HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – As COVID-19 positivity rates continue to rise, schools aren’t the only places to abruptly change their policies to protect those in them. First Baptist Church is making some changes to protect its congregation.
âThe phrase that kept coming back to me was ‘here we go again’, and it’s so disappointing,â said Senior Pastor Travis Collins.
He and his team made the difficult decision to reinstate a number of protective policies against COVID-19. These changes are effective immediately.
Some changes include daily temperature checks for staff and social distancing for the congregation. They will all be encouraging people to start wearing masks again, but with more young people sick during this wave, Collins says masking is a necessity for some.
âMasks mandatory for children aged 2 to 11 and all of their teachers and workers because they are the most vulnerable, they are the ones who cannot be vaccinated,â Collins said.
The new rules are not only intended to protect the congregation, but also the ministers.
âEven if we don’t really get sick, we still need to quarantine as we understand it so this place can shut down abruptly even if we are just testing positive,â he said.
Collins said the majority of the congregation is vaccinated, but urges those who are not to reconsider their decision.
âIf the overwhelming majority of scientists and health professionals are right, as I think, and I don’t encourage people to get vaccinated, then shame on me,â he said.
He said that while it was frustrating to reinstate some old policies, the team are ready to make tough decisions now to avoid suspending services again like they did last year.
âIt’s so important for people to be together emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, this is how God has connected us, that we really hope we don’t have to – we want to be careful now so that we don’t have to. not having to suspend us in worship person in the future, âCollins said.
The First Baptist Church is playing it safe for the months to come.
Collins says musicians looking to be a part of the iconic live Christmas tree performance this holiday season should be vaccinated.
Although he hopes by then, it could all be in the rearview mirror.
Check out the full list of changes below:
For all religious events:
- They need masks for children between the ages of 2 and 11, as well as their teachers and employees.
- They recommend masks for everyone.
- When it comes to food, they ask people to follow safe practices (social distancing, disinfection, etc.).
- At any gathering, please practice social distancing as much as possible.
- They strongly recommend vaccinations for anyone who is qualified.
For Sunday morning worship:
- They will resume the practice of social distancing in both cults.
For Wednesdays in the stock exchange room:
- They will serve boxed dinners and sit four people per table.
For the Office:
- They will limit access to the office during office hours.
For the living Christmas tree:
- Vaccinations will be compulsory for all singers and instrumentalists.
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