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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: [May 3, 2021]

Here is an overview of the topics addressed by the COVID Response Team at our meeting week:

1. Changes/updates to services based on learnings from services:

  • No longer any need to pre-register online to attend service, though we still need to continue with the check-in process so we have a record of attendees in case there is a need for contact tracing.

  • We will be adding a Wednesday service after Memorial Day. Stay tuned for details.

  • With the successful Youth Pancake Breakfast we will be offering a Bring Your Own Chair and Coffee outdoor social after the 5/16 worship service and the following weeks in May (weather permitting). We are making plans for Congregational Life to start providing the coffee service for these outdoor gatherings beginning in June.

  • We will be opening the blocked pews in the sanctuary to allow for more seating. Seating will be arranged in an even/odd configuration. (see diagram below). Ushers will still be seating and exiting the congregation to maintain suitable distance, especially since we are now singing several songs during worship. The Chapel should be used as much as possible for larger family groups as it may not accommodate the even/odd layout:

  • If you are not comfortable with this seating arrangement, overflow seating will still be available, or you may choose to listen from the parking lot or view on-line from home.

2. Updates to guidance/practices from MDH/CDC and school districts:

  • CDC has made changes permitting people who are vaccinated to remove masks when gathering for outdoor events.

  • No other significant changes to the CDC/MDH guidelines related to indoor masking, monitoring of symptoms (stay home if you are not feeling well!), hygiene, or restrictions on indoor food and beverage service.

3. Property Updates related to HVAC/Ventilation

  • Waiting for additional quotes and bids on improving air handling and filtration

4. Confirmation and SS support

  • Preparing our youth for the Waco Mission Trip:

    • Trip participants (age 16+) who are eligible for vaccination are encouraged to consider getting it

    • YouthWorks is requiring symptom monitoring before and during the trip as well as a negative COVID test result within 72 hours of departure. Vaccinated participants are exempt from the testing requirement unless they are symptomatic.

    • Encourage youth to respect the mission and be careful in their activities before the trip.

Resources and references:

- General MN COVID-19 statistics:

- COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Requirements for Faith-based Communities:

- Music Activities and Performances During COVID-19:

If you would like the details of the discussions, reach out to one of the members and chat! Participants in this week's meeting included:

Pastor Jon

Joe Jorgensen

Lonna Selkirk

Sharon Buckley

Joan Eckdahl

Brad Smith

Lucy Hurrle

Matt Steinbron

Robin Martin

Bill Kanfield

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