Covid community level: We are currently in the GREEN Zone. For more info on what this means regarding our COVID policies, read below.
View our latest COVID update below.
We have surpassed the two-year mark of pandemic precautions that we initially thought would end in two weeks. We have watched case numbers rise and fall, the global death toll continue to rise, and we’ve lost beloved members of our church and extended families. This is a shared trauma event on a global scale. We recognize that trauma and loss.
The COVID Task Force has worked diligently to exercise caution to care for the most vulnerable members of our community while also nurturing our connections and support throughout this time of isolation, distancing, and disconnect. Thank you for your support, and for the obvious care you have shown for each other during this challenging time.
In order to continue to be a community that is inclusive, hospitable, and safe for all people, the Session has approved the following recommendations from the COVID Task Force. It is with gratitude and ongoing vigilance that we are ready to look ahead to a “new normal.”
As COVID case rates have come down, the strain on our healthcare systems is lessening, and our vaccination rate increases, our national health experts have issued new guidance for the public. The CDC has developed a metric, relating to hospitalization rate, current hospital burden, and new cases of COVID-19, which places cities and counties in categories of Green, Yellow, or Orange.
When both Harrisonburg City and Rockingham County are “green” based on CDC guidelines/metrics, masks will be optional, but welcome. If either the city or county are “yellow” or “orange” we will go back to mandatory masking. Until a vaccine is available for children under age 5, elementary age and younger aged children’s ministries activities/Sunday school will require masking for leaders and participants over the age of 2.
Each week, our designation will be publicized by email and on our church website. As long as we are in the “green,” as we currently are, masks will be welcome but optional. For a complete list of our precautions by color, consult the chart here. Anyone who wishes to wear a mask is encouraged to continue doing so, and that decision will always be welcome at Trinity without question.
Group use of the building will follow the same metrics, and church programming will use these metrics as we return to activities that have been restricted, such as sharing food and fellowship together. We also recognize that we are now a hybrid congregation, and we will continue to shape our ministry with those who join remotely in mind.
Our worship leaders and tech team will continue to self-test for COVID each week prior to worship, as an added layer of assurance for all gathered. The COVID Task Force will continue to assess our circumstances and the best information available to us to make any changes to these protocols.
Masks will be available by request, and we encourage you to remain aware of those around you. We invite you to carry a mask with you, as you may be in close interaction with another person, and discover they are uncomfortable or request you to mask, and you will want to honor their wishes. Remember that there are a number of personal reasons one may need to exercise greater caution. The burden of caring for each other should not fall inordinately on those with greater vulnerabilities.
COVID-19 is here to stay. More virulent strains of the flu and RSV have been seen, and we must anticipate the possibility of future public health threats that are both easily transmissible and more likely to cause severe disease. We recognize that the nature of church activity often entails extended time together in close proximity, combined with the smaller spaces in which we gather, and requires greater precautions than some other activities, or even similar activities in larger spaces. For limiting the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses, wearing a face mask is always a good choice, and will always be welcome at Trinity.
As always, we encourage vigilance and care by all members of the congregation in making the decision to stay home from worship or community events if you are feeling any symptoms of illness. We are grateful for the ways in which our ministry has expanded as a hybrid church. You are always welcome to join us online for worship and other hybrid offerings, with deep gratitude to our tech team volunteers for this expanded ministry.
If you have any questions, please reach out to any members of the COVID Task Force or Session. Again, we are deeply grateful for the many ways you have shown care for each other in these difficult times.
COVID Task Force