The Medina County Health Department (MCHD) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are following these guidelines with regard to Contact Tracing if someone is tested positive for the COVID-19 virus:
- A person with a positive COVID-19 test is considered to have had "close contact" with another person if they have been within 6 feet of that person for more than 15 minutes at a time. MCHD advised that maintaining the 6 foot distance while attending a worship service or Bible Study is not considered to be "close contact"; neither is coming up the aisle to receive Holy Communion.
- The MCHD will make the determination as to who qualifies as a "close contact" after interviewing the COVID-19 patient.
- The MCHD will follow up with those identified as "close contacts" for further instructions (testing, quarantining, etc.).
The MCHD representative advised me that Christ the King Lutheran Church (CTK) should implement or continue the following policies and procedures:
- Emphasis on social distancing throughout the building, and observing social distancing markers in the sanctuary
- Emphasis on handwashing / hand sanitizers often
- Emphasis on mask wearing at all times while in the building, except when eating or drinking (exceptions: medical necessity, children under 10 years old)
- Pastor Cahill will continue to be unmasked while reading from the lectern or preaching, but wear a mask in the worship service from the beginning of the prayers, through Holy Communion, to the benediction. He will also wear medical gloves to distribute Communion.
- Spray disinfectant will be used throughout the building after Sunday's activities.
- Weather permitting, some sanctuary and parish hall windows will be opened during the week to promote ventilation.
The MCHD advised that individuals should do the following:
- Continue to limit their travel and activities outside the home, especially as Medina County continues in the RED category of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System; think twice about your proposed trip before leaving home.
- Continue to wear masks, wash / sanitize hands, practice social distancing diligently.
- Stay home if you feel sick; call your doctor for advice; don't panic!
If you do test positive for COVID-19,
- You don't need to call all your friends to tell them to call their doctors or the MCHD right away; the MCHD Contact Tracing team will do that for you after they interview you.
- If you are willing to let us pray for you, please contact me at 330-421-6805 and talk to him about it. You can talk to him about it even if you're reluctant to let us pray for you - I will respect your wishes either way.
God bless us everyone!