With the BC Government implementing plans to reopen services in stages. VCEFC have taken steps to implement a plan to restart ministry gatherings, taking into account our ability to ensure formal church gatherings can be done safely and minimize risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Starting on July 1, we will allow church small group gathering of less than 6 people to meet in small, controlled settings as per public health guidelines. All other ministry gatherings such as Sunday Worship Services (adult and children), events, and activities will remain suspended until further notice.
Church sponsored gatherings will be required to adhere to the following safety guidelines:
- Gathering in the church premises is still suspended until further notice.
- Only small groups of 2-6 people outside your immediate household is allowed.
- Limit the number of small group gatherings outside your immediate household. (i.e. a person should not see multiple small groups at the same time)
- Micro groups (3 people or less): In home gathering is allowed ONLY IF social distancing can be maintained at all times.
- Small groups (up to 6 people max): No indoor gathering is allowed. Gathering must be done outdoors (in the open) and social distancing must be maintained at all times.
- People that have higher risk (over the age of 60 or with underlying medical conditions), be informed of their risk, think through their risk tolerance and take extra precautions. Consider alternate means of gathering, such as using on-line meeting tool.
- If anyone is sick they must not meet in person.
- If anyone has been traveling (out of province or Canada) or has been in close contact with someone who has, they must quarantine themselves for at least 14 days; do not come to gathering.
- For younger people (high school / college age) gatherings, a detailed safety plan of action must be prepared by pastoral staff / counselor responsible as part of the usual approval process.
- Organizer of the gathering must keep record of names and their contact information of all participants for 30 days. This information is required for contact tracing purposes. If any of the participants feel ill, contact Critical Response Team immediately.
- Keep physical distance (min 2 m or 6 ft) and limit the time together. If not able to maintain physical distance, wearing face masks are recommended.
- Everyone must wash their hands with plain soap and water OR an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with a minimum of 60% alcohol content), before and after the gathering. Avoid touching your face.
- Singing is a high-risk activity and is not allowed. Infected people can transmit the virus through their saliva or respiratory droplets while singing.
- Group communal meals (food or drink) is not allowed. i.e. no gathering in tea house, restaurants, etc.
VCEFC and the CRT will continue to monitor the situation closely and we are actively developing further plans to allow some in-person gathering at church subject to public health guidelines and our ability to ensure the health and safety of these gatherings.
Please check the church website for the latest updates. If there are any questions or concerns please contact the church office.