Beginning on Sunday, May 9, we will no longer require reservations for attendance. There will be no need to make reservations to attend worship. We will continue to ask people to wear masks have designated seating zones which are explained below.
Why this change? Here are the reasons behind the decision.
* The CDC has changed guidelines for various activities. You can find the guidance here. They now rate vaccinated people (wearing a mask) attending a full capacity worship service as “safest.”
* We know anecdotally that most adults (and all the ministerial staff) in the congregation have been vaccinated. Vaccine appointments are now widely available.
* After monitoring the CO2 levels in the sanctuary for several months, we know the sanctuary is a well-ventilated space. Anything below 800 ppm is considered well-ventilated, meaning a lower risk of aerosol spread. We have consistently been well below 800 even at the end of worship.
* Our historical attendance during this time of year is significantly less than “full capacity.”
* Though children and youth under 16 cannot be vaccinated at this time, the combination of mask wearing and the size of the sanctuary seems to make a worship service one of the safest activities for our children.
Instead of making reservations, we will have 3 seating “zones” people can choose from.
1.) Along the wall on the organ side of the sanctuary, we will close off every other pew for those who would like to maintain social distance.
2.) On the other wall (piano side), all the pews will be open for seating.
3.) In the center two sections, we will have alternating seating zones (middle of one pew, ends the next) without skipping a pew. This configuration will still allow for some distance between worshipers.
According to several recent reports, time is likely the biggest factor in aerosol spread of COVID. Therefore, we will continue to have abbreviated worship services for the time being.
For those who still aren’t comfortable attending, the services will continue to be live-streamed.