The intersection of local churches and the Coronavirus

The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) is investigating the spread of a novel Coronavirus which originated in the province of Wuhan, China. However, cases have started to spread across the globe and is no longer isolated to this area of origin.
Currently (as of 3/1/2020), there are no confirmed cases in Ohio. For up-to-date case information, please visit:

It is important to know that If you have been in China or in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks and develop symptoms, call your doctor. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness.
• Fever
• Shortness of breath
• Cough

Common transmission of COVID-19 normally occurs in two ways: 
• Person-to-Person: The virus spreads between people who are in close contact with another (typically within 6 feet)
• Respiratory Transmission: Through respiratory droplets from an infected induvial

Prevention and Preparation:

While there is likelihood that the virus will continue to spread, there are some important things you can do to you protect yourself, your church, and community.
• Cover your cough and sneezes: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
• Wash your hands: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
• Avoid touching your face: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
• Stay home if you are sick: Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At the present time, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to COVID-19-related virus
• Routinely clean common surfaces: Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as door handles, railings, and countertops by using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe

Our life together:
Passing of the Peace: avoid handshaking and instead practice safe greeting techniques such as fist or elbow bumps.
Communion: When utilizing intinction, ensure that a consistent server is used to distribute the bread and cup. Clergy and servers should attempt to wash their hands prior to distributing the elements. If handwashing is not readily available prior to accepting communion, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. If you’re not feeling well, request the elements be provided on an individual basis such as a small cup and precut bread.

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Article submitted by: Garrett Guillozet, MPA, RS/REHS/AEMT