APPROVED BY COUNCIL APRIL 29, 2021

 

Recommended by the
#GLCPDX COVID Team

Ernie Butenschoen (GLC President)
Dick Bemrose (GLC Vice President)
Mary Karter (Community Action Chair)
Kelley Irby
Roseann Libonati
Pastor Elizabeth Durant

Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Facility and Safety Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Procedures for in-person activities at church building and grounds.

Updated April 19th, 2021

Friends, please read this communication carefully and do everything you can to abide by these practices so that we can all stay healthy! These guidelines seek to support our mutual safety and well-being while in our building or on church grounds. Although we will do our best to make sure our church is a safe environment, we cannot promise that you will be safe here. Please follow these procedures below and use your best judgment when returning to our church facility.

 

These procedures reflect where we are now.

These will be evaluated, updated, and communicated as our situation changes over time.

They have been prepared in dialogue with council and staff, and are based on most current guidance from a variety of sources including the CDC Oregon Health Authority, and the Oregon Synod of the ELCA, taking into consideration our county’s current risk level .

 

 

 

 

Entering and Exiting the Church

The building and grounds remain closed to the public and visitors. Church member volunteers are asked to observe the protocols detailed below.
Please do not come into the church if you are sick, whether you believe your illness is COVID-related or not, or if you have had known contacts with people found to have COVID-19 within 2 weeks of contact (i.e., within the recommended self-quarantine period).
We strongly encourage those in high-risk categories, given age, underlying health conditions, or essential worker status, NOT to come inside the church building (even if they are otherwise healthy and fit). This applies especially if there are others in the church. Those wishing to come to church should also consider who is in their household, and whether they fall into a high-risk category or are a caregiver of one. Any risk of exposure that one person takes on is a risk that the whole household is also taking on.Please enter and exit the church through the office door or the far south back door. (Entry doors are labeled.) All other doors are closed to entry.
Wash hands or use hand sanitizer when you enter the building (there will be hand sanitizer and masks provided near the building entrances).
Everyone who comes into the building will sign in and sign out on the sheet. Please use pens from the “Clean” pen jar.
The sign-in information will be used for “contact tracing” in the event that someone becomes infected with COVID-19. Engaging in this practice is a crucial way we will keep the congregation safe and cooperate with public health efforts in the wider community. All information is kept confidential and will be stored securely.

Masks and Mask Guidelines

We require that everyone wear face masks that cover your mouth and nose completely while in the building (with the exception of staff who are working privately in their offices). Bring your own masks or face coverings if possible. We will have a limited supply of disposable masks near the entrance to the office. Please make sure face coverings are washed regularly and carefully. Do not re-use masks provided by the church.

Keep Six Feet

Keep 6 feet distance at all times and in all rooms, especially smaller rooms and hallways. Please observe occupancy limits for each room (posted in or outside each room).
Bathrooms are to be used one household at a time. Please utilize the “Occupied” signs when using the bathrooms.

Church Life

We are currently closed for in-person worship.
When we livestream from the sanctuary, we will wear masks except when speaking, maintain a 6 foot distance, sanitize our hands, and sign in for contact tracing. We will keep doors open to increase airflow in the sanctuary. Singing is a high-risk activity. All present except for the cantor will keep masks on during singing.
Church members can be present around the building and grounds with the following restrictions: People from different households must maintain at least a 6 foot distance. Masks or face coverings are required at all times indoors and outdoors on the property if in a group with people from more than one household.

Food and Drink

No food or drink will be served inside or outside the building. Personal beverages are permitted.
The coffee bar and church kitchen are closed for member use. Head Start uses the kitchen and bathrooms following COVID protocols.

Cleaning

Sanitizing supplies are provided in bathrooms. Please sanitize (spray and wipe down) surfaces after using the bathroom.

Staff

OHA recommends remote work where possible. Staff are keeping limited hours: the church office is staffed Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to Noon. Our Office Manager checks voicemail regularly Monday to Thursday and will promptly return any messages. (The pastor is in the church office on Tuesday and Thursday 9am to 1pm and Saturday by appointment.)
Staff will wear masks when in common areas of the building or near other people, which is most of the time. If they are working in a private space alone, they may take off their masks.

Other Building Users

At this time, we are not inviting other building users in besides Head Start. We will continue to assess if other uses of the building are possible.

When Someone Becomes Infected

If someone who has been in the church building becomes ill with COVID-19, they should immediately notify Pastor Elizabeth (pastor@glcportland.org) and Anna Lewis (alewis@glcportland.org) at the church office, and follow the guidance below as soon as possible.
The church community and other building users will be notified without revealing the name of the person who is sick. Individuals who used the building during the same period as the infected person, and who may have been exposed, should contact their health care practitioner immediately and follow their guidance in regard to self-isolating, testing, and other steps. In addition, the church will also contact local public health authorities (health departments) and immediately discontinue all in-person activities until a later date when public health officials deem it safe again. We encourage anyone who is either ill with COVID-19 or is a contact of a COVID-19 ill persons to also call their local health departments for further guidance.