Sean Roberds | Jun 18, 2020
First Baptist Church of Herndon Regathering Task Force Recommendations
(Last modified: 6/8/2020)
This paper presents a phased approach to physically reopening the Church for religious services. The approach is based of government requirements, best practices, and member feedback. Our guiding principle in developing these recommendations is the health and safety of our congregation, as well as other congregations who meet in our building.
The first phase - Phase One - is addressed in this paper. Updates/additional phases will be addressed in future versions.
Phase One Reopen
Phase one will reopen the Church for worship services only. Room use will be limited to the sanctuary and to second floor bathrooms. Requirements for religious services, bathrooms, and congregational disinfection are addressed below for all congregations.
In order to reopen the Church, we will follow the Commonwealth of Virginia Executive Order, which gives churches ten requirements to follow for religious services:
i. Religious services must be limited to no more than 50% of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy of the room or facility in which the religious services are conducted.
ii. Individuals attending religious services must be at least six feet apart when seated and must practice proper physical distancing at all times. Family members may be seated together.
iii. Mark seating in six-foot increments and in common areas where attendees may congregate.
iv. Persons attending religious services must strongly consider wearing face coverings over their nose and mouth at all times.
v. No items can be passed to or between attendees, who are not family members.
vi. Any items used to distribute food or beverages must be disposable, used only once, and discarded.
vii. A thorough cleaning and disinfection of frequently contacted surfaces must be conducted prior to and following any religious service.
viii. Post signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 is permitted in the establishment.
ix. Post signage to provide public health reminders regarding social distancing, gatherings, options for high risk individuals, and staying home if sick.
x. If religious services cannot be conducted in compliance with the above requirements, they must not be held in-person.
In addition to the Executive Order we the Church will:
- Require all worshipers to wear a face covering
- Require all worshipers to use disinfectant on hands upon entry.
In Phase one, only the second-floor bathrooms will be open. In addition:
- Social distancing will be required in the restrooms.
- Disinfectant spray will be available in each stall and everyone will be asked to disinfect after use.
- We recommend bathroom use be kept to a minimum.
- We recommend each congregation provide disposable gloves for bathrooms.
- Everyone will be required to wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds (Say the Lord’s Prayer)
Each congregation will be required to disinfect the sanctuary and bathrooms after every use. This includes a thorough cleaning and disinfection of frequently contacted surfaces.