Attending places of worship safely in C-K

·2 min read

Those planning on attending places of worship are being reminded to stay safe.

A large majority of the currently active COVID-19 cases in Chatham-Kent can be traced back to the same community outbreak at a church in Blenheim.

According to Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Colby, approximately 30 of the 32 active cases in the municipality — including two of the three cases that are currently in the hospital — can be linked back to the church.

“We’re looking at what the risk factors were associated with this rather large and unwieldy outbreak that we’ve had,” said Dr. Colby. “If I start to see a pattern of risk and transmission, I will move definitively, but this appears to be, at least at the moment, from what we know, a singular situation.”

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit has updated their website with information regarding attending places of worship.

“Spirituality is important for mental health and well-being. In order for places of worship to re-open safely, in-person attendance is limited to 30% building capacity to ensure physical distancing,” reads the post on the website.

For residents planning on attending an in-person worship service, there are some important things to remember to keep you, your loved ones, and our community safe.

CKPH is asking you to remember the following:

- Keep 2 metres of physical distance from those outside of your social circle at all times

- Wear a non-medical mask

- 2-3 empty rows should be in between each row of seating

- Clean your hands before you go and after returning home. Bring 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer and use often

- Refrain from singing or loud speaking, if possible. If singing/loud speaking is a part of worship, wear a mask and consider being further away from others (more than 2 metres/6 feet)

- Do not pass around or share items with other members

- Fellowship before and after a service must remain virtual-only at this time.

In addition, Colby is asking residents to please do not attend a worship service if they feel sick or have a weakened immune system.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News