COVID-19 Update #22

Illinois South Conference COVID-19 Response

UPDATE #22, August 1, 2021

Well, That Was Fast

Last week the CDC revised their mask policy to recommended everyone, including those fully vaccinated, wear masks indoors.  This is due to the dramatic rise of COVID cases across the country, especially involving the Delta variant of the virus.

While vaccination greatly reduces a person’s chance of severe illness, it doesn’t mean it completely prevents it.  Recent studies also seem to show that anyone can transmit the virus to others, regardless of vaccination status.

For our churches, this means it’s time to discuss where your congregation is at as we prepare for rising infection rates going into fall.  Much of our Conference is currently seeing county infection rates between 4 – 12.5%.  Hospitalizations are going up quickly.

If you’re meeting in person, we recommend wearing masks indoors, especially if you’re singing together.  Bring back hand sanitizers to the sanctuary and all the other precautions you’ve implemented in the past.  Consider what you can to do to best protect your most vulnerable congregants, particularly kids under 12 who aren’t currently eligible for vaccination.

And, be prepared to pivot back to virtual church life if the situation requires it. None of us like it, but by now we all know how to do this.

Helpful Information

To keep tabs on COVID in your immediate area, the Illinois Department of Public Health has an excellent map that shows infection rates and hotspots in the state.  Go here to see the most current numbers.

Together in Christ’s ministry with you,

Dr. Jill Baker, Conference Moderator
Rev. Christy Eckert, Conference Vice-Moderator
Rev. Ivan Horn, Conference Secretary
Mr. Dwight Asselmeier, Conference Treasurer
Rev. Shana Johnson, IL South Conference Minister