COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church
Developed May 26, 2020, by the Church Council in accordance with guidelines developed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
- “Staff” refers to pastors, the secretary, janitors, and others who work at the church (not the entire congregation).
- “Participants” refers to the entire congregation.
- The Plan Administrator is Mike Berg.
STAFF PROTECTIONS AND PROTOCOLS
Ensure Sick Staff Stay Home
1. Staff will enter the building only if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms (fever of 100.4 or higher, chills, new cough, shortness of breath, new sore throat, new muscle aches, new headache, new loss of smell or taste) and have not tested positive for COVID-19.
2. Staff with COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home immediately. Staff who have been in close contact with a household member with COVID-19 should not be in the church until their quarantine period is finished.
• Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
3. If a staff member is exposed to COVID-19, the exposed person will notify the Plan Administrator, and the Plan Administrator will notify the other staff to inform them.
4. The Plan Administrator will maintain communication with and gather information from staff who may be ill, to ensure the privacy of staff is maintained.
5. Any staff who are sick with COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19 will report to the Plan Administrator immediately.
6. Staff who were sick with COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive may only return to church after following current MDH guidelines. Prior to any ill staff returning to the church, they will reference and follow the “COVID-19 and When to Return to Work” guideline. A copy of this form will be given to each staff member upon implementation of this Preparedness Plan.
7. The Plan Administrator will discuss which staff the ill staff member had contact with in the previous 7 days in order to determine which staff have been exposed.
8. Any staff member who is sick will not enter the church building until after their period of isolation has ended. If working is necessary, working remotely is the only option.
9. All “at risk” staff and members of vulnerable populations are encouraged to stay home and participate in services remotely. These staff should stay home whenever possible and take particular care to reduce their risk of exposure.
10. Sick-leave time/time-off will be extended to accommodate the Return to Work guidelines.
Social Distancing – Staff Must Be At Least Six Feet Apart
1. Remote working is recommended for all staff to reduce the risk of exposure.
2. Since there are no designated “shifts” for any staff at the church, it is strongly encouraged that staff attempt to do their work when only a few other staff are at the church.
3. Staff are encouraged to come and go from the building without contact with other staff (do not “cross paths”), so as to avoid exposure.
4. Staff meetings will be limited to 10 people or fewer.
5. Staff are encouraged to use the bathroom only one person at a time, in order to maintain social distancing.
6. If two or more staff need to work together, they will work in an area of the church that allows for social distancing (i.e., the fellowship hall).
7. Six feet of physical space will be maintained between staff and the public whenever interacting.
Staff Hygiene and Source Controls
1. Staff will regularly wash their hands or use hand sanitizer while in the church building. The kitchen and bathrooms will be available for handwashing, and hand sanitizer will be readily available throughout the building.
2. Non-medical face coverings, gloves, and disinfectant will be available for staff to use.
3. “Hand-washing” and “Cover Your Cough” signs will be posted in all bathrooms.
4. Staff will wear face masks when 6 feet of space cannot be maintained, or when working on projects with others for extended periods of time.
5. Trash cans will be placed by bathroom doors to ensure a paper towel can be disposed of when operating the door.
6. The drinking fountain will not be used.
7. Food will not be shared communally.
8. Facial tissues will be available throughout the church to allow for proper cough/sneeze etiquette, and no-touch trash cans will be available.
Click on the link below to read the complete COVID-19 preparedness plan.