At our May 15th board meeting, we briefly reviewed the latest recommendations from the CDC and the recent announcement that Idaho has officially moved into "Stage 4" in its process of Stages of Reopening. Our church staff and board have maintained a close eye on the numbers for the entire state and our own Elmore County. (These statistics can be found on Idaho's COVID-19 Dashboard found here.)
While Elmore County had a recent surge in numbers (mostly in April), the local numbers have flattened out for the last three to four weeks. The CDC has also recently said that it is their recommendation that fully vaccinated people who feel comfortable doing so are safe to go without a mask/face covering in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Throughout this pandemic, we have sought to follow the recommendations and guidelines offered by epidemiologists, virologists, and other medical professionals while working hard to protect one another and make our worship space safe and comfortable for our people. That being said, we are going to adopt the CDC's guidelines, effectively removing the recommended precautions in our facility for people who have been fully vaccinated. As we never made an effort to police or enforce the precautions of distancing or face coverings, we are not going to make an effort to determine who has or has not been vaccinated. We are fortunate to live in an area where vaccinations have been available for adults for quite some time and where infection rates have slowed.
At the same time, we realize that there will be some for whom this will make the church feel like an unsafe place for them to be. We will continue our live streaming of services on Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/mhnazarene/live) and hope that those who have concerns feel free to take initiative to mitigate risks in the coming weeks and months as this pandemic is still ongoing. If you feel unwell or feel you may have been exposed to a person who is ill, we respectfully ask that you consider worshiping with us online. Please know that we want to continue serving you and staying connected to you as part of our church family.
We will continue to make masks available near the entry points of our building. We are requesting that volunteers in our children's and teen's departments who have not been vaccinated continue to wear masks, as they serve our youngest congregants who have not had accessibility to a vaccine or have had it for less time. Also, we will be slowly adding seating back into the sanctuary as needed.
If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out to Pastor Trent at email@example.com or by calling the church office at 208.587.3093. You can also reach out to one of our board members. Thank you so much for continuing to journey toward Christ with us!
Grace and peace.