procedures and total attendance limits.

Offering communion safely will continue to be a challenge and safe procedures will need to be determined. 

Full Re-Entry Phase

We will address the Full Re-Entry Phase when adequate information is available.

Considerations may include:

  • Continue offering online, hybrid and in-person worship
  • Closely monitor public health recommendations on Communion as we get to this stage and consult our ecclesiastical authorities.
  • Watch for public health recommendations on group singing as we arrive at this stage. 
  •  Continue to use no-touch alternatives for passing the peace, collecting offering, and liturgical resources.
  •  Continue to use the overhead screens in place of Bibles, hymnals and bulletins. 
  •  Small groups continue to meet in person in the building but follow cleaning protocols. 
  •  Continue to offer some online small group options.
  •  Office functions could resume as normal, with attention to cleaning.

Additional Re-Entering Well Resources

Guidelines for Leaders of Small Groups and Events

CCUMC is currently in Small Group Phase A of our Re-Entering Well Plan. Small groups currently may only be held outside. Each group participant must wear a mask and maintain social distancing of no less than six feet. Small groups must be of 20 people or fewer outdoors.

In order to request hosting a small group at CCUMC, please complete our Event and Small Group Request Form.

As the event or small group host, you are responsible for for ensuring that:

  • CCUMC’s Re-Entering Well procedures are followed
  • Attendees wear masks and maintain social distancing
  • The Covid Questionnaire is sent out 24h before to attendees and any at risk individuals advised not to attend the event, questions should be confirmed for entry to event day of
  • The church receives a list of all attendees (send list to reentry@chevychaseumc.org)
  • You are aware of protocols in the event someone becomes ill before, during or after the event or small group meeting

What To Do If Someone Becomes Ill

If the pastor or church administrator becomes aware of someone who has become ill during or after an in-person event, we will enact the following response and communication plan:

  • Advise staff and attendees who have symptoms of covid-19 or who have tested positive for covid-19 not to return to the facility until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation. 
  • Identify an area to separate anyone who exhibits symptoms of covid-19 during hours of operation, and ensure that children are not left without adult supervision.
  • Have designated people to attend to someone who has become ill. 
  • Ensure all persons attending to someone who becomes ill during a gathering have access to a filter mask, gloves, and protective eyewear (PPE).
  • Establish procedures for the transport of anyone who becomes sick at the facility to his/her home or to a healthcare facility by calling 911 if appropriate.
  • Close off areas used by the sick person and do not use the area until after cleaning and disinfection (bathrooms, for example, should not be entered/cleaned until 24 hours after the sick person has left the bathroom). 
  • The pastor or designated group leaders, in consultation with medical personnel on site, may decide to immediately end any in-person activities and strive to dismiss attendees in a safe and orderly fashion. 
  • After all immediate and necessary actions have been taken, the involved event leaders from CCUMC will write with the pastor a report detailing what went well, what did not go well, what could be improved in the future, and begin determining  whether to hold future gatherings.
  • The pastor or the small group or event leader in coordination with the pastor will immediately notify local health officials (Montgomery County Health Department, 240-777-1779) if a person diagnosed with covid-19 has been in the building. 
  • Communicate with staff and congregants about potential exposure while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by doing the following: 
    • CCUMC will protect the infected congregant’s identity at all times. 
    • Advise those exposed to a person diagnosed with covid-19 to follow CDC guidance and contact their primary care provider for further questions or concerns.