New COVID Protocols at Christ Episcopal Church
We give thanks to God for the rapid decrease in COVID numbers after the Omicron variant surge. That means that people are not getting sick, there are many fewer hospitalizations, and fewer deaths from COVID. Recently the Centers for Disease Control changed the guidance on mask usage and the manner that they base their local recommendations. Both Travis and Williamson Counties are listed as “Low Risk” areas. Also, the Austin-Travis County health authorities have rapidly moved from Stage 5 on February 23, down to Stage 2 on March 4.
Each month as the Vestry meets, we evaluate the information from the CDC and local county health agencies to determine our protocols at church, to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID at church. Yesterday the Vestry met to discuss our protocols in light of the rapid decline in COVID spread. The Vestry has decided to make mask-wearing and distancing optional on the church campus. People may choose whether or not to wear masks, and the pew signs are being removed.
There are two points we wish to particularly make clear. If someone chooses to wear a mask, for whatever reason, that will be honored and respected. One way we expect that to be honored is to do our best to give extra distance for those individuals. We will not be separating the congregation with “masked” and “unmasked” sections. So, please respect one another’s choices regarding mask use.
The second point is that, as what has been the case all along during the pandemic, our protocols are subject to change if the risk status or community spread changes.
We give thanks to God for the position we are in today. But, as we have experienced many times, conditions have been dynamic. We will continue to do our best to discern how we can best be a faithful community of Christians, caring for and loving one another. If you have any questions about our new procedures, please contact Father Richard.