It is important that we prepare proportionately to the risks involved. It is crucial not to over-react nor be fearful. For that reason, we have assessed that almost all church activities can currently continue as per normal with some key hygiene changes that we have implemented. We are assessing the situation closely every week and taking guidelines from the government. Any risks will be minimised, if we all adhere to the simple but effective hygiene guidelines (which align with Queensland Health) that we provided recently. We will regularly update the church on this situation.
Further, anyone who develops flu-like symptoms or have been in contact with an infected person, should not attend any church activities until it is safe to do so. We ask all to be considerate of others. For those who need to self-isolate we now broadcast part of our service via our church Facebook social media.
Let me remind us that health experts indicate that 80% of those infected will only suffer mild symptoms. Young people and children are least at risk. The only groups that are high risk are the elderly and those with underlying health issues. The QLD Health guidelines also indicate that one is at risk of infection only if in close contact with a confirmed case, ie face-to-face for 15 minutes or have shared an enclosed space* for more than 2 hours. As a precautionary measure, we will take photo records of our Sun services in case QLD Health needs to trace close seating contacts.
There is no evidence that COVID-19 can pass through food, especially if it is cooked. Attention should be paid to the hygienic handling of food.
Should there be an incident of an infected attendee, it is crucial that the church leadership be informed immediately so that we can take timely action. We will work closely with Queensland Health in such an eventuality.
We believe that in such stressful times, it is important to be encouraged and supported through worship, prayer, God’s Word and fellowship. Church is in fact more relevant than ever. This world needs hope and comfort and where better than to find it in Jesus? You can be His messenger to those struggling in these difficult times.
*Defined as rooms like classroom. In larger spaces usually a 2m radius is used. Ultimately, Queensland Health will define for specific situations.