COVID Preparedness Plan for Safely Reopening 

the building is currently closed

Below is the critical information we need you to know about the coming months. A longer, detailed COVID Safety Plan has been put together by Westwood staff, public health experts, and facilities/HVAC experts and approved by Council, but this summarizes the basics for you.

 

Following the lead of our public schools, we are basing our phases on the same MN Dept of Health metrics. We are making intended plans but will change those plans as needed based on case counts or other safety factors. We have added elements to our HVAC system in consultation with air exchange experts to make our air as clean and safe as possible.

   As of December, we have currently planned for and are operating in Phase I

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Phase Table UPDATE - 11-4-20.jpg

MORE INFORMATION ON PHASES

Phase I – Virtual Only 14 day case count per 10,000 people is over 40.

  • All church activities will be online, with the exception of essential office functions and the WECC.

Phase II – Limited In-Person 14 day case count per 10,000 people is between 30 and fewer than 40.

  • Our building will continue to be locked for the safety of our WECC students and staff, and any entrance into the building must be coordinated and planned through Westwood staff.

    • ​No entrance through Door 2 during dropoff/pickup times for WECC.

      • WECC Drop Off: 7:30-9:00AM

      • WECC Pick Up: 3:30-4:45PM

  • A very limited number of in-person worship services, with distancing, no congregational singing, masks, and other precautionary measures (outlined in worship guidelines document) may be offered, with online worship continuing.

    • Worship, funerals, and weddings are capped at 50 people to allow for physical distancing; registration required for all indoor and outdoor services and activities.

    • Baptisms continue in the sanctuary with groups of 10 or fewer, or at outdoor services.

    • Emphasis on outdoor services when possible.

    • A few of our worship-related ensembles will be rehearsing in small groups with all protocols from Covid Safety Plan in place.​​

  • Essential groups consistent of Westwood Music Ensembles (preparing for worship), AA, Survivor’s Resources, and Magnum Chorum. Online and outdoor meetings (masked and distanced) are preferred.

    • Must be scheduled through Administrative Coordinator

    • No entrance through Door 2 during dropoff/pickup times for WECC

    • Everyone entering building must follow building guidelines outlined in Covid Safety Plan.

    • Meeting time limits, time between activities and new room capacity limits will be implemented.

      • Meeting limit is 1 hour in a space before a 15 minute break to allow for air exchange.

      • Capacity of the Westwood Room is 15

  • Participants must abide by our Covenant of Care agreement (i.e. will not attend if you have symptoms or exposure). If you are diagnosed with Covid within 10 days of attending a Westwood service or activity, you must fill out a Covid Self-Report Form on our website.

  • Program staff are working remotely, and some office staff have limited office hours; all are reachable by e-mail and Westwood voicemail during business hours.

Phase III – Limited In-Person 14 day case count per 10,000 people is between 20 and fewer than 30.

  • Our building will continue to be locked for the safety of our WECC students and staff, and any entrance into the building must be coordinated and planned through Westwood staff.

  • There will be some limited in-person worship services, with distancing, no congregational singing, masks, and other precautionary measures (outlined in worship guidelines document), with online worship continuing.

    • Planned worship service dates and times listed below. Worship, funerals, and weddings are capped at 100 people to allow for physical distancing; registration required for all indoor and outdoor services and activities.

    • Baptisms continue in sanctuary with groups of 20 or fewer, or at outdoor services.

    • Emphasis on outdoor services when possible.

    • A few of our worship-related ensembles will be rehearsing in small groups with all protocols from Covid Safety Plan in place.

  • Online and outdoor meetings (masked and distanced) are preferred. Indoor meetings will be considered on a limited case-by-case basis after ionization equipment is installed.

    • Must be scheduled through Administrative Coordinator

    • No entrance through Door 2 during dropoff/pickup times for WECC

    • Everyone entering building must follow building guidelines outlined in Covid Safety Plan.

    • Meeting time limits, time between activities and new room capacity limits will be implemented.

  • For any Westwood-sponsored activity, participants must complete a Covenant of Care agreement (i.e. will not attend if you have symptoms or exposure). If you are diagnosed with Covid within 10 days of attending a Westwood service or activity, you must fill out a Covid Self-Report Form on our website.

  • Program staff are working remotely, and some office staff have limited office hours; all are reachable by e-mail and Westwood voicemail during business hours.

Phase IV – Expanded In-Person with Social Distancing 14 day case count per 10,000 people is between 10 and fewer than 20.

Activities continue as in Phase II with additional small group activities permitted with continued precautions. In-person worship in the Sanctuary would be more regular, with a limited number of in-person participants, socially distanced and masked; online worship continuing indefinitely. Outline expectations around other building use. Further expectations will be outlined when in this phase.

Phase V – “New Normal” In-Person 14 day case count per 10,000 people is between 0 and fewer than 10.

Most church activities permitted, following best practices for cleaning and safety. Online access to worship and other ministries will continue alongside in-person gatherings. Worship follows pre-Covid regularity. This phase is still in development as we consider a “new normal.” Further expectations will be outlined when in this phase.

You have all been in our prayers constantly during these times, and while we have had various contact with many of you, know that we are ALL the body of Christ for one another and for the world at this time. Our central Christian message—that death and destruction are real but never the final word, and God is always turning death into life—is so needed in these times, and we are grateful that our identity rests in that hope and resurrection together as a church. May we be that Body of Christ to one another and all God’s people and creation in these times.

 

+The Westwood Staff and Council

© 2021 by Westwood Lutheran Church