Who’s ready for church?

Who’s ready for church?

COVID19 Mitigation Plan

Update (5/17/2020): In person services will resume Sunday May 31st. For more information contact [email protected]

Note: This plan is based on the best available information at the time of formation and is subject to change based on new information or change in recommendations of governmental authorities.

In light of the recent announcement to reopen the state of Florida, Elevated Church has put together the following plan in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization(WHO), Pinellas County, State of Florida, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to minimize the spread of COVID-19

The governor of Florida has shown great respect for churches and as a result labeled them essential from day one. We are appreciative of this designation and believe it accurately reflects our first amendment rights. In response, Elevated Church will honor it by acting responsibly. In light of not having specific church related guidance, we view our risk profile similar to movie theaters, schools, small sporting events, but with a larger “high risk” population.

High Risk Defined

Elevated Church is using the same criteria as the CDC to define “High Risk.” This includes:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled
  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease

Phase One (Recommended Gathering Less than 10 People)

As long as gatherings are recommended to be restricted to 10 people or less, Elevated Church will continue to operate ministries online only, and limit in-person ministry to only Divine Providence Food Pantry, Evangelism, and Little Food Pantry. (These ministries provide food to those in need). This is at the recommendation of the White House Coronavirus Taskforce

During this time, if anyone involved in Broadcast, Worship, Tech, Divine Providence Food Pantry, Evangelism, or Little Food Pantry is diagnosed with COVID-19, we ask that you notify the church church so we can pray for and effectively quarantine and disinfect areas where this ministry occurred. 

  • Essential ministries only. 
  • Small groups can only meet online.
  • No cross contamination of ministries. Members are encouraged to “Pick One” (Example:  Food Pantry or Broadcast)

Phase Two (Recommended Gathering Less than 50 People)

As the gathering size increases, Elevated Church will open in person again with modifications to the service length, times, and structure.  In  concert  with government recommendations, our recommendation is that anyone that is considered  high-risk according to the CDC continue to watch services online.

Specifically:

  • Services will be limited to 50 people in attendance (excludes workers). This is at the recommendation of the Coronavirus task force
  • Hands-free sanitation stations will be placed in the church lobby.
  • Worship Team/Staff will isolate from the body. This is to prevent cross contamination where a person could infect the whole church.
  • Seats will be arranged in “Pods” of 4 people (families or people who live in the same house).
  • Members will be assigned to services. We ask that you only come to the service you are assigned. Service time preferences will be taken into account.
  • Services shortened to approximately 45 minutes.
  • Church doors open 15 minutes before service. We ask that you wait in your car until then.
  • We recommend against the use of bathrooms on premise. 
  • Elevated Kids will still be closed, and children must stay with their family.
  • No Nursery/Toddler classes
  • Doors will be propped open (No Greeters/No Handshakes/No Hugs).
  • Encouragement of “Small Groups” to begin meeting again. 
  • In an effort to not turn people away, overflow will be established in the cafe area in case it is needed. This will be a closed circuit video to the main auditorium, and people who come will exit through the cafe doors.
  • Usage of masks are encouraged to prevent to the spread of those that could be infected without knowing to others.

To minimize risk, volunteer cleaning crews will need to be formed in every service. Chairs and flat surfaces, doors, and other common areas that are likely to cause infection will be disinfected in between services. 

All other ministries that wish to reopen may do so at this time, but locations and/or times may need to change based on social distancing guidelines and the church’s ability to disinfect the area. This must be coordinated with church leadership.

Important: We ask that members limit themselves to one ministry and one service to avoid possible cross-contamination. In the event that anyone becomes diagnosed with COVID19, please notify the church, so we can notify others and possibly cancel specific services/ministries for a period of two weeks.

Phase Three (Recommended Limited Social Gatherings)

During Phase Three, the US Government is recommending: 

VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS can resume public interactions, but should practice physical distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.

LOW-RISK POPULATIONS should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.

In response, Elevated Church will begin to resume “normal” operations with higher levels of vigilance. This means:

  • All services resume at normal times/length with special “distance areas” for high risk individuals.
  • Members can come to any service 
  • Elevated Kids resumes normal operations
  • Elevated Youth resumes normal operations
  • Toddler/Nursery resumes normal operations
  • Cross-contamination countermeasures cease (Mixing of groups removed)
  • Greeting will resume, but physical contact will still be discouraged as it is difficult to tell who is “high risk.”

In the event that someone becomes diagnosed with COVID19, we will ask that you notify the church so we can pray for you and take appropriate steps to notify the body of the risk. 

Effective Treatment/Vaccine/Government Recommendations Change

We will have the largest block party and grand reopening that you can imagine. We’re looking forward to the day that this is all behind us, and are praying that it is soon!

One Comment

  1. Pat Cole

    Thank you for your diligence with our safety! Appreciate your leadership and especially during this trying time. Love you, Jessica and the girls.

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