Christmas is almost here – and with the anticipation of blessed Christmas services comes concern about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which is spreading rapidly in our area. This variant appears to be more infectious than its predecessor Delta and more resistant to vaccine-induced immunity. Fortunately, it also appears to cause less severe illness. Nonetheless, as COVID-related hospitalizations are rising around the country, our diocese has followed the mandate of the state of California and reinstituted the mask mandate for indoor worship and other public indoor events.
EDSD’s Public Health Task Force met this week and agreed to ask each congregation to consider whether to establish further restrictions for safety. Each congregation’s situation is different, based on factors such as its location, vaccination status of its members, size of its worship space, number of people expected at Christmas services, and so on. The Public Health Task Force has some suggestions and ideas each congregation might consider to help people stay safe.
In summary: wear masks; social distance; keep indoor spaces well ventilated; get tested; stay home if you have symptoms, exposures, or special risk factors; and get vaccinated and boosted.
Your Public Health Task Force prays that all our congregations will have a safe, merry, blessed Christmas, and enjoy the celebration of the coming of our Savior – in good health!
Members of the Public Health Task Force are: David Ostrander, M.D., Chair; Dr. Cheryl Anderson PhD; Ms. Judy Burton, R.N.; The Rev. Deacon Cindy Campos; Dr. Jamal Gwathney M.D.; The Rev. Roger Haenke, R.N.; The Rev. Brian Johnson, PhD; The Rev. Regan Schutz; The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook.
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