Virginia Department of Health (VDH) provides us with recommended guidelines we can use to help protect ourselves, others and minimize the spread of the Coronavirus and other transmitted diseases. When trying to decide whether to attend or host gatherings or events, it’s important to consider several factors, including your vaccination status, the level of COVID-19 in your community, and whether you or someone in your household is at high risk of developing severe illness.
The following guidelines are given to consider when either attending or hosting a gathering:
- Vaccination status: The best way to protect yourself and others at a gathering is to get up to date on COVID-19 vaccines. If you are gathering with people you know, encourage them to be up to date as well.
- Level of COVID-19 spread in the community: COVID-19 Community Levels are classified as low, medium, or high. The Levels are determined by the number of new COVID-19 cases in the community in addition to data on COVID-19 cases in local hospitals. Check the COVID-19 Community Level in your area.
- Your own health status, such as whether you have a weakened immune system or have a medical condition that places you at high risk of having severe illness. Consider also if you live with or will be having social contact with someone who is at high risk of having severe illness. Consider self-testing to detect infection before any contact with them, especially when the COVID-19 Community Level is medium or high.
- The number of people at the gathering: The risk of COVID-19 spread also increases if there are more people at the event or if they come from many different places. If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country, consider additional precautions (e.g., avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel, taking a test) in advance of gathering to further reduce risk.
- Ventilation: Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings. Gatherings in large, well-ventilated spaces are safer than gatherings in smaller spaces that are not well-ventilated.
- Behavior of people at the gathering: Practicing safer behaviors during the event, like wearing well-fitting masks, especially when the COVID-19 Community Level is high, can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the event. See the tabs below for more COVID-19 prevention strategies for hosting or attending events.
- Please, wear your mask or facial coverings at all times while inside the facility
- Clean or wash your hands frequently or as needed.
- Fellowship at a safe distance inside and outside the facility, considering your health risks and the risks of others.
- Monitor your own health and take the necessary precautions that suited for you.
- If you haven’t yet, consider getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
- If you feel ill or “different” than normal and suspect you may have symptoms or have been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive, isolate yourself and seek medical attention.
- Everything we can do to manage the one body God has given us is our biblical responsibility (I Cor. 6:19-20).
Most importantly, let us keeps in close contact with one another, our Deacons and Ministry Leaders. Let us care for one another and minister to each other in prayer that no one who has a need may go lacking. Paul shared these words with the believers at Rome in 12:12-13, “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer, distributing to the necessity of the saints and given to hospitality“.