Corona Virus Policy

SOUTHERN CROSS EVANGELICAL CHURCH

Re-opening Worship/Groups after Covid-19 lockdown 2020

Written by

Chris Hayward

Effective Date

August 2020

Review date

September/October 2020

 

 

 

Policy Statement

We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all adults/young people within Southern Cross Evangelical Church. We will continue to be a safe space for all to enter for worship/groups.

 

This policy is for all attending worship or activities at SCEC. It applies to them at home as well as in the Church. It must be read with all other polices and has been compiled in line with Government guidance, guidance from Public Health England and the NHS guidance.

 

Policy Procedure

The key steps we have put in place to reduce the risk of transmitting an infection are:

  • Minimising contact with unwell individuals and ensuring anyone who has coronavirus symptoms themselves or who lives with some displaying symptoms, does not attend.
  • All attendees must wear a mask unless exempt.
  • Washing hands thoroughly and frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water, or hand sanitiser when entering or leaving the Church and throughout the meeting/group
  • Ensure all are aware about germs and coughing or sneezing in their elbow or catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue, and putting the tissue in a bin straight away, then using hand sanitiser
  • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces, equipment, door handles, all toilets, and all items used during the services/groups
  • A one-way system to enter and exit the building, to minimise contact between individuals
  • Removing unnecessary items from the environment and items that are hard to clean, ie soft furnishings.
  • To encourage everyone to bring their own Bibles from home.  If not possible, use Church Bible and keep on designated seat.
  • Chairs to be placed 2m’s apart.
  • Cleaning rota (separate document) to be adhered to for before and after the service
  • Preachers will use the raised pulpit behind a retractable clear screen with the use of amplification and speak at a conversational level.
  • Those participating during the service will be kept to a minimum: serving communion, giving of notices etc.
  • During the coronavirus crisis, we will not take up a public collection, members are encouraged to give directly by Bank transfer, for those who can only contribute with cash a box will be placed by the exit.
  • No refreshments after the services, all to bring water in own bottles if required.


Transmission of the virus

Everybody MUST be alert to the symptoms of the coronavirus. Everybody MUST declare any symptom to the Church office and MUST not attend any worship meeting/groups if they or anyone in their household have any symptoms. Everyone must always stay alert and not delay in self-isolating.

 

 

Symptoms of the virus

The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are usually mild, but some people can become very unwell.

 

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

High temperature – this means the person is hot to touch, feel the chest or back, you do not need to take a temperature, if you do it must be recorded.

New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if the person usually has a cough, it may be worse than usual)

Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal. Adults will find this easy to be recognise in themselves, but this symptom may not be easily recognised in young children.

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of the above symptoms.

 

Anyone who develops symptoms during meeting/group

If you develop symptoms while at a meeting/group you must go home immediately. If you need another adult to support you, they must wear full PPE. You can nominate an emergency contact to pick you up from outside of the building and they can be responsible for your safe return home. You must not travel on public transport. You and your emergency contact will be responsible for taking all your things and for your mode of transport, following all government guidance.

 

You must start self-isolation immediately. You can call 119 for further advice or 999, if you think something is seriously wrong. You must not go to your GP, pharmacy, or hospital unless 119 advises you to do so.

 

You must get a test immediately via 119. You will need to self-isolate until the test results are back.  If you test negative, you can return to worship/groups if you are well.  If you test positive, you must follow test and trace guidance. You can return to worship/groups after 7 days when you test negative, and you are well enough.  Your household will continue to self-isolate for 14 days after you became symptomatic (the day you became symptomatic is day 1). You and your household will need to follow test and trace advice, providing them with all the information they need.  You will need to provide evidence of a negative or positive test result as soon as you have received this. You must also get a self-isolation note from the NHS website.

 

A ‘stay alert’ sign will be put up for everyone to be alert to symptoms in themselves and in their family if there is a suspected case. The Church/hall will receive an additional deep clean.   

 

Developing symptoms at home

If symptoms develop whilst at home, get help if you are worried, call 119 for further advice, or 999 if you think something is seriously wrong. You must not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital unless 111 advises you to do so. If you or anyone in your household is symptomatic you must start to self-isolate as a family for 14 days, following government guidance. You must inform the Church/or leader of groups if anyone in your household has symptoms as soon as possible.

 

If someone with symptoms tests negative, they can return to Church or groups and provide evidence of their negative test results. ‘Stay alert’ sign will inform others of a negative test result. All other people will be informed.

 

If someone tests positive

If anyone tests positive, meetings/groups will be shut down, and this may be for up to 14 days. Everyone present in the same meeting (details in dated register taken at each meeting) will be informed and must be alert to symptoms.

 

Everyone in that meeting/group will also start to self-isolate in line with the guidance from public health.  If anyone becomes symptomatic whilst self-isolating, they will need to follow government guidance and the above advice and inform the Church/group as soon as possible.

 

If you or a member of your household test positive, you can contact NHS test and trace and follow the guidance, providing them with all the information they need

 

If anyone who tests positive had a last attendance day which was over 48 hours from becoming symptomatic, public health advice will be sought. Potentially the meeting/group can remain open, but the person concerned cannot attend meeting or group until completion of 14 days of self-isolation.

 

Public health information and guidance will be sought in all cases of the above.

 

NHS test and trace service

In all instances of anyone receiving a positive test result, they should play their part to directly help to reduce the spread of the virus by sharing contacts via the NHS test and trace service. You will be required to provide the name, phone number and email address of anyone you have been in contact with in the previous 48 hours. If you have a suspected case or you have been advised that you have been in contact with a confirmed case – you should continue to self-isolate, even if your test comes back negative.

 

Southern Cross Evangelical Church contact details for NHS Test and Trace:

Church Secretary – Alison Tester 01273 420331   or

Administrator – Chris Hayward 07876734780 or 01273 418850

Email:  southern.cross@ntlworld.com

 

Southern Cross KidsCru/Cru contact details
Chris Hayward  07876734780 or 01723 418850
Email: southern.cross@ntlworld.com

 

In order to minimise the risk of transmitting the virus to others we will share the contact details of all those attended a meeting/group for the purpose of the NHS test and trace service.

 

References

Public Health England, Sussex Health Protection Team: 03442 253861 out of office – 0844 9670069

 

Uk Government https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus


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