Pandemic Update – We are Starting to Reopen

On May 23, we started welcoming small groups of vaccinated people into the Sanctuary for worship, with a few more watching the live-stream together in Fellowship Hall. We are sending out a sign up link via email and text – right now weekly, but maybe eventually for a few weeks at a time. We plan to send the sign up link out at around 2 pm on Sundays, with a deadline to sign up by the following Thursday morning.

Preference is given to those who have not attended in the Sanctuary previously. Otherwise, it is a random selection process, and we’ll let you know if you were selected by 5 pm on Thursdays.

How many people can attend worship?
As of May 30, Merrimack County has “moderate” transmission, which puts us in Phase 3 of our policy – but Phase 2, if everyone is vaccinated. We are welcoming up to 25 vaccinated households to the Sanctuary. The amount of households permitted may go up (or down) if transmission gets better (or hopefully not worse.) We encourage people who aren’t vaccinated to continue watching the live-stream for the time being, and we hope to have you join us in person when transmission declines even further.

When can Covenant Groups and committee meetings happen?
Since we’re now in Phase 3, a group of 5 households (and max 10 people, e.g. 5 individuals or 5 couples) may meet in Fellowship Hall. If everyone in the group is vaccinated, the number of attendees may increase to 15 people from a max of 10 households.

Take advantage of the lovely weather and meet outdoors! In keeping with CDC guidance, we’ve relaxed
our outdoor meeting rules:

  • No masks required outside
  • Physical distance of only 3 feet required
  • Allowed to enter building for restrooms
  • Although vaccinations are not required for outdoor meetings, singing is allowed if everyone is vaccinated.
  • We even have a fire pit for your group’s enjoyment!

What ventilation, masking, and social distance precautions are in place?
Masks and 6 foot distancing are still required indoors, regardless of your vaccination status.
The Sanctuary ventilation system has been adjusted to provide extra ventilation. In addition, a portable HEPA air filter is placed between the unmasked worship leader and the masked people in the pews. In Fellowship Hall, a mechanical engineer has assured us that our ventilation well exceeds code for the small groups we will be allowing. Staff will program the ventilation to run whenever the room is occupied. A portable HEPA air filter will also be running.

What do you mean by “multi-platform programs”?
We value inclusion of people who can not or prefer not to attend in-person gatherings due to COVID, or for any other reason. We’ll continue to provide a rich livestream experience even as more people worship in person. We’ve set up a projector and camera in Fellowship Hall to allow hybrid meetings. A virtual option will be provided for any gathering upon request of one or more person(s).

Are rentals permitted?
In Phase 3 we are open for recurring support groups (subject to group size restrictions) but not for new rentals. New rentals will not resume until Phase 1.

2 Responses to “Pandemic Update – We are Starting to Reopen

  1. Current mask mandate : if everyone is required to be vaccinated to attend service, and Concord eliminated its mask mandate on June 1, why are we still keeping ours in place? Thanks.

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