Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidance for NTA Churches - 14/03/2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidance for NTA Churches - 14/03/2020


# News
Published on Sunday, 15 March 2020 08:56

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidance for NTA Churches 14/03/2020

Since our first guidance sheet issued on 6/3/2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. The UK Government is looking beyond “containment” and is discussing further measures with a particular focus on public spaces and gatherings. As a responsible organisation we are determined to do all that is in our powers to protect our members and those who access our services.

Church gatherings & meetings

As of the time of writing, it is church gatherings as usual. However, we are continuously monitoring all updates, guidance and advice and will communicate with you accordingly. In the meantime, we are asking all NTA churches to action the following risk assessment.

Risk assessment and implementation measures

Each department and auxiliary is asked to;

  • Take the lead in compiling a risk assessment of all activities as it pertains to containing and safeguarding against the spread of Covid-19.

  • Put in place steps that will promote good hygiene, reduce physical contact and provide reassurance.

    Some examples;

Care team:

  • Wear shoe covering and gloves when visiting the elderly or persons with pre-existing health challenges.

  • Wash and sanitise hands before visits
  • Inquire if those shut-in have sufficient food and essential household items.

Media team & PR 

  • Ensure all equipment being handled are cleaned before and after use. 
  • Assign one microphone to each user and clean sweat and spittle with alcohol wipes after use. 
  • Persons with symptoms of wellness should refrain from singing in teams and choirs
  • Closely monitor and update the church website or social media platforms with on-changes. 

Ushers:

  • Direct worshippers to use the hand sanitisers upon entering the Sanctuary
  • Avoid hugs and handshake when greeting and seating worshippers
  • Allow people to spread out including opening the balcony (Tooting/Leyton) to avoid overly close contact.
  • Alert the Pastor/service director of anyone showing signs of being unwell or of any other  concerns.

Cleaning

  • Ensure that buildings are thoroughly cleaned before and after gatherings.

  • Wipe down benches, metal rails, door handles, door buzzers after each service.

  • Placed sanitisers at the entrance and at strategic places around the building

  • Ensure hand sanitisers are topped up.


Committee and team meetings 

Minimise the amount of committee and team meetings by holding teleconference, video calls etc. Arrange face to face committee/team meetings and counselling sessions only if it’s essential to do so.

Pastoral Care

  • Sensitively encourage vulnerable members to stay home and provide remote access to live service via streaming.

  • Wash and sanitise hands before praying for people and wash hands thereafter.

  • Avoid praying directly or ‘blowing’ in people’s face.

  • Utilise pre-packed communion kits


Staffing and administration

Churches should give thought to the real possibility of a ‘lockdown’ and begin to explore alternative ways to keep its administration functioning. Computer networking and Microsoft One-drive are some of the ways that files could be shared and worked on from home.

Explore alternative ways for people to make tithe and offering payments. There is no risk in making the church’s account No and Sort Code available to members who may wish to give online or over a bank counter.

We trust that you find the above useful. Please feel free to inform the General Secretary of other best practices and areas that has not been covered or with any further queries that you may have.

See below NHS advice to share with your members. 

ADVICE FROM NHS & THE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU KEEP UP TO DATE WITH GOVERNMENT AND NHS ADVICE AS THIS IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING.

Please follow the following NHS advice: • Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • o A high temperature (37.8°) – you feel hot to touch on your chest and back
  • o A new, continuous cough – this means coughing repeatedly.
  • DO NOT GO TO A GP SURGERY, PHARMACY OR HOSPITAL – YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONTACT 111 TO TELL THEM YOU’RE STAYING AT HOME.
  • TESTING FOR CORONAVIRUS IS NOT NEEDED IF YOU’RE STAYING AT HOME
  • Only use the NHS 111 coronavirus service if: 
    • You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home 
    • Your condition gets worse o Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days