Information regarding the SARS-COV-2 virus, some good, some bad, flows out of the scientific community and the media daily, and oftentimes is conflicting. We have tried to stay as up to date as possible on the recommendations from health authorities, which admittedly seem to change frequently, while avoiding opinions. The current recommendation is that people wear masks indoors, especially in areas where social distancing is difficult. Emerging evidence shows that wearing masks does appear to help reduce the risk of person to person transmission of the virus. This is different than what was recommended just a couple months ago as the virus made its way to our country. However, according to the CDC, masks can confer some (not complete) protection to others – one wears a mask to catch at least some of the respiratory droplets that carry the virus into the air that he/she emits when singing, talking, shouting, and to a lesser extent, when just breathing, thus likely reducing the “viral load” that a potential asymptomatic carrier may shed into the air. Masks may confer some protection to the wearer as well, though evidence for this is not as strong. So one wears a mask primarily in an effort to protect others.
Our goal is to continue to worship in person; we are thankful for the freedom we have to do so compared to so many of our brothers and sisters around the world. At this time, with respect to your individual freedom, we do not mandate the wearing of masks to attend in person worship, but we do strongly encourage you to wear a mask when indoors in an effort to protect others. Masks are uncomfortable, awkward, and honestly quite annoying, but if it is possible that they can confer some protection to others, then we urge you to strongly consider keeping a mask on during the worship service. We will continue to have masks available if needed. Please do not hesitate to reach out to an elder if you have further questions or concerns.
Most of all during these turbulent times, we encourage you to continue to give grace to each other, love one another, and trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.