COVID-19 POLICY AND PROCEDURES

The Deacon Board would like to take this time to express our gratitude for each person at Berea. It has been a very challenging year however you have all respected the hard decisions made and guidelines put into place, done your part to protect yourselves and each other and ultimately our church body.
 
Thank You!!
 
Great News!! Governor Ralph Northam has lifted Virginia’s universal indoor mask mandate to align with the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and has announced that Virginia will ease all distancing and capacity restrictions until Friday, May 28th; which is the date the executive order is set to expire. This positively impacts those congregants who have been fully vaccinated, easing the protocols at Berea as well. While a mask is still recommended for those unvaccinated, we ask that everyone continue to conduct yourselves with mindfulness and care for others. 
Please remember, even as mandates ease COVID is still a very real sickness for many. Please continue to uphold yourself to a personal responsibility and compassion with regard to others decisions. Please be aware we should respect others personal health information. 

As before, if you have symptoms of sickness and/or a fever, please continue the practice of staying home and joining us for worship through our Facebook Live stream. 
You can read the Governor’s announcement by CLICKING HERE.
 
What does this mean for Berea?
 
At this time, the executive order expires on 5/28.
 
Berea Baptist Church is takes this pandemic very seriously and has created proactive measures during this unprecedented time to ensure the church produces a safe, touchless environment for all persons.
 
Berea offers worship service in various ways to suit your comfort level. The 8:30am service in a Drive-In service; meaning you drive into the parking lot, sit in your car, and listen to the service. The 11am is a live, in person service held in the Sanctuary (Masks required) or Family Life Center via T.V. (For those who cannot wear a mask). Also, you can watch the services live via Facebook or YouTube, or watch them later if you can’t join at the service times.
 
Sunday School is offered in various ways as well. Some classes are in person, some are through Zoom meeting, and some are a hybrid of both platforms.
 
Berea has implemented these action items for your safety while in the church buildings:
 
· Hand Sanitation Stations throughout the church
· Fogging Machine utilized to disinfect and sanitize the areas after each use (Sanctuary, seating, hallways, classrooms)
· Floor Decals with 6 feet apart reminders are applied
· Establishment of one-way walk areas in the sanctuary
· Creating a Touchless Service by keeping doors open & limiting seat availability
· Removing hospitality and consumables in the communal areas
· Chairs, door handles, counters, switches, etc. are wiped down after each service
· Staff wipe microphones, equipment, and shared resources for cleanliness
 
 
FAQ’s
 
1. Has Berea’s mask policy changed?
Berea Baptist Church will continue to follow the Governor’s and the CDC guidance regarding COVID 19.  The news says that fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask except where required by federal, state and local laws.  So, if your state or locality still has a mask mandate, you will need to follow that guidance until it is updated. For example, the VA Governor has said he will be following the CDC guidance and updating our state mandate. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.htm
 
2. Can I still wear a mask?
Absolutely! Many people are most comfortable in a mask. Berea asks that we are all courteous and respectful to those who still wish to wear a mask.
 
3. What does this mean for the Children’s Ministry?
This coming Sunday, ages 5 & older not vaccinated will need to wear a mask. After the executive order is expired on 5/28, restrictions are lifted per the order.
 
4. How will we know who is fully vaccinated?
We will comply with HIPPA regulations and will not be asking anyone for their personal health information.
 
5. If you are vaccinated and get COVID 19 do you need to stay home?
Yes, any symptoms associated with COVID, please stay home until you are feeling better. 
 
6. Will we still have social distanced seating?
Yes, the Gathering area will remain socially distanced seating while the Sanctuary will be open.
 
7. What about events & classes held at Berea?
Please CLICK HERE for more info on choosing safe activities.
 
8. What happens if someone from the congregation tests positive or has been exposed to a positive COVID person?
First, out of an abundance of care and caution and following CDC guidelines, Berea will notify those that potentially have been exposed and were in direct contact with this person. Second, Berea will notify the congregation that a person has resulted in a positive COVID test. (Please know that absolutely no details of the person or role at the church will be provided to anyone as this is protected information) Finally, the CDC or local Health Department will be alerted for any specific instructions and assist in determining if the congregation is at risk; which could include a recommendation of a 14-day self-quarantine. As a reminder, usually one would need to be in close contact with the sick person to become infected. Close contact would include living in the same household, being within 6 feet for about 10 minutes, direct secretion from the sick person, or caring for a sick person. See CDC guidelines for more information.
 
9. What happens if the pastor or a staff member tests positive?
Basically, the same information applies as above. The church will notify the church and then reach out the local health department for a risk assessment. All staff within reason will receive testing and any quarantine recommendations, generous time off, and additional testing will be applied.
 
10. Can we still have Holy Communion?
At this time, communion is presented by Berea to the congregation by way of individually wrapped wafer and wine. This allows the participation of communion without the communal factor. Please feel free to refrain if you feel that is the best option for you.
 
11. Can Weddings and Funerals still take place?
The bride and groom should be conscious about the pandemic guidelines as promoted by the CDC and take into consideration the size, audience, and space of their wedding. Live-streaming the wedding is a popular platform.
 
For a funeral, the family should discuss with the pastor about the size, location, and gathering of the service. The CDC guidelines or local health department can assist in determine the risk for a memorial service larger than the immediate family. The National Funeral Directors Association suggests that live-streaming be a positive platform for larger gatherings.
 
12. Recognizing Facts and Truth.
What are the actual statistics of COVID-19?
 
13. What if I am stressed from COVID-19?
COVID-19 has escalated stress in many people. There are many things to remember as one works through the emotions relating to the pandemic. Berea looks to God in this time for guidance and walks in Faith. We are happy to talk to anyone about their faith, provide a lay person to talk to, or a resource to assist in finding a professional counselor to speak with. Check with your employer as they may have an Employee Assistance Program with additional assistance.
Coping with Stress: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
 

8. Recognizing the facts and Truth.

a. The Cares Act working for all Americans