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PLAN TO OPEN TRINITY’S CHURCH BUILDING

(Updated: 09/10/20)

Our goal is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ as together we flatten COVID-19 and ensure zero infections are spread by Trinity UMC activity.

This plan is subject to change based on the recommendations of The New Jersey Governor’s Office (Executive Order), the GNJ Conference, the CDC, the New Jersey Department of Health and the Burlington County Health Department or The Church Council, and/or in the case of infection of any church attendant. Trinity’s Administrative Church Council will be responsible for making that decision at the appropriate time.

The Worship Service will take place in the Fellowship Hall until the decision is made to open the rest of the building by the Administrative Church Council. The reopening day will be September 13, 2020.

WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN BEFORE WE MOVE TO THE SECOND STAGE:

  • People must have been communicated to by email and posted on Facebook and website about the guidelines to participate in worship--two weeks before the first gathering.
  • Greeters must have received training and scripts to guide people to worship safely on how to direct the people to designated areas.
  • Extra gloves, masks, and sanitation dispensers must be in place before the service.
  • There must be signs blocking other areas in the church except for the fellowship hall and bathrooms
  • The Cleaning Committee will make sure of the sanitation of church areas.
  • There must be a plan to sanitize the bathrooms before and after the service.

1). GATHERING SIZE: Setting and ensuring capacity limits based on state requirements.

  1. Per New Jersey Executive Order #152, the limit on inside events is currently fifty (50) people.
  2. If an attending person or a member of the attending person’s household contracts the COVID-19 virus, please report this to the pastor, and the church should be closed until the Burlington County Department of Health completes their Contact Tracing Protocol and advises us it is safe to resume our services.

2). SOCIAL DISTANCING: All are always to maintain 6 feet of distance between each other . See CDC Guidelines

  1. There will have to be at least six feet between each seated person in a row.
  2. Signage in the parking lot will remind people to maintain 6-foot spacing and the use of facial coverings.
  3. Signage at the Fellowship Hall entrances to remind people to maintain six-foot social distancing and the use of facial coverings.
  4. Verbal and visual (projected) instruction will be provided as reminders for people to maintain six-foot social distancing and the use of facial covering when exiting the church and to return to their cars or leaving the property.

3). HUMAN CONTACT: Preventing people from touching objects and people:

See CDC Guidelines

  1. Entrance and inside doors should be secured in the open position to eliminate the need for touching.
  2. Use projected service information and eliminate the use of paper bulletins.
  3. Encourage the use of online financial giving.
  4. COVID-19 guidelines will be projected on the video screen before and after services.
  5. All items such as hymnals, Bibles, tissues, pencils, pens, and other printed materials will not be made available.
  6. Attendees will be discouraged from hugging, kissing, shaking hands, or sharing personal items.

4). CLEANING: Cleaning surfaces and all common areas: See CDC Guidelines.

  1. Do a walkthrough of the facility and make a list of commonly touched surfaces: doorknobs, light switches, countertops, fans, phones, touch screens, toilets and sinks, pews, door handles. Make this list part of regular cleaning protocols
  2. Remove anything that is not essential in the space of worship: Bibles, pencils, paper, hymnals—can encourage folks to bring their own books.
  3. Discuss sanitization measures with volunteers and all greeters ahead of time.
  4. Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID by cleaning AND disinfecting, is crucial to reopening.
  1. Normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decrease the amount of virus on surfaces
  2. Disinfection afterward with the EPA-approved disinfectants KILLS the virus on surfaces. If these disinfectants are not available, an alternative disinfectant can be accomplished with 1/3 cup bleach added to a gallon of water (left on the surface for a minute), or 70%alcohol solutions .—bleach solutions are effective for 24 hours after constituted.
  3. Disinfectants should not be used on any items that are used by children—soap and water would be sufficient
  4. Make sure there is ample amount of cleaning supplies including disposable gloves for the cleaning crew and follow any guidelines for PPE if the disinfectant requires this to be used
  5. Surfaces that are frequently touched should be cleaned and disinfected often: sinks, faucets, door handles, light switches, phones, desks.
  6. The rugs should be disinfected with an EPA disinfectant for porous surfaces
  7. The cleaning and disinfecting will take place on a Saturday before service and guarantee no access to the sanctuary/fellowship hall before the next day.
  8. For the church kitchen, we will use a specific disinfectant that is EPA approved for food-safe, just as the bleach solution mentioned above. This bleach rinse is required after washing any dishes, pots, and utensils.

5). VULNERABLE PEOPLE: Taking extra precautions for people at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 will be a priority. Those circumstances include, but are not limited to, age greater than 65, asthma, chronic lung disease, liver disease, heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, compromised immune systems from disease or medication, morbid obesity: See CDC Guidelines

  1. Encourage older persons (65 and older) and those with underlying chronic medical conditions to attend our online services.
  2. Parents with children 10-years-old or younger will be encouraged to stay home during this stage.

6). PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT: Using masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers: See CDC

Guidelines

  1. All will be required the use of face masks (coverings) for attendance at church functions.
  2. All will be encouraged to bring their own masks and vinyl gloves to church service.
  3. The church will provide hand sanitizer stations at each entrance to the church and in the lavatories.
  4. The church will provide hand sanitizers disposable vinyl gloves at each entrance to the church
  5. The church will provide face masks for those who do not have their own,

7). SIGNAGE AND TEAMS: Greeting and guiding people to ensure safety and social distancing

  1. Signage in the parking lot to remind people to maintain 6-foot spacing and the use of facial coverings.
  2. Provide a “trained greeter” and signage at Fellowship Hall entrances to remind people to maintain 6-foot spacing and the use of facial coverings.
  3. A verbal and visual reminder will be displayed to people to maintain 6-foot spacing and the use of facial covering when exiting the church and returning to cars.

8). COMMUNICATION: Communicating and providing continual updates for your plan

  1. These guidelines will be posted on bulletin boards in the church buildings.
  2. These guidelines will be posted on our website and sent to all members online when possible and by U.S. Postal Service when online is not possible.
  3. These guidelines will be updated and reposted as policies and regulations change per The New Jersey Governor’s Office (Executive Order), the GNJ Conference, the CDC, the New Jersey Department of Health, and the Burlington County Health Department or The Church Council.

WORSHIP EXPERIENCE

  1. The church will continue online worship services even after the building reopens.
  2. Greeters will be gloved and masked. They will have scripts to guide people to worship safely. They will be prepared to turn people away if capacity is reached (instructions for online access will be given).
  3. For communion, we will encourage people to bring their own bread or crackers to church, and we will also provide “individual portable prefilled Communion juice cups and wafers” at the beginning of the service.
  4. Singing by the congregation and choir will be prohibited to reduce the risk of spread of the COVID-19 virus via respiratory droplets. Music may be provided electronically or live non-wind instruments (e.g., organ, piano, guitar). Any shared devices will be sanitized between users.
  5. Offerings will be collected electronically, congregants can drop their offering of cash or check upon exiting while being careful to not touch the container and form a line respecting 6 feet of social distancing.
  6. Pastor and Liturgist will use only one microphone per person and will not share them. Microphones will be sanitized before and after each service.
  7. This document will be posted in the church, on the TUMC website, and the TUMC Facebook site for all to review.
  8. Bathrooms will be open only on the first floor. They will be cleaned and sanitized before and after each worship service.

NURSERY AND SUNDAY SCHOOL

  1. These will be closed as we wish to apply an abundance of caution and precaution for this precious group.
  2. Parents with children 10-years-old or younger will be encouraged to watch the service online.

FELLOWSHIP ACTIVITIES

  1. There will be no fellowship, food, or coffee hours at this time.
  2. We reserve the right to refuse service admission to anyone who does not follow the social-distancing guidelines. Ushers will encourage any person to follow the guidelines or be asked to leave the service.

MEETINGS

  1. The church office will remain closed, and business will be conducted by mail or online.
  2. Church prayer meetings, bible study, and business meetings will be conducted online.
  3. No group except Trinity’s Table and Trinity’s Treasure will have access to use the building only to keep social distance protocols and if they sanitize the area used before, and after they leave the premises.
  4. Nobody will be allowed to cook and/or use the church kitchen.

TUMC COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire

You must answer “NO” to all the questions in this questionnaire in order to enter our physical location. If you answer “YES” to any of the questions, please DO NOT enter the church’s buildings.

If you experience any symptoms or answer “YES” to any of these questions, you must immediately contact your health care professional for recommended next steps.

PART ONE:


A) Have you had any of the following symptoms in the last 24 hours?
Cough
Shortness of breath of difficulty breathing

B) OR at least TWO of the following symptoms in the last 24 hours:
Fever (usually 100.4 or higher)
Chills
Repeated shaking with chills
Muscle pain
Headache
Sore throat
New loss of taste or smell

If you answered “Yes” to question one, please DO NOT come to the service. You should:
• Self- quarantine for at least 10 days from the date on which you first experienced any of the above symptoms ; AND
• Wait until you have had no fever for at least 3 days (without the use of fever-reducing medication) AND
• Improved respiratory symptoms (no cough, shortness of breath)

PART TWO:


In the last 14 days have you: *
Been in contact with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19?
Been in close contact with someone who had COVID-19 symptoms ?
Traveled internationally or taken a cruise

If you answered “Yes” to any part of question two, please DO NOT come into Trinity's church building. You should self quarantine for at least 14 days.

Trinity United Methodist Church

339 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown
New Jersey 08505 United States

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