What we will do if we discover that someone in attendance at Calvary has tested positive for COVID-19.
In the early days of this pandemic, few of us personally knew of someone who contracted COVID-19. Now, I would surmise that most of us know someone in our sphere of influence who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been working with the Staff and Elders to determine our procedure if someone in attendance at Calvary tests positive for COVID-19. Obviously, we are in a learning process. This article contains our best thinking at this time. We will continue to learn, grow, and improve this process as we go along.
Here is what we will do if we discover that someone at Calvary has tested positive for COVID-19:
- We will handle each situation on a case by case basis.
- If someone in our congregation tests positive for COVID-19:
- We will ask that person not to come to church until they are well and are cleared by a doctor to return to church, work, and normal activities.
- We will investigate to find out if he/she was in attendance at any activity or service at Calvary.
- If he/she was in attendance at an activity or service at Calvary, we will investigate further, asking the person who has contracted COVID-19 about the people with whom he/she had close personal contact while at church. Close personal contact is defined as spending 15 minutes with someone inside a 6-foot circle or direct and close physical contact (example: hugging).
- Based upon our investigation and conversations:
- We will contact the people whom we identified, letting them know that someone with whom they had close personal contact at church– which is defined as spending 15 minutes within a 6-foot circle or direct and close physical contact (example: hugging)– has tested positive for COVID-19.
- We will recommend that they self-quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with the person who has COVID-19.
- We will ask them not to come to church until those 14 days or up or until they have tested negative for COVID-19. Here is our reason for this action: we ask people to self-quarantine to protect the congregation and their families.
- We will suggest that they monitor their health for any sudden and severe symptoms. In the case of sudden and severe symptoms, we suggest that they seek medical attention and/or get tested.
Things to keep in mind:
When we find out that someone at Calvary has COVID-19, we will seek to work the problem and do an investigation. Our key assignments as leaders include doing an investigation and trying to avoid feeding fear. We investigate because we want to fight the spread of the virus to vulnerable people. And, we want to work our plan in such a way as to fight fear, which is rampant in our culture right now.
We have a desire to tamp down on fear. It is a worthy thing to do. Our society is afraid of catching COVID-19. Our society is making decisions based out of fear. For some people, being infected with COVID-19 has resulted in significant suffering and even loss of life. We grieve over such suffering and loss. It is also true that most people will recover from COVID-19. (There is a 99% recovery rate for those who get the coronavirus. And, 40% of people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms.)
It is a false expectation to believe that we can protect everyone. Our job is not to keep people from getting sick. We continue to try to protect the vulnerable and take extra care with those who have compromised immune systems or heath issues. We continue to suggest that people who are in the high-risk category due to age, physical, medical, or autoimmunity issues, should be more careful and more cautious.
We believe that we have a good plan in place. However, we understand that our plan isn’t perfect. We do commit to learning, growing, and improving our plan as we move forward.
Our plan in action:
During this past week, we had the opportunity to put our plan in action.
On Tuesday, June 30, we became aware that one of our church members tested positive for COVID-19. This person became ill on June 23, got tested, and got a positive test result back. This person was in attendance at Calvary on June 21.
We have worked our plan, done our investigation, and contacted the people who had close personal contact with this person at church on June 21– which is defined as spending 15 minutes within a 6-foot circle or direct and close physical contact (example: hugging).
So far, no one else who was in close physical contact with this person at church on June 21 has experienced sudden and severe symptoms. We give thanks to God. And, we continue to pray for the Lord’s grace and protection on our lives, our families, our congregation, and those around us.
The challenge to pray and intercede:
Let’s join in prayer for physical healing for our church member and that no one else will get infected. And, let’s pray that our God will crush this disease, protect us from fear, and lead us his presence of health and wholeness.
As always, if you have questions or comments about any of the issues in this blog, please communicate with me. You can reach me via email or cell (281-686-5291). For regular updates, please check the Calvary website and blog.