With vaccines on the way and lowering case numbers, we feel it is important to set metrics by which we can determine the best time to restart indoor in-person worship. According to the most recent data (2/16/21) Dekalb County has reached many of the “target” levels for various risk measurements, specifically number of deaths, test positivity rate, tests performed, ER visits for covid-like symptoms, and ICU bed availability. However, one measurement, new cases per 100,000 currently stands at 125 per 100,000, which is still a “warning” level. Target for this metric is 50 per 100,000. We will use www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics to track these metrics.
Before returning to in-person worship, our goal will be that all the metrics mentioned above will be at target level. Furthermore, we will not enter in -person worship until two weeks after Pastor receives his second vaccine and is fully protected (March 12). This will protect not only the Pastor but the entire congregation as Pastor Preston visits hospital rooms and is in contact with many vulnerable congregation members during his regular duties.
Finally, although all appropriate precautions will be taken, our most at-risk members will be highly encouraged to wait until they are fully vaccinated before returning to indoor worship. A survey will be sent mid-April to access the vaccination rate within our congregation.
In the meantime, online worship, private prayer in the sanctuary, and outdoor worship when the weather improves, will continue indefinitely.