Josephine Hall
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Hello and welcome to COVID Communiqué 56, which this week actually contains news — Version 3.0 of the diocese’s pandemic plan, is available to you at: Changes run from small differences — we’re just saying “distancing” and “masks” now because everyone knows what distancing means and people know masks go on faces — to a major shift: we’re allowing outdoor services when permitted by the government. Please, if you have hard copies of older versions of the plan, recycle or delete them, and use this one. Most of the changes are small but with significant details.

Let’s start with those outdoor services: in our current Red stage, they can have a maximum of 50 people or less, provided they can maintain distancing and wear masks. This is new for us, so take your time getting organized before you begin: all the rules for Amber indoor services apply, plus you’ll need to assess your outdoor space: how many people (or families), distanced by two metres on all sides, can it hold? How will you keep people from squeezing too close together? If you’ve been holding services online, are you going to do both? Outdoor services in Amber follow the same rules except they can allow up to 100 people, depending on your space. We need more information before we can outline what outdoor services will look like in yellow.

Another change is the re-introduction of social time after services. In Red, food can’t be served, but beverages can be. Don’t let people serve themselves. In Amber, Yellow and Green, food and drink can be served at social time; see the plan for restrictions.

You’ll also find other types of in-person gatherings, from Sunday school to self-help groups to pastoral care, have been opened up a bit, including outdoor pastoral visits in Red where appropriate restrictions are observed.

Those are the highlights of the changes; details on them have been provided in the plan, so please take the time to familiarize yourself with it again, stage by stage. Then, if you still have questions, please contact the helpdesk: [email protected]

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