Almost every person on this planet has witnessed the unprecedented and unbelievable scale of death and illness since the outbreak of the pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 and motivated by numerous encouragements, supports, and inspirations from strangers and acquaintances at the same time. We have encountered challenges we have never met before and have been blessed all of these days. With the likelihood of the next pandemic and the existing orders and restrictions imposed by local authorities, we ought to start proactively and seriously thinking when and in what forms the local chapels and churches can resume in-person religious activities little by little such as the weekly worship services, weddings, and so forth. Here at IvyRobes, we’ve listed the following 3 stages that most regional churches are strictly adhered to for reopening.
Stage I: Sit Tight and Prepare for the Next Stage
Under the current situation, churches will still be closed for formal gatherings and extra-curriculum activities unless there are undeniable reasons for essential employees to commute to their offices. Those urgent scenarios include taking care of homeless people, supporting the functioning of virtual live streaming and videotaping, cleaning and disinfecting the building, and so on. Congregation members are highly recommended to attend the online worship whereas the support crew needs to further refine the reopening scheme and closely follow up the required procedures and certifications for the next stage.
Stage II: Prepared for Reopening
It is the phase that reserving and stocking ample critical supplies including quality surgical face masks, N95 masks, other cloth coverings, soaps, tissues, and hand sanitizers with 70% alcohol is still the priority. Vulnerable individuals like the people aged above 65, immunocompromised children, people who have underlying long-term health issues, as well as those who stay with the aforementioned persons are extremely encouraged to remain home and harness the worship facilities online. The cathedral administrators should keep holding the weekly or daily virtual worship service via Zoom, Facebook Live, or other live streaming tools. Meanwhile, the church regulators need to force the participants of the religious events onsite to comply with the rigorous rules, including but not limited to, wearing a cloth mask to cover your face and mouth, restricting seating to every other pew to guarantee social distancing, as well as eliminating any chances of passing on or sharing objects like Bibles, wedding bouquets, and bulletins during the services for any reason. Also, there are specific norms for the usage of the church office. The regular working hours can be shortened to ensure merely a tiny number of employees in the administration building at one time while the maximum number of the people who take part in a meeting should be limited to 5 with thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing being performed between shifts.
Stage III: Approval for Reopening
The third phase of church reopening starts only when the governor of your region gives permission to unlock church facilities. To be eligible for the reopening, the church representative has to fill out the form named “Worksheet for Protocol Planning and Reopening Teams” and hand in a detailed documented plans as well as the church certification. After all the files are verified and the current conditions of the church 100% meet the requirements of the reopening, the church can legally welcome its visitors.