Westminster’s Responsible Building Use Task Force continues to meet regularly and review the Covid protocols in place. The purpose of these protocols is to ensure that we keep the members of our community, especially the vulnerable ones, safe while also allowing church activities to continue as much as possible.
On October 19, the task force met and reviewed data for the Twin Cities area. Currently in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, Covid positivity rates remain high with a significant number of new Covid cases each week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed Hennepin and Ramsey counties in the “High Transmission” category and recommends everyone should wear a mask in public indoor settings. In addition, the impact of Covid has placed a strain on available beds at hospitals, with 96% of ICU beds and 93% of non-ICU beds currently full (Star Tribune, October 20, 2021).
The task force agreed that because our area remains at high-risk for Covid transmission, we must continue to require masks and distancing, and limit allowances in the building. The task force has decided to continue with the current protocols under Phase 4 in our re-opening the building plan.
The task force will meet again in early December to review the data and consider any changes. Until the positivity rate and number of new cases decline, the community transmission rate declines, and more hospital beds become available, the task force does not anticipate any changes to Westminster’s Covid protocols.
You can help all of us get back together again in person by being fully vaccinated.
Current allowances and requirements in Phase 4.0:
- All individuals inside the church building are required to wear masks (except if alone in an office).
- Individuals from different households are required to remain six feet apart as much as possible, especially in events, meetings, and worship.
- Singing with masks on is allowed inside the building and mask-optional singing is allowed outside.
- No food or drink consumption is allowed inside the building (except for communion in the sanctuary and employee meals).
- Food and drink consumption outside is permitted, with individual serving portions.
- Groups of up to 400 people are allowed to gather in the sanctuary (including the balcony) with 6-foot social distancing.
- Outdoor gatherings are allowed with masks optional for fully-vaccinated individuals, provided the number of people is limited to the maximum capacity with 6-foot social distancing.
- Groups of up to 25% of room capacity are allowed to meet in the building and indoors at off-site locations, provided occupancy is limited to the maximum capacity with 6-foot social distancing.
- All occupancy limitations may be increased or decreased by the COVID-19 Response Team as circumstances and regulations change.