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 as-yet 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 should 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:
- Implement a “guest book” that uses a ledger for visitors to sign-in.
- Provide and collect printed contact sheets for every service. (download template)
- Utilize a 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 staffing. Such information would be extremely helpful should contact tracing be required. It would also certainly be appreciated by your guests.
The Presbytery website has shifted its focus on coronavirus information to Reopening Guidelines. Please take a moment to visit for ideas, suggestions, and resources to help you decide upon the best course of action for your congregation.