What to Expect for In-Person Worship
The Healthy at Church Task Force of Lakeside Presbyterian Church is a specially appointed task force to continually create and evaluate processes and procedures for remaining healthy as a community through the COVID-19 pandemic, including parameters for usage of church facilities. The conditions and guidelines specified by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the CDC, and local health authorities are used as guideposts for development of this plan. HCTF also seeks guidance from medical, legal, and other experts as necessary. Although our actions will not violate requirements stipulated by any government agency, we do not feel compelled to tether our progress to any government strategy. We are also guided by our PC(USA) Office of General Assembly and mid-councils. This plan balances our need for in-person fellowship and our duty to provide a safe environment. The 11 a.m. Sunday live-streamed worship service available for home viewing continues to serve as an engaging, meaningful church experience without Covid-19 risks.
Our current guidelines (effective August 8, 2021) specify:
- Masks will be required within church facilities, including the carriage house, regardless of vaccination status.
- Social distancing/personal space should be respected.
- Frequent hand washing and/or the use of hand sanitizer is recommended; hand sanitizers will be readily available within the buildings.
Within the sanctuary:
- Pew signage indicates appropriate pew spacing for units in general with congregational discretion expected.
- Congregants who are feeling ill, exhibiting symptoms, or have recently been exposed should refrain from attending worship service in person.
- Congregants who are highly vulnerable should continue to carefully consider the risks of attending worship services in person.
- Socializing will continue to be a voluntary activity occurring outdoors only.
- Additional guidelines have been developed for use of the nursery service, when reestablished, and for other indoor church activities involving our youngest congregants. Regardless of vaccination status, those staff members and volunteers interacting with the children during the children’s sermon portion of the 11 a.m. worship service, or in any other capacity with less than optimal social distancing, must be masked.
Within the nursery:
- Children aged two or older should wear masks.
- Children should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving the nursery.
- Families will sign-in their children when arriving at the nursery. Attendance will be documented for purposes of contract tracing in case of exposure.
- If a family has traveled internationally to a location with a COVID travel advisory in place, for the safety of other children, please consider not utilizing the nursery until two weeks after returning.
- Nursery staff will be masked, covering nose and mouth, at all times, regardless of vaccination status.
- Staff will wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving the nursery.
- Regular cleaning and sanitizing procedures will be followed between uses of the nursery.
- Hard toys and materials will be sanitized between nursery sessions, unless the item has been in a child’s mouth, requiring prompt removal and cleaning per current nursery policy. Private soft items, such as plush toys and pacifiers, not shared with other children, could be allowed at the discretion of the parents.
There are no restrictions specific to nursery-age children interaction. Parents must use their own discretion in deciding whether to use nursery services accordingly.