The Task Force met for two evenings in a row to discuss and discern our current protocols.  We dug deep into research on droplet transmission while singing as well as the current numbers within our local community.  After prayerful consideration we have decided to make masks recommended but not required for singing in worship. 

Here is what went into that decision.
*Congregation members have been diligent about staying away when sick and testing and sharing results if positive.  We encourage you to continue those safe practices particularly when traveling and attending large events.
*The majority of our congregation is vaccinated and boosted.  We encourage folks to get the latest booster shot and the flu shot as the flu season is expected to be significant this year.
*Hospitalizations are currently low.  As you know we have switched our focus from infection rates to hospitalization numbers.  We want to do what is best for our community when hospitals are at capacity.
*The congregation has been respectful of the protocols and the wide spectrum of risk that members of the congregation feel comfortable taking.  We ask that folks continue to recognize that there are some in our congregation who are at greater risk than others and to allow them the opportunity to attend worship safely.
Given that, there will be two social distance sections in worship; one in the front south side and another in the rear north side so that those who do not wish to be near those singing without masks can safely do so.  Masks will be required in those sections.
*Things may change. The task force is well aware that the data changes day to day.  We are meeting regularly to monitor the latest information. Please understand that we may go back to wearing masks for singing if hospitalization rates increase.  Again, we are wanting to do what is best for our community.
Again, we thank you for your patience and understanding.  We all want to be together as a church family in the best way possible. If our decisions are impacting your ability to attend church please let us know.
Blessings, The Covid Task Force: Mike Mallwitz, Laura Crouse, Jennifer Sobczak, Brian Packham, Marilyn Cummins, Laura McLeod
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