COVID-19 Guidelines: Updated Masking Recommendation
posted on August 09
Below please find some updated guidelines from our Bishop and Cabinet. Thank you for your advocacy for the children and our vulnerable populations as you make important decisions about worship and programming. I know many of you have Transition Team meetings this week, so we hope these recommendations will be timely and helpful.
We continue to pray with you and for you.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
& Chief Missional Strategist
Updated masking recommendation:
Due to the increasing Covid-19 spread verified by the data revealed on the CDC’s Community Transmission Map (see below), the Bishop and Cabinet are strongly recommending the wearing of masks at all indoor ministry activities, including worship. We also recommend that pastors and church leaders consider offering outdoor worship and alternative ministry activities to protect children and other vulnerable persons. This update strengthens the guidelines issued on July 28, 2021.
County Transmission Data & Map: (From NCDHHS Website)
Beginning Aug. 6, 2021, NCDHHS will transition to using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Community Transmission Map to monitor COVID-19 activity in North Carolina counties. This map is updated daily and uses a combination of total cases per 100,000 population and percent positivity in the last 7 days to measure the level of community transmission in counties. Key metrics from the CDC and North Carolina are showing increasing COVID-19 spread. Getting vaccinated as quickly as possible is critically important to slow the spread of the virus.
CDC guidance recommends that everyone wear a mask in all indoor public spaces if you live in areas of high or substantial levels of transmission as defined by the CDC Community Transmission Map until more people are vaccinated and viral transmission decreases. As of Aug. 4, that is 98 out of 100 counties.
The data in the CDC map should be used by individuals, businesses and community organizations, and public officials as a tool to understand how their county is faring and to make decisions about actions to take to slow the spread of the virus.
There are critical actions we can all take to slow the spread of COVID-19, regardless of the level of community transmission in your county. Individuals, businesses, community organizations, and public officials all have a responsibility to take these recommended actions, in addition to following the requirements in existing Executive Orders and NCDHHS guidance.
Counties in high and substantial areas of COVID transmission according the CDC need to do even more to slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities; counties should encourage vaccination and follow all CDC and NCDHHS guidance for slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Please also continue to be mindful of the current CDC recommendations for post-exposure protection.
Find resources for online and in-person worship and ministry during COVID-19 here.