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Coronavirus Guidance for NTA Churches - Update 7/3/20

Coronavirus Guidance for NTA Churches - Update 7/3/20

# News
Publish date Published on Saturday, 7 March 2020 08:36
Coronavirus Guidance for NTA Churches - Update 7/3/20

Coronavirus Guidance for NTA Churches - Update 7/3/20 

We have been closely monitoring the rapidly evolving Coronavirus (CoVID-19) situation and would be grateful if you could make the attached information sheet available to your teams and congregation at the earliest. It’s important as responsible citizens, for our health and safety and for those with whom we interact that we follow the guidelines provided. 

The following are some key points and guidance on what local churches should be doing and importantly the extra precautions everyone should take. We also want to reassure you that we are taking our responsibilities seriously to ensure the safety and well-being of our NTA members and friends. 

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)? 

The coronavirus is a new strain of viruses that causes illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The coronavirus is a new strain called COVID-19 which was first identified in Wuhan City, China in January. Studies to date suggest that the virus is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air. 

What are the symptoms? 

Typical symptoms of coronavirus include a fever, cough and shortness of breath. While there are some greater risks to groups with a weakened immune system, older people and with underlying health conditions, the data shows that most people will have very mild symptoms more akin to a common cold – or indeed may have no symptoms at all. 

What does this mean for me? 

The World Health Organisation has declared the Coronavirus, as a global pandemic and the most effective way of stopping the spread is by washing your hands regularly. Any action or advice that we take will be as a direct result of guidance from Public Health England (PHE). Here are some simple steps that we can all take to protect ourselves and those around us: 

Personal Hygiene 

Hand washing – As part of good hygiene, everyone should wash their hands with soap and water frequently and properly, Local church's should take extra steps to ensure that toilets are super clean and fully stocked with soap. 

Hand Sanitiser - If you can’t wash your hands, we’d recommend you use hand sanitiser gel when you need it but remember hand washing is BEST. Hand sanitisers should be made available during all church gatherings and placed at entrance/exit points. Individuals can also carry a hand sanitiser. 

Tissues – It is helpful to have a box of tissue available. Individuals can also carry a small pack of tissues on them to help stop germs spreading through coughs and sneezes. Do remember to put tissues in the bin straight afterwards. 

Church Gatherings, Meetings & Travelling 

Church Gathering & Meetings - Currently, it is very much 'church as usual' but we are continuously monitoring all updates, guidance and advice and will communicate with you accordingly. Please ensure you follow the above guidance for all gatherings. 

As a precautionary measure we are advising member and friends to avoid shaking hands, kissing or hugging. Instead, how about a wave, fist/elbow bump or a foot shake. 

To maximise the safety of worshipers we also recommend that when serving communion, you use individual disposable cups. You should have one server (no more than two, depending on the size of your congregation). Server/s should wear gloves and place the bread and wine into their hand. 

Travelling – We would encourage our members and friends to be responsible and not fly to any of the high risk countries, unless it's absolutely necessary. . If you or a member of your household have travelled to a high risk countries. , please follow the advice set out by PHE. 

If you feel unwell 

If you feel unwell and are suffering from a cough and/or fever, or you have travelled to a high risk country, call NHS 111, follow their advice and keep your Pastor informed. If they say you should self-isolate then you must do so. Please don’t attend church, stay at home and avoid contact with others. Ask friends, family members or delivery service to run errands for you. 

Pray without ceasing 

"Our prayers and thoughts are with all families and communities immediately affected. May God comfort the grieving and send swift cure to the afflicted. 

Whilst we are encouraging our members to be careful, we admonish you not be fearful. This is not the time to panic but a time to pray. We implore our members to fact check information received through social media with reliable sources. Separate fact from fiction and use the facts to inform your prayer in the God who promised in Psalm 91 to protect, keep and cover those who abide under the shadow of the Almighty" (Bishop Delroy Powell)