It’s hard to believe that we’ve been dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for almost 2 years. Depending on the day and the context, it feels like we’ve been in this pandemic for so much longer, or sometimes that it’s only just begun. While we are all dealing with pandemic fatigue, it’s important to remember that we are all just doing our best to try and keep ourselves and others as safe as possible. We can do this! We just have to be patient, show some forgiveness, and offer constant grace.
In May, the PGFUMC Church Council voted to align our masking policy with the CDC recommended guidelines. There are different recommendations for if you are vaccinated versus unvaccinated. These guidelines relate to preventative measures, such as social distancing and masking, as well monitoring efforts , such as with testing and vaccination reporting.
Basically, there are four levels of community transmission as measured by data reported through various health agencies: Low, Moderate, Substantial, and High. Washington County is currently in a status of High Community Transmission. At this level, the CDC guidelines include masking indoors for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated individuals are still encouraged to wear masks indoors even if the community transmission status is at Low or Moderate.
We are still meeting in person and are not limiting attendance in worship in any way. We still have a wonderful online experience if you would feel more comfortable worshiping live on our Facebook page.
The safest and fastest way to a lower community transmission levels is the widespread adoption of COVID vaccines. The United Methodist Church recommends vaccination as part of the denominations Abundant Health campaign that promotes mental, physical, and spiritual well-being for all people. On October 29, the FDA approved the Pfizer COVID vaccine for children aged 5-11 years old. This not only helps with keeping kids safe from the variants of the virus but also with reducing community spread, both of which will reduce community transmission levels and eventually will let us ease masking restrictions.
As we prepare to relaunch Sunday Morning Nursery, Sunday School Classes, and our Wednesday Night programs, we are trying to do everything in our power to make sure that our visitors, members, staff, and volunteers are as safe as possible. Keeping our children safe is of the highest priority. Please continue to be patient and graceful with the church staff and council as we try to make wise decisions that may seem unpopular.
If you have questions about the guidelines or policies related to the pandemic at our church, please reach out to the church staff or council. If you have questions about the vaccines that are available for yourself or your loved ones, please reach out to your primary care physician or a trusted medical professional.