As you know, here in PEI we are preparing to move into what is referred to as “Phase 3” of the government’s “Moving on Plan.” With the move into phase 3, currently set for April 7th, most restrictions are expected to be lifted. Our Official Board recently met to discuss how we want to proceed as we adjust to the lifting of restrictions while also continuing to live with COVID-19. At our meeting it was decided that we would do our best to strike a balance between the easing of restrictions while also being cautious since there are still a high number of cases in our province. Below is the plan we will be living into for the foreseeable future. If you have any questions, please feel comfortable to reach out. Please note that if the date for phase 3 changes, then this plan would come into use with the new date for Phase 3.
Blessings, Rev. Tara Ann
COVID-19 Protocols Updated
The COVID Planning Group recommends that we continue be cautious as restrictions are lifted in our province. Below are the recommendations for doing so:
• Congregants will be encouraged to continue wearing a mask when entering, leaving or moving within the building and when singing.
• Some physical distancing will be maintained. We will skip every 2nd pew to keep some distance between rows, but there will be no restrictions on who a person chooses to sit with.
• Recognizing that some congregants may prefer more physical distancing, the front row of each side will be reserved with 6 feet maintained in front and behind the pew.
• Choirs will continue to be suspended for the Spring, but we will re-evaluate in time for summer. Special music will continue to be welcome.
• We will lessen sanitizing protocols and focus only on areas of high concern where more than one person may share the space (for example the pulpit or microphones). We will no longer sanitize pews, light switches, door knobs etc. on a per use basis.
• We will continue to remind and encourage people to practice good hygiene: hand washing and use of sanitizer and staying home when sick.
• Recognizing that the COVID-19 virus only stays on surfaces for up to 72 hours, hymn books will be returned to the pews after Easter. For Good Friday we will rotate books before Easter sunrise.
• We will continue to keep the offering Plate at the back of the church and not carry it forward during worship. We will re-evaluate this in time for summer.
• We will continue holding Communion by asking people to bring your own Elements.
• Baptism families will be consulted to decide if the Baptism will be in-service or private, depending on level of concern and vulnerability for the infant and/or family. The Baptism itself will continue to follow best practices (clergy wears a mask, sanitizes, parents hold the infant).
• Sunday School intends to continue with fellowship activities that include the outdoors. They will encourage families to follow best practices (mask wearing etc.). They will consider returning to a pre-covid program in the fall, but may consider joining in worship for Walk United Sunday depending on the current COVID-19 situation.
• We will share our updated policy with any external groups but let them decide their own best practices for their program.
This updated protocol would replace any previous ones, beginning with the lifting of provincial restrictions, currently planned for April 7th 2022.