Almost exactly one year ago, some public officials expressed optimism in the face of the sudden COVID-19 crisis, predicting that churches across the U.S. would have no issue hosting their Easter gatherings. While some churches indeed operated, as usual, others limited their congregations or canceled them altogether. Now, as Easter approaches once more, we’re looking at a different landscape -- effective vaccines are being distributed, case numbers are declining, and health experts have learned a lot about COVID-19 and its various strains. That said, congregants and church officials must continue to take this pandemic seriously, paying particular attention to the most vulnerable individuals in their community. Regardless of the size of your congregation, here’s how to ensure sanitation and safety at your church this Easter and beyond.
How to Ensure Safety for Easter Worship
Keep Up with Communication
If you want to keep your church community safe and healthy, everyone must be on the same page. Newsletters should be distributed throughout the course of this pandemic with updated information regarding local transmission, changes in community guidelines and state/federal law, and other relevant developments that congregants should know of before attending future services (especially large ones like Easter). The more churchgoers are aware of their responsibilities and potential risks, the more everyone can do to keep one another safe.
Mandate Masks and Social Distancing
At this point, most people are tired of wearing masks and staying six feet apart, but it’s important that everyone continue to follow these guidelines for the time-being. Of course, your church community might be tight knit and therefore wish to gather closely and see each other’s faces -- do your best to remind everyone that adhering to these temporary guidelines will help ensure everyone’s health and safety until things return to normal.
Clean and Sanitize Surfaces Regularly
As scientists have closely studied COVID-19 over the past year, they discovered that the virus primarily spreads through the air via respiratory droplets, not through surface contact. Still, surface transmission is possible, and in any case, your congregants might not feel comfortable entering the facility if it hasn’t been recently cleaned and disinfected. For these reasons, increase your building cleaning and disinfection efforts, prioritizing high-touch surfaces like doorknobs/handles, pews, bibles/books, podiums, bathroom surfaces, and so on. You may need to increase the resources you pour into your church’s cleaning and janitorial services for the foreseeable future to maintain a consistent schedule.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
Since COVID-19 primarily spreads through the air in enclosed spaces, it only makes sense that increasing airflow and improving indoor air quality would help curtail transmission. Indeed, many businesses have begun looking into air disinfection for coronavirus by taking better care of their HVAC systems (i.e. cleaning, changing filters, etc.) and installing MERV-13+ filters to capture smaller particles indoors. If you’re unable to enhance your church’s air circulation in this way, consider hosting Easter services outdoors, weather permitting, of course. The more gatherings you can conduct in the open air, the safer everyone will be.
Stock Up on Essential Supplies
Finally, make sure your church maintains a healthy stock of COVID-19 supplies to keep everyone safe and healthy during Easter and other gatherings. These supplies include things like hand sanitizers, EPA-registered disinfectants, touchless soap dispensers, personal protective equipment (PPE), and more.
Easter is on the early side this year, and in many ways last Easter doesn’t even feel that long ago. As the pandemic winds down, make sure your congregation remains vigilant and does its best to keep each other safe and healthy. If you need services or supplies to aid in these efforts, The Budd Group has your church covered. To learn more about our services and values, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!