FROM THE STATE OF MARYLAND:
COVID-19 Vaccinations in Maryland
As Maryland has already lifted most restrictions for public gatherings, people are once again meeting in person with more regularity. It is, however, vital to note that children, the immunocompromised, and near 30% of unvaccinated adults are still at risk. For the sake of the most vulnerable, and with the rise of more aggressive strains of the virus, churches must welcome their guests with discretion and responsibility.
For that reason, we strongly encourage churches that are reopening to develop a method to track attendance at in-person worship and other gatherings. This is important in case someone develops COVID-19 and contact tracing is required. There are several ways to implement a system that accounts for attendance:
- Utilize a “guest book” ledger for visitors to sign-in.
- Provide and collect printed contact sheets for every service. (download template)
- Web-based applications that enable electronic reservations or pre-registration
In any case, the date, name, email and phone number should be collected from each individual or family attending service. Naturally, the specifics of implementing a record-keeping system are up to churches themselves, based on size and volunteer support. Such information would be extremely helpful should contact tracing be required. It would also certainly be appreciated by your guests.
Tracking Attendance Tip Sheet – Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church
Some advice from PC(USA) General Counsel if you are employer being asked for a vaccine exemption (bottom line: work with your own attorney)
Visitor Record Sheets Template – Downloadable PDF to print, score and distribute for guest contact information.
17 FAQs for Houses of Worship Considering Reopening Amid the Coronavirus Crisis – Center for American Progress
Guidance on Regathering for the Summer from our General Presbyter – June 9th, 2021
Hope United Church of Christ Regathering Plan (pdf) – An excellent resource that outlines each phase of regathering preparedness.
Where Two or More Are Vaccinated: Advice for Churches in 2021 – Five science-based suggestions to gather and worship safely as COVID-19 vaccines roll out.
Church Opening and Closing Guidance (pdf) – By Cincinnati Presbytery’s superstar EP/scientist, Lisa Allgood
COVID-19 mitigation strategies for Choir – Developed from the research done at the University of Colorado and the University of Maryland in the Aerosol Study.
When and How to Reopen – Decision-tree flowchart for religious activities from the World Health Organization
Regathering Guidelines from the Presbytery of Baltimore – Adopted June 2020 by Steering Cabinet
Reopen your Church Property (pdf) – The Insurance Board
Reopening is about who God is – Presbyterian Outlook
Liability Issues to Consider on Reopening Churches for Live Worship Services (pdf) – PC(USA) General Counsel Mike Kirk
COVID-19 Liability FAQ (pdf) – Coronavirus related liability issues for outside groups using church facilities
Phase 2: Returning to Worship (pdf)
How Do mRNA Vaccines Work? Here’s What You Should Know
A very simple, yet brief explanation of how the vaccine works, and common myths dispelled. Published by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Faith, Science and Trust
Dr. Anthony Fauci joined the University of MD last Friday for an honest, open dialogue about faith, science, and trust. It was very informative, underscoring the importance of community education.