Where we are:
- Fairfax County currently has the highest rate of new cases per 100,000 population since the pandemic began, 145 as of this morning, and that measure has been steady for three days. Deaths from COVID-19 have risen and are greater in number than six weeks ago. The increased contagiousness of this Omicron strain has meant sizable but not overwhelming hospitalizations.
- Bishop Susan is encouraging churches to consider going to streaming services for worship on a temporary basis as the cases continue to increase.
- Public Health officials are encouraging the use of approved N95 or KN95 masks, or to use a surgical mask under a cloth mask to diminish the possibility of spreading infections.
Where we are going:
Now that the best information suggests that we will be living with COVID on a longer-term basis, that the public health officials are moving toward a personal responsibility model for life going forward, and that the diocese is leaving the handling of worship to the leadership of the individual churches, your Vestry and I are going forward with the following plan for St. Francis gatherings:
- Each Wednesday I will look at the numbers in Fairfax County and will determine a plan regarding in-person worship for the upcoming Sunday. That decision will be emailed to the entire parish each Wednesday.
- Even when we gather in person, St. Francis will be streaming our in-person worship every Sunday so that all parishioners may attend in the way they are most comfortable: in-person or via the Internet.
- If you are concerned at all about infectious diseases due to any factor, please join us via Live Streaming from our website or Zoom Meeting.
- If you are sick, please stream worship. We want you here, safe, and whole, and will be glad when you healthy and able to come back.
- We endorse being vaccinated and boosted as recommended in consultation with your physician.
- There will be periods where masking will make sense for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated as well. We encourage the use of approved N95, KN95, and surgical masking under cloth masks while you are in church (CLICK HERE TO SEE INFO)
- We will use social distancing when conditions require by taping off pews to keep the congregation distanced.
- We will continue to have hand sanitizer available throughout the church.
Surgical masks will also be available for use under your cotton masks. They will be at the door to the sanctuary.