Westminster’s Living With COVID-19 Response
When the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged, the Session of Westminster appointed the Responsible Building Use Task Force to advise the Westminster community on how to reopen our building as much as possible while minimizing health risks. In August 2020, the task force developed and Session approved the plan How We Will Reopen Westminster’s Building (pdf) to guide our building reopening actions. The plan was updated in May 2021. Now, the Task Force has developed a new, longer-term plan – Westminster’s Living With COVID-19 Response (pdf).
This new plan recognizes that while the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be improving, the COVID-19 virus will likely remain with us long term. We know the COVID-19 pandemic may pass as a pandemic, not quickly, and possibly with more infection surges. However, we see a future where the COVID-19 virus remains with us in a hopefully less virulent, less widespread, and less life and society altering way. That is, COVID-19 will likely join influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and other respiratory viruses as a circulating respiratory virus that we must live with long term. To deal with this new reality where COVID-19 remains a threat, Westminster will continue to use our building responsibly, and we will keep a spectrum of prevention measures available to use as the COVID-19 risks rise and fall in 2022 and subsequent years.
Westminster’s new response plan has three parts – Living With COVID-19 Responsibly, Westminster’s COVID-19 Risk Assessment Process, and Westminster’s COVID-19 Prevention Measures. As before, we expect this plan and its parts will be regularly updated as we continue to learn about the evolution of the COVID-19 virus and how we can live with and minimize its risks over time.
This plan incorporates the current measures Westminster is taking to protect children under five who cannot yet be vaccinated, such as requiring masks during worship. After the approval of a vaccination for children under 5 the task force will amend the plan.
The Session of Westminster approved the task force’s new, longer-term plan Westminster’s Living With COVID-19 Response on April 21, 2022.