1/7/22 From Pastor Donnie
For quick reference below is the updated information from the CDC (Jan 4). Possibly it will save some time and searching if someone needs this kind of information quickly.
While cases are really high—much higher than ever before—hospitalizations have still not risen equally in the same way they did during previous spikes. This indicates Omicron tends to cause less serious infection for most people. As before, some do get more seriously ill and at times it’s difficult to always predict who that will be, aside from other serious health issues. The information below is for Jefferson County and is always one day behind.
12/31/21 From Pastor Donnie
I’m sure you are aware of the increase in COVID cases of late. This will continue for a month or so, but it seems it may not go much beyond that if data from other nations hold true here. Fortunately, Omicron is much less severe than previous variants and has mostly replaced Delta. Cases will be going up a lot—but it seems hospitalizations have not risen anywhere near being in proportion to the numbers of confirmed cases, and deaths have actually gone down in a number of places. This is great news. But caution should still be in place because almost everyone will come in contact with Omicron at some point.
We will continue as planned unless the situation changes, and it’s clearly unwise or possible to continue on Sundays. As stated all along, ultimately you have to make decisions you think are best for you and your family. If you think not coming to church is best for you, by all means stay home for the time being. Masks may not be a bad idea for some if you desire, but the effectiveness depends on the quality (basically thickness) of the mask.
Absolutely stay home if you even think you or another person who lives at your address might be sick or if you have been around someone who might be sick and have not tested negative yourself. A person needs to be free from any and all symptoms for at least 72 hours before attending church.
For parents: Never bring a sick or potentially sick child to church. Sick means any (not all) of the following: 100 or more temperature, runny nose, coughing, congestion or sneezing. A person needs to be free from any and all symptoms for at least 3 full days (72 hours) before attending church.
Note that with Omicron, only about half of the infected have a temperature, so that’s not the only factor to consider.
Know and consider your risk. While we take all reasonable precautions, perfect protection is impossible for any institution. Therefore, everyone should understand potential risks and decide for themselves accordingly.
Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic!