FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHY AREN’T WE REOPENING RIGHT AWAY?
Church leadership needs time to effectively prepare to reopen safely. Reopening requires careful and thoughtful planning, recruiting and training volunteers, purchasing requisite resources and much more.

HOW SAFE IS ATTENDING WORSHIP?

According to CDC and randomized clinical trials of vaccines that have received an Emergency Use Authorization in the United States showed efficacy of 94%–95% in preventing COVID-19–associated illness. Given the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, the only 100% safe option is to attend our no-risk virtual worship service in the safety of your own home. The mask-optional sanctuary is for those who are vaccinated and comfortable with the associated risk of relying on the vaccine. The Mask-required area is for those who are comfortable assuming the risk associated with relying on masks and social distancing.

WHAT DOES FULLY VACCINATED MEAN?

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

If you have a medical condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, according to the CDC, you may not be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Please talk with your healthcare provider if this is a concern.

HOW DO I KNOW IF PEOPLE HAVE REALLY BEEN VACCINATED?

You will not know with complete certainty. Simply stated, the greatest threat in the mask-optional area is for those who are not vaccinated. The underlying assumption in the mask-optional area and the mask-required area is that someone in the space may be infected with COVID-19. Consequently, those who enter the mask-optional area who are vaccinated have a 94-95% chance of not becoming infected while being near a person who has a COVID-19 infection. Individuals who enter the mask-optional area and are not vaccinated place themselves at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK?

Yes and no. In the mask-optional church building that is catered to those who are vaccinated, you are not required to wear a mask, unless you are age 3-11. In the mask-required VICARS building, people who are vaccinated and those who are not must wear masks that cover their mouth and nose and socially distance.

WHY ARE CHILDREN 3-11 REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS IN BOTH AREAS?

Children age 3-11 do not have the option to become fully vaccinated. In an effort to provide a minimal level of protection, they are required to wear masks on the Community campus when we open. Community Kids and the Middle School Ministry will continue to take place virtually until further notice. Parents are encouraged to prayerfully consider whether they should attend, keeping their children by their side, or stay home until their children can be fully vaccinated.

WHY ARE THE CHILDREN & STUDENT MINISTRIES ONLINE ONLY?

We look forward to our young people being taught in-person by our onsite staff. Until children age11 years and under have the opportunity to be vaccinated, however, we will minister to them in a no-risk manner.

WILL I BE ASKED TO TOUCH OBJECTS OR PEOPLE?

You will not be asked to pass a Communion tray, offering plate, or encouraged to hug or give handshakes to other worshippers. As worshippers enter the sanctuary or VICARS they will be provided with a red or green sticker. Those who want to shake hands, hug, touch elbows, and participate in other forms of physical contact can place a green sticker on their shirt to indicate their preference. A worshipper who is not yet comfortable with physical contact, can place a red sticker on their shirt. We kindly, yet strongly, request that no one initiate physical contact with anyone wearing a red sticker.

IF SOMEONE IS WEARING A MASK IN THE MASK-OPTIONAL AREA, IS IT SAFE TO ASSUME THEY ARE UNVACCINATED?

No. A person may wear a mask for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the following: they may have an autoimmune disease, cancer, or asthmas; fall into a high-risk category; live with unvaccinated children or loved ones in high-risk categories; be unvaccinated; or simply choose to wear a mask because that is what makes them feel most comfortable.

I'M VACCINATED, DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK IN VICARS?

Yes. Everyone entering the mask-required area must wear masks and adhere to social distancing.

WILL TEMPERATURES BE CHECKED BEFORE ENTRY?

No. The safety tools that have been most reliable in preventing COVID-19 infection are staying home, wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing, and vaccination. Evidence suggests that a large number of asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus do not have elevated temperatures. To avoid providing a false sense of security, we will not check temperatures as worshippers enter our premises.

WHAT IF I HAVE A SUGGESTION?

If you would like to make a suggestion, please send an email to [email protected]

WHERE CAN I GO TO GET MORE INFORMATION?

For more information, please see the What To Expect document enclosed with this letter, and/or look for the most up-to-date version on our website.

The CDC website is a great source for information, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.