At our June 2022 council meeting, the Rejoice Fellowship Congregational Council voted on and approved a new mask protocol for our congregation. As we’ve seen COVID rates skyrocket and plummet faster than we can keep track, we are going to be relying on the Centers for Disease Control’s Community Level to determine whether a mask is required or optional in our worship space. This level is specific to Anne Arundel County.
The CDC’s Community Level takes 3 indicators into account:
- New COVID-19 cases in our county in the past 7 days
- New COVID-19 hospital admissions in our county in the past 7 days
- The percentage of inpatient hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients in our county in the past 7 days
Based on these 3 indicators, the Community Level is one of three possibilities: Low, Medium and High.
For Rejoice Fellowship, if the Community Level on any given Sunday is Low or Medium, wearing a mask will be optional. If the Community Level is High, all people who enter our worship space will need to wear a mask. A mask will be provided if anyone doesn’t have one. As you enter our space, there will be a sign on the door and on the welcome table indicating the Community Level for that day and if a mask is optional or required. We join with other ELCA congregations in our area utilizing a similar protocol for masking in our worship spaces.
The CDC updates its data weekly, Thursdays at 8pm. At the top of the page, you can check the Community Level for yourself. We encourage you to learn more about the CDC’s Community Level here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/community-levels.html.
As we have known since the beginning of the pandemic, wearing a mask protects other people, not simply ourselves. If you have any questions about this protocol, please contact Pastor Maddie Tallman. If at any time, our hosts at St. John Lutheran Church enforce a mask protocol above and beyond our own, we will be respectful partners in ministry and comply with their decisions.
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