Our current COVID safety practices are as follows:
We post the current CDC hospital admission level of COVID-19 in Oneida County on our doors so you can make an informed choice about whether or not to wear a mask.
Communion servers are no longer required to wear masks, although they (and anyone else) are welcome to choose to do so. If you need/prefer to avoid close face-to-face proximity, you are welcome to take a pre-packaged Communion cup and wafer as you enter and receive Communion at your seat. Specific direction will be provided in the context of worship.
We ask that everyone attending worship sign in with contact information on the notepads in the pews, and let us know if you test positive following a worship service. We notify everyone present of any COVID exposures so you can make the right choices for you and your family.
The archived COVID guidance below is provided for the sake of posterity.
|April 3, 2022||We have made some adjustments to our system of entry on Sunday mornings. Rather than having a Health & Hospitality minister at the door keeping a list of all who enter, we are resuming the use of attendance sheets (“pew pads”) in the pews.
However, moving to a time of greater personal freedom means several important responsibilities for those who attend worship:
The Health & Hospitality ministers will be transitioning to more of a hospitality role while we get used to this new way of doing things. Thank you for helping us all do our part to keep community transmission low and bring us out of the pandemic without going backwards!
|March 15, 2022||In accordance with the new CDC guidelines for communities, and after monitoring positivity rates in our area since the local schools returned from midwinter break, Council voted to make masks optional for entry to St. Peter’s.
If you have reason to believe you may have been exposed to COVID, or if you are unvaccinated, we kindly request that you wear a mask, but it is not required. Of course, anyone who chooses to continue wearing a mask is welcome to do so.
Masks are still required for the following:
|February 15, 2022||As the COVID surge in our area appears to be subsiding, we will resume holding coffee hour after worship beginning on Sunday, February 20, 2022. Participants are kindly asked to wear their masks until seated in the fellowship hall, and then put their mask back on after they are finished eating and drinking. You are also welcome to socialize in the narthex with masks on. (On Sundays when Confirmation class meets in the fellowship hall, coffee will only be offered “to-go”.)
While the state of New York has dropped the mask mandate for businesses, we continue to require masks for everyone entering the building at this time. The CDC still categorizes both Oneida and Madison Counties as high transmission zones. We will be re-evaluating this policy in the coming months.
|January 2, 2022||During the current surge in new COVID cases in our area, we are temporarily pausing coffee hour after worship. Coffee will only be available to go until further notice.|
|December 19, 2021||We are slowly introducing a few more opportunities for congregational singing into worship. For those who prefer to err on the side of safety, chairs will continue to be available for socially distanced seating in the narthex. The usher can help you get settled there and there are speakers to hear the service. Social distancing continues to be encouraged but not required.
Adding more singing means it is even more important that we continue to wear masks and ensure they fit well over your nose and mouth. In accordance with the New York state and Oneida County mandates and CDC guidance, we continue to require masks for entry into the building, regardless of vaccination status.
As case numbers rise, please remember that if you feel ill at all or have potentially been exposed to COVID, we recommend that you stay home and worship with us via livestream.
|October 31, 2021||As the weather turns chillier, we are making the following adjustments to coffee hour, as follows:
On all Sundays, everyone is welcome to socialize in the narthex with masks on, or outside (weather permitting) with masks off.
|August 22, 2021||Due to the recent jump in transmission rates in our area, we have decided to follow the CDC recommendations and adjust our protocol. As of August 22, 2021, everyone entering our building will once again be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. (You can check the latest numbers here.)
At this time, we will not be making any other changes to worship. Social distancing is encouraged but not required.
