NASHVILLE, TN (WLAF) – Churches are opening again. State Representative Dennis Powers is sharing just released new guidelines for a phased-in approach from the Governor’s office. Powers said, “I’ve been getting a lot of calls about this, and we now have some guidelines to let us worship again and still protect the health of our congregations.” Powers emphasizes “these are recommendations, not mandates.”
- A phased approach to resuming in-person gatherings is recommended. Vulnerable populations (everyone 65 years and older, people with disabilities, people with serious respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, people who are immunocompromised, and others) and children’s activities/nursery programs should not gather in person until a later time.
- Consider solutions to minimize close personal contact that may be part of your services, such as handshakes or sharing food and drink.
- As the phased approach begins, limit the size of attendance in your sanctuary and other confined spaces to create seating arrangements that provide at least 6-foot distancing between families. It is recommended not to exceed 50% of maximum capacity of the room and should enable full compliance with CDC recommendations for social distancing and hygiene.
- Wear face coverings. • Encourage members of the community to stay at home if they are symptomatic, have a fever, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or have traveled internationally or to a domestic hot spot in the past two weeks.
- If a member of the congregation has tested positive for COVID-19, consult CDC guidelines and local health department recommendations to determine whether in-person gatherings should cease immediately, the building should close for additional cleaning, or other protocol changes are required. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 05/01/2020-5:30PM)