While we still need to take safety precautions to protect against COVID-19, the good news is that thanks to the protection offered by vaccinations, boosters and face masks, we are better able this year to safely participate in faith traditions. Here are some ways you can protect yourself and those around you.
Take precautions at indoor services.
When there is a choir onsite:
- Keep your distance. Studies show that droplets travel through the air much more powerfully when people are singing. This is especially true when performers are not wearing masks.
- Wear a mask.
- Avoid poorly ventilated areas.
- Avoid shared cups.
- Opt for individually packaged communion, if available.
Shaking hands and hugging:
- Exercise care about direct physical contact with others, especially if you don’t know their vaccination or booster status. The elbow bump remains a good alternative.
- Avoid crowded or poorly ventilated spaces. Consider low-risk activities if you are at a higher risk of infection or severe illness.
Home gatherings and shared meals:
- If you are attending a home gathering with individuals outside of your immediate family, consider wearing a mask during the gathering and encouraging attendees to get a COVID-19 test prior to the gathering.
- Rather than a self-serve model, consider having one person serving food to avoid sharing serving utensils.
- Reassure folks that potluck-style meals and homecooked food have not been linked to COVID-19 transmission.
If you are at high risk, consider these low-risk activities:
- Attend online services.
- Attend outdoor services, either with a mask or where it is possible to maintain safe distance from others.