For small indoors gatherings where everyone is fully vaccinated and the usual activities include eating and drinking (i.e. Breakfast with the Bible and Seniors), masks may be removed when you are at your table. Please put your mask on whenever leaving your table. Individuals are encouraged to decide for themselves whether they are comfortable assuming the additional risk of eating and drinking indoors with others.
|August 9-13, 2021||We are making plans to hold a modified Vacation Bible School this week of August. Pre-registrations are required for our safety plan.|
|July 27, 2021||Fully vaccinated church groups may eat meals together in the fellowship hall. This includes the Wednesday senior group and the Tuesday morning Bible study. Groups that are of mixed vaccination status should refrain from eating together inside.|
|July 11, 2021||Because our average percentage of vaccinated worshippers has been above 70%, we will begin limited singing in worship starting on July 11, 2021. We will sing only at the end of worship and those who wish to leave early may do so. We will also be introducing a fully vaccinated choir in the coming weeks, following the CDC guidelines for activity risk.|
|June 20, 2021||As New York has dropped many of its required COVID safety restrictions, we have made the following changes to our policy, effective June 20, 2021:
Please note that the mask requirements are the one thing that New York did not drop, so we will continue asking those who are unvaccinated to wear a mask inside the building. Those who have been vaccinated may choose to remove their masks. Thank you for your continued cooperation!
|May 30, 2021||In accordance with recommendations from the CDC and New York state, and in consideration of those who are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, our COVID safety protocol was altered as follows:
As we look toward resuming other higher-risk activities in the future, we are also inviting those attending worship to voluntarily let us know if they have been vaccinated. This will help us better assess the overall risk factor for the congregation. Just contact Kathy in the office or let the outside greeter know when you arrive for worship. This is purely voluntary; you may choose to not share this information if you wish.
|April 25, 2021||We made some small changes to our COVID safety protocol, including opening all restrooms for single-use only and replacing the pew cushions.|
|April 11, 2021||After drive-in worship services in our parking lot for Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, we began gathering again for in-person worship in our sanctuary with all the same safety protocol in place as before, according to the letter sent in July of 2020. This 10:00 am Sunday morning worship service includes required masks, assigned seating, and RSVP required by Friday at 1:00 pm. You may refer to the letter (COVID-19 update July 2020) for a complete listing of the protocol.|
|March 16, 2021||We began gathering in person again, in small groups for things such as Bible study. All previous COVID safety protocol remained in place.|
|November 23, 2020||Due to the expected rise in cases after Thanksgiving, as well as the rise in numbers in Oneida County, Council voted to hit “pause” on gathering in person in the church building. This means in-person worship, Bible study, and meetings are currently suspended, starting Sunday, November 29.
While the building is not closed, we are only allowing one individual or household to be in the same space at the same time (and they should be spaced out as much as possible, ideally 24 hours apart). Please contact the office for scheduling if you need assistance or need access to the church building, and sign in on the clipboard whenever you enter or exit.
|October 13, 2020||We began offering in-person gatherings for Bible study and Council meetings in the fellowship hall once again. Gatherings limited to one hour and participants must wear masks and socially distance. We adopted a guideline of 24 hours between activities in the same space, in order to allow droplets to settle and surfaces to be sanitized.|
|July 12, 2020||We altered our worship service schedule to be as follows:
9:00 am Online Worship on our YouTube channel and Facebook page (including singing, best for those who have health risks or cannot wear a mask)
|March 20, 2020||In accordance with the state of New York’s stay at home order, we closed our building and suspended all building use. The office remained open remotely. Full details are in this letter we sent to the congregation: COVID-19 update March 2020|
|March 15, 2020||Following recommendations from our bishop John Macholz and the lead of Oneida County, we suspended in-person worship services and moved to offering Sunday worship completely online.|
Letter that was sent to the congregation, July 2020:
[embeddoc url=”https://stpetersverona.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/COVID-19-update-July-2020.pdf” download=”all”]
Letter that was sent to the congregation, March 2020:
[embeddoc url=”https://stpetersverona.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/COVID-19-update-March-2020-fp.pdf” download=”all”]
New York State’s coronavirus information page (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home)
The ELCA public health page (https://elca.org/publichealth)
The Upstate NY Synod public health page (https://upstatenysynod.org/public-health-concern)