Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As you have heard in the news, we are in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 is a new disease, and we are still learning how it spreads from person-to-person. It may be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or objects that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Our city has not yet seen any cases of community spread as far as we know, but could soon. We have the opportunity to prevent an outbreak in this city by taking some specific measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Put distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at high risk like the elderly and people with other conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease. The World Health Organization recommends “social distance” of three feet.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care
In an effort to prevent the spread of this illness to our members and with an abundance of caution, Grace Lutheran Church is instituting the following recommendations:
- We will only serve individual communion cups. We will not use the common cup.
- Please do not be offended if our ushers greet you without touching you.
- During the peace, consider using the peace sign or another sign to communicate your love for your neighbor. Please ask before hugging or holding hands.
- During the Lord’s Prayer, lift your hands up to the Lord instead of holding your neighbor’s hand.
We want everyone to stay healthy. While a majority of us may not become seriously ill, even if infected, there is a large part of our community that could feel life-threatening effects of the disease. As a community we can take these steps to protect everyone.
Alicia V Tezel, MD