Josephine Hall
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Hello and welcome to COVID Communiqué 40. As we said last week, we hope to outline plans for moving from Red to Amber in the February 24 Communiqué, when we’ll have more information from public health experts and the provincial governments on the spread of coronavirus variants as well as the scenario for vaccinations. 

It is our heartfelt hope we will be able to move to Amber by Holy Week; it’s possible some areas of our diocese will make the shift earlier than others. As the weeks unfold, however, we will continue to listen to scientists, who are advocating extreme caution due to the risk of sudden, rapid spread of COVID-19 variants. And we all have to realize emergency lockdowns may be called at any time where variant spread is detected. 

In any event, while all parts of our diocese will remain in Red throughout February, this week we are loosening some restrictions for filming and livestreaming worship:

  • If allowed by provincial and local health regulations, up to ten people can participate, but everyone present must be directly assisting the production of the service — no observers are permitted. Protocols for masking, hand-sanitizing, distancing, and contact-tracing must be observed.
  • Individuals who offer spoken words during the service (e.g., officiant, reader, preacher, intercessor) may remove their mask while speaking on camera—provided that there is appropriate distancing from others. Note, however, that If the Eucharist is celebrated, the presider must wear a mask during the Eucharistic Prayer, so as not to risk contaminating the bread
  • Two musicians are permitted, provided they wear masks, but remember singers must stand approximately four metres from others and must wear masks at all times. Involving more musicians in a service requires permission — contact the COVID-19 help desk: [email protected] for that, and with any other questions you might have. 

COVID Communiqué is produced by our senior staff:·         
Shane Parker, Bishop
Beth Bretzlaff, Dean
Linda Hill, Executive Archdeacon
Sanjay Grover, Director of Financial Ministry
Peter John Hobbs, Director of Community Ministries
Jane Scanlon, Director of Communications & Stewardship Development
Carol Sinclair, Director of Human Resources
Michael Garner, Public Health Advisor