Following the introduction and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and declines in COVID-19 cases in the spring of 2021, the CDC, WHO and local public health authorities have updated guidance allowing for larger gatherings.
Riverside staff, deacons, trustees, and lay leaders have discussed when and how to regather for worship. They have prepared preliminary plans for regathering in person for worship services starting July 18, 2021. This is subject to change dependent on updates to public health guidance. Every decision is made with the community’s health and safety in mind.
The following guidelines are designed to follow government recommendations and to encourage the safety of the community. Please read and follow them carefully. Activities and interactions will be different, but participants should understand that this plan has all who will be in church, from the youngest to the no-longer-the-youngest, in mind.
- Everyone, even those who have been vaccinated, are asked to always wear a mask inside the church. Disposable masks will be available if you happen to forget yours.
- Sanctuary capacity will remain limited in accordance with city regulations.
- Vulnerable individuals (those with immune-compromised or underlying medical conditions) and those who are eligible but have not been fully vaccinated (i.e., 2 weeks after the final shot) are encouraged to remain at home.
- Anyone feeling sick, experiencing any symptoms of illness or previously exposed to COVID-19 are encourage to remain home.
- Get vaccinated when the vaccine is available to you.
- Everyone is asked to maintain, as much as possible, a 6-foot distance between families/individuals and those who do not live with you.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and use hand sanitizer often. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed in various locations throughout the church.
- For the foreseeable future, food will not be prepared on–site or shared with one another. Koinonia potlucks will be postponed until a time that is determined safe to resume.
- The church will be thoroughly disinfected before and after every gathering.
- Riverside will routinely provide information for COVID testing and vaccinations in the church bulletin and announcements.
- The church will live stream while continuing to record and post the Sunday morning service to our website for those who are not yet ready to return to the sanctuary.
Additional information will be provided closer to the date for regathering.