March 13, 2020 Response to the Current Health Crisis
As you have heard by now, much is being said regarding COVID-19, or Coronavirus. Many public events have been canceled, and the Governor of Ohio along with the Ohio Department of Health has drawn some very strong lines. Our very own Delight Howells works for the Stark County Health Department and she says the situation is quite serious. On Thursday night Delight said, “Having just got home from a 12.5 hour day, I can say that the less people are mingling in public the better. While healthy individuals may carry the virus and potentially not know… our elderly and those who are immunocompromised are those at risk for serious complications.” Matt Hamsher, Executive Director of Evana, is advising each church to err on the side of caution until we know with greater certainty what we are dealing with.
Technically churches are not required to honor the directive that requires less than 100 people be in attendance in a room, but we do feel a responsibility to exercise wisdom and caution. We as a church will not make decisions out of fear, but we will use wise caution. As such, we ask for your understanding as we encourage the following protocol. This protocol could change from one week to the next, so stay tuned.
So for this Sunday we are planning to have worship, but we are encouraging you to stay home and watch our Facebook feed or our YouTube channel from home. We are fine with having our entire church family join us online.
Find us on both Facebook and Instagram @dayspringcf.
This means we will NOT be having Sunday School, and worship will primarily be online.
While we are not going to turn away those who feel strongly about attending, we would ask each of you to respect the following:
- Anyone over 60 is strongly discouraged from attending worship.
- Anyone who has a compromised immune system should not attend (regardless of reason).
- Anyone who has shown any symptoms of compromised health in the last two weeks of any kind should not attend.
- Anyone who has the least bit of hesitation should not attend, guilt free.
We do plan for smaller gatherings to meet for prayer and Council Meetings (for example), but will do so in spaces that are not so confined forcing close proximity. We do ask you to take precautionary measures such as greeting each other without physical contact.
At this point it seems as though young, healthy people are not in real danger themselves, but there are at least two things to consider here. One is that there is considerable concern for caregivers (such as Delight). If infection spreads quickly requiring hospitalization the burden of demand could be greater than the capacity to address the need. The second is that infected individuals may not get seriously ill, but they can become carriers and infect those at greater risk.
We trust in the assurance that our Hope is in Christ.
Dayspring Pastors and Elders