Re-opening Plan and Flow Chart

Flow Chart for Re-opening Church/In-person services

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UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST ARCADE COVID-19 RE-OPENING PLAN
The State of New York is allowing churches to reopen in Phase Two of the States reopening plan with
limited congregational participation. This plan will cover a Three-Step procedure recommended by our
church conference. Details of each step will be outlined in this document along with procedures for
safely attending services and maintaining the cleanliness of the church area used.
COVID-19 STATEMENT
If someone in the Congregation contracts COVID-19, notification SHALL be made to the congregants
who may have come into contact with that individual (Tracing). In the event a person diagnosed with
COVID-19 is determined to have been in the building and poses a risk to the community, we will close
the building for 14-days. All those who came into contact with the infected individual should monitor
and self-quarantine. The areas of the church building where the individual was present should be
properly cleaned and disinfected. After 14 days, the church may return to Step One.
Common sense best practices are vital (e.g. hand washing, wearing masks, maintaining physical
distance). It should also be understood that even these commonsense approaches will not and cannot
prevent all spread of infection.
CLEANING OF CHURCH
• An initial cleaning and sanitizing of the church shall be conducted before the return of Congregants to
attend the first Service.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects between use.
• Weekly cleanings of the Church and cleaning after meetings (STEP TWO) or building use (STEPS TWO
and THREE).
• A group of Congregate volunteers shall be formed to perform all cleaning associated with sanitizing
the church facilities in accordance with COVID-19 practices.
FACILITY AND HEALTHY HYGIENE PRACTICES
• Have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at
least 60 percent alcohol, tissues, and no-touch trash cans. Hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes should be
available throughout the building.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects between use. This
would include weekly cleanings and cleaning after meetings (STEP TWO) or building use (STEPS TWO and
THREE).
• Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as
possible by opening windows and doors. The use of the Sanctuary fans is prohibited.
• Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains) are safe to
use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases
associated with water.
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• Tight spaces like copier areas, kitchenettes, bathrooms and elevators should all be treated as 1 in, 1
out when possible. Provide sanitizing wipes for any shared equipment or common areas.
• Close off all rooms not needed for worship such as Sunday School rooms, nursery, kitchens, closets.
WORSHIP
Below will be the procedures and safeguards for attending any service or function that might be allowed
during the THREE STEP opening process.
MASKS – We ask that you please keep your mask on the whole time you are in the church, but we all
will know your beautiful smiles are shining underneath.
FOR YOUR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF OTHER PLEASE FOLLOW ALL SIGNAGE IN THE SANCTUARY AND
ALL OTHER ACCESSIBLE AREAS OF THE CHURCH.
PLEASE BE MINDFUL THAT THERE SHALL BE NO CONGREGATING IN THE SANCTUARY BEFORE OR
AFTER THE SERVICE.
Entry and Exit to and from the Sanctuary shall be as follows:
• Entry to the Sanctuary will be through the front door (facing Main Street) of the
Sanctuary. By direction of the Usher
• After entry each attendee shall use hand sanitizer (to be dispensed by the Usher) and have
their temperature taken (if digital thermometer is available)– if temperature is above 100.3° F
the attendee may be asked to leave and not attend the Service.
Seating in the designated pews will be done by walking down the center aisle and filling the
pews from the front of the Sanctuary to the back of the Sanctuary.
Pews will be marked where seating is allowed.
Family seating is permitted but please be conscious of “SOCIAL DISTANCING” practices.
Restrooms will be available downstairs across from the kitchen – please follow the posted
signage indicating the way to get to the restrooms and then back to the Sanctuary.
Exiting the Sanctuary will be through the Church Street door (hand sanitizer will be dispensed by
the Usher before exiting the Church) at the front of Sanctuary and will be by individual pews
from the front of the Sanctuary to back of the Sanctuary.
• If the Pastor leaves the Pulpit to address the congregation he must wear a face shield.
• A record of Worship attendees shall be kept to include name, contact number and address to facilitate
notification if the need arises.
• When using microphones, one microphone should be assigned to each worship participant (pastor,
liturgist, soloist) per service. If this not possible, the microphone should be wiped down with cleaning
wipes after each person speaks. All microphones should be wiped down at the conclusion of the
service.
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• Offering plates will not be passed. The offering plate will be located near the EXIT of the Sanctuary,
other alternative offering options are by: online giving and mail.
• Ushers should maintain social distancing.
• Consider having one usher to operate the outside and the sanctuary doors to limit communal touching
of door handles. Usher should continue social distancing when operating doors for congregants. Door
handles should be disinfected after each use of the building.
THREE-STEP RE-OPENING PLAN
Before returning to in-person worship at Arcade UCC, we ask each individual to be aware of the
following information taken directly from the CDC (current as of June 25, 2020):
• In general, your risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19 increases as you get older. In fact, 8 out of 10
COVID-19-related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and
older.
• People of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness
from COVID-19. People of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness
from COVID-19:
○ Chronic kidney disease
○ COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
○ Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ
transplant
○ Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
○ Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or
cardiomyopathies
○ Sickle cell disease
○ Type 2 diabetes mellitus
○ Children who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic
conditions, or who have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe
illness from COVID-19 than other children.
• COVID-19 is a new disease. Currently there are limited data and information about the impact of
underlying medical conditions and whether they increase the risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Based on what we know at this time, people with the following conditions might be at an increased
risk for severe illness from COVID-19:
○ Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
○ Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
○ Cystic fibrosis
○ Hypertension or high blood pressure
○ Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone
marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of
other immune weakening medicines
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○ Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
○ Liver disease
○ Pregnancy
○ Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
○ Smoking
○ Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
○ Type 1 diabetes mellitus
Arcade UCC strongly recommends that if individuals fall into any of these “high risk” categories, that
they, for their own safety, continue to worship from home. We make this recommendation not for the
purposes of excluding anyone from in-person worship, but for the health and safety of all those that
make up our beloved church community. We will continue to regularly monitor CDC guidelines for any
changes concerning “high risk” groups.
Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-increasedrisk.
html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fneed-extraprecautions%
2Fpeople-at-higher-risk.html
Per UCC New York Conference guidelines the following calculation should be used to determine the
number of attendees allowed per STEP.
The square footage of the Sanctuary (approximately 1600 sq ft) is divided by 36 sq ft (social
distancing per person) the result is then multiplied by the percentage allowable in each STEP to
determine the maximum number of attendees.
STEP ONE – maximum attendees (25%) 11
STEP TWO – maximum attendees (50%) 23
STEP THREE – maximum attendees (75%) 34
STEP ONE:
• In person is worship limited to 25% (11 attendees) of maximum occupancy
while maintaining 6 ft between individuals in each direction.
• There will be no in person Worship in Step One unless approved by the
Council
• Masks MUST be worn by everyone entering the building.
• Continue online worship recording.
• No congregational singing.
• No choir singing.
• No Time with the Children (where children come forward). If the leader can
speak to children while they remain safely with their family, this version of a
Time with the Children is acceptable.
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• No Nursery provided until Council approval.
• No Sunday school until Council approval (possibly STEP TWO or THREE).
• No Passing the Peace.
• Alternative method for offering collection. Encourage online giving.
• No Fellowship Hour.
• Alternative method for Communion.
• Bible Studies/Board/Committee meetings continue online.
• Council will hold meetings in person.
• Church Office remains closed.
STEP TWO:
CRITERIA: No less than 1 month (30 days) after implementing STEP ONE.
• In-person worship limited to 50% (23 attendees) of maximum occupancy if
your sanctuary square footage allows for this, while maintaining 6 ft between
individuals in each direction.
• Masks MUST be worn by everyone entering the building.
• Continue online worship recording.
• No congregational singing. Consider small (2-3 person) masked ensemble
maintaining 6ft between singers.
• No Time with the Children (where children come forward) If the leader can
speak to children while they remain safely with their family, this version of a
Time with the Children is acceptable.
• No Nursery provided until Council approval.
• No Sunday school until Council approval.
• No Passing the Peace.
• Alternative method for offering collection. Encourage online giving.
• No Fellowship Hour.
• Alternative method for Communion.
• Committees of less than 10 might consider meeting in person while wearing
masks and maintaining social distancing or continue meeting online.
• Church office open staggering when staff is present. Masks must be worn if
others are present.
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• Rental Use of building for small (less than 20) masked occupants with Council
approval.
STEP THREE
CRITERIA: No less than 1 month (30 days) after implementing STEP 2
• In-person worship limited to 75% (34 attendees) of maximum
occupancy if your sanctuary square footage allows for this, while maintaining 6
ft between individuals in each direction.
• Masks MUST be worn by everyone entering the building.
• Continue online worship/ recording.
• Masked choir or small ensemble singing.
• No congregational singing.
• Children’s time, if social distancing requirements can be maintained.
• No Nursery provided until Council approval.
• No Sunday school until Council approval.
• No Passing the Peace.
• Alternative method for offering collection. Encourage online giving.
• No Fellowship Hour.
• Alternative method for Communion.
• Office open with masked staff, while maintaining social distancing.
• Committee meetings with masked attendees and maintaining social
distancing.
• Building rental use for up to 50 masked occupants with Council approval.
SACRAMENTS:
Through at least STEP THREE Communion for the Live Stream viewers at home will continue. Worship
attendees present for the Service will not receive the elements during the Service but will have the
option to view and partake of Communion at home by watching a Communion video that will be
available immediately after the Service.