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COVID 19 Protocol

Communicable Disease Safety Plan (Covid-19) for Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Richmond, BC – approved by Our Saviour Church Council on 9 Sept 2021

Risk Assessment
Aerosols are the primary carrier of SARS-CoV-2.

Best protection consists of vaccination, physical distancing, masks, and good ventilation.

New information from Regional Health Officer monitored and reviewed by pastor and worship committee. The BC Synod also advises congregations on any changes. Since the beginning of the current pandemic it has been a primary responsibility of pastor and worship committee to remain current with Covid-19 related information and public health requirements.

Protocols and changes are communicated at staff meetings, through e-mail to members, and through public announcements (when in-person indoor worship will resume).

Hand sanitizer is always on hand, in office, as well as for indoor and outdoor worship.

WorkSafe BC Covid-19 information is posted at entrance, washrooms, and other places in the building.

Posters discourage anyone experiencing symptoms from entering the building.

Our Saviour Lutheran has been streaming since March of 2020 and discouraging in-person attendance indoors, long before the Chief Medical Officer suspended in-person gatherings. Office staff consists of two persons working together in the building on four weekdays. Male and female washrooms are shared with five staff of Our Saviour Child Care Centre. Washroom capacity limit set at two people per washroom. Notices are posted on washroom doors.

Staff: Full and part-time staff have been fully vaccinated. The two office staff (pastor and administrator) share adjacent offices and wear masks for staff meetings. Administrator’s door to hallway always open, windows open as seasons permit.

Streaming Worship indoors: Three staff, and two (occasionally up to five) volunteers. Masks are worn during streaming and persons are always more than 2 m apart (exception: bell choir 1 m, but members of bell choir all face the same direction, not each other). Sign-in for contact tracing when required by the Ministry of Health.

Outdoor worship: Bubble spacing, masks voluntary. Pastor and communion assistant wear masks during distribution of communion and do not address communicants unless 2 m apart.

Cleaning: The building is cleaned weekly. Sign-in for contact tracing as required by the Ministry of Health.

Proposed guidelines for return to in-person indoor worship (12 Sept 2021):
Masks are mandatory for all public events (worship, social, educational) conducted by Our Saviour Lutheran Church. While physical distancing is not mandatory at this time, it is encouraged. As seasons permit, doors and windows will be open. Regardless of season, the garage doors separating nave and narthex will remain open to allow better circulation and traffic flow. Weekly cleaning by contractor. Hand sanitizer is always available and public health notices will be posted and updated as required.

Holy Communion: Those serving communion wash their hands with anti-bacterial soap immediately prior to serving. Those who serve wear masks and communicants are asked to stop approximately 2 m before server for the words of administration to be spoken (“The body/blood of Christ given/shed for you”). Step up to the server only after these words have been spoken. Futher, as SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) is transmitted through aerosols, there is no risk of infection with Covid through ingesting food, this includes the elements of Holy Communion. (Note: If there was a risk of infection through ingesting food, no restaurants would be open for either indoor/patio dining or for pick-up/delivery).

When our private school tenant (10 to 15 students) resumes activities in our Sunday School rooms upstairs (Monday to Friday), bathrooms will be cleaned twice per week.