Thanks for taking the time to read this update on our church response to COVID-19
We previously provided an update on January 7, in which we noted that the QLD government had begun taking the approach of allowing the virus to spread through society, taking some steps to slow the speed of spread but not prevent the spread. We continue to recognise that this is a major shift from the previous zero case strategy to which we had become accustomed, and appreciate that church members may be apprehensive at this time as cases continue to rise.
We remain committed to serving God in building his church, while complying with the governing authorities and seeking to minimise risk where possible. We are grateful that at this time the QLD Government has still not placed further restrictions on churches. We will continue to gather together both in person and online, recognising the benefit of being together in worship and fellowship. So that we can do this as safely as possible, we continue to encourage the following measures set out by QLD Health:
- Wear masks indoors
- Observe social distancing where possible
- Join us online if you have cold or flu-like symptoms, or are a household member or household-like contact of someone who is COVID-positive
As part of this major shift, it’s important to note that the Government has narrowed down who needs to isolate after contact with a COVID-19 case. Under current measures, contact with a positive case at church or a similar outing does not deem you a close contact, and you are not required to isolate. Further, as you would be aware, the Queensland Government no longer engages in detailed contract tracing, and you will no longer be notified when you have been in a location where a positive case has been present, unless under special circumstances.
Our approach to COVID-19 is aligned with the QLD Government’s approach. As cases climb, we do not intend to notify members of every new case at church. Under the Government’s previous approach, the church would have been notified of every positive case through the check in app, and we would have advised of each potential exposure and encouraged appropriate action. However, with community exposure now common, and contract tracing no longer regularly occurring, the church cannot be aware of each potential exposure. Further, as exposure at church does not qualify for isolation, if we were to notify of any cases we became aware of, our advice would be to continue to monitor for any symptoms, as all members of society are already encouraged to do.
However, this does not mean that we are taking no action to minimise risk. We continue to encourage any person who is demonstrating COVID-like symptoms to engage with church online rather than in person. Further, we encourage all members who test positive to consider notifying any persons they had particularly close interactions with while they may have been contagious. Finally, as a matter of course, the church receives weekly cleaning to the standard of the Queensland Government guidelines.
We continue to hear of, and have now experienced first-hand, members of our church reaching out with offers of food deliveries and support to persons quarantining.
We love you church, and are so grateful to be part of such an amazing group of people. Let’s continue to love, care and support each other as we navigate this season.
Jason and Ruth