Bethany Memorial is committed to being a safe place of worship.
Plan for the Prevention and Spread of Covid 19
Attendees will be reminded through Social media and announcements from the pulpit, that they should not come to the church if they are feeling unwell, but should advise the pastor or a deacon so that alternate arrangements can be made to provide the service at home. Members should also not attend if:
- They travelled outside of the four Atlantic provinces in the previous 14 days
- They are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19
- They are awaiting a COVID-19 test result
Signage will also be used to promote these restrictions.
Masks will be worn by all inside the church unless there is a medical exemption.
Signs advising that masks are required will be posted throughout the facility.
All members and participants not of the same family bubble must maintain a 6 foot distance from each other. This includes while entering, exiting, sitting in the pews or participating from the pulpit.
Ushers will monitor the movement of people into and out of the sanctuary to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
Disinfectant and masks will be made available at both entrances to the sanctuary.
A good supply of soap and paper towel will be maintained in the kitchenette and in the bathrooms.
Windows will be kept open as much as possible to increase the ventilation of fresh air.
Microphones will not be shared.
All books and papers/pencils will be removed from the pews and the overhead will be used for scripture and songs etc. People will be encouraged to bring their own Bibles.
Singing of members will be discouraged, although they can be encouraged to hum along if they wish.
High touch areas will be cleaned after the service and during the week after any activity in the sanctuary.
Children may attend but must stay with their parents unless there is a children’s program, which follows the Nova Scotia Guidelines. If activity packs are used in the sanctuary, they must be taken home or disposed of after the service.
Worship team members not of the same family bubble must use a separate microphone and must stay 12 feet apart from the congregation and 12 feet apart from others not in their family bubble.
The offering plate will not be passed, but will be available at the back of the church if members wish to leave their tithes.
Communion will be done in a way so no people other than the server will touch the trays. The server will wear gloves and will not touch anyone. Disposable communion glasses will be discarded after every use.
As of August 1, physical attendance is encouraged for those who do not have access to the on-line service. As attendance increases, further measures will be taken to ensure physical distancing e.g. roping off pews.
Community Groups using the facilities are also to follow these guidelines.
Background information and guidance from CBAC and the Province of Nova Scotia
Quote from CBAC: “Your church needs a written operational plan (in Nova Scotia this is called the Prevention Plan), which must be ready before you restart in-person gatherings. This document should detail your measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19. This isn’t a “big picture” kind of document. This is a detailed, technical plan for your re-opening and what you’re doing to address public health protocols.”
Limits in Nova Scotia:
- As of July 31st, masks will be required for public indoor gatherings.
- No social distancing: up to 10 people (strongly encouraged to be consistent groups)
- Indoor gatherings: 50% of venue capacity, up to 200 people
- Outdoor gatherings: 250 people
- Drive-in church services: no gathering limit, as long as social distancing is maintained
- House-based event with social distancing: 50 people maximum indoors & outdoors
- COVID-19 Prevention Guide for event organizers, theatres, and performance venues (PDF) (novascotia.ca)
- Faith-based gatherings are included in this guide.
According to Dr. Robert Strang, NS Chief Medical Officer, churches should include the following areas in their prevention plan:
- Clearly telling attendees and staff not come if they feel unwell
- Facilitating hand washing on-site, especially as soon as people enter the facility
- Managing the movement of people as they enter, exit, and use the washrooms, so that physical distancing can be maintained
- Enhanced cleaning of common or high-touch surfaces
- Increased ventilation with fresh air
- Recommending to everyone to wear a non-medical mask. Mask use should be the expectation or norm for faith gatherings.
- Plan to practice shared activities (such as communion or offering) in a hands-free way so that few or no people have to touch a common implement or element.
- microphones can’t be shared between staff
- nothing can be passed out to the congregation (like books, programs, food, beverages and collection plates.