During the COVID-19 pandemic, WCF has taken a posture of caring for and protecting the most vulnerable members of our community – embracing online worship in the early days of the pandemic, and thereafter universal masking for those over age 2 and other procedures to guard against the spread of COVID-19. We surveyed our community several times over the course of the pandemic to gauge changing concerns and attitudes around COVID protocols.
In December of 2022, WCF adopted a policy, effective January 15, 2023, lifting mandatory masking for and aligning WCF’s COVID prevention methods with CDC’s community level ratings, but maintaining communications when there is COVID-exposure at a WCF event.
In April 2023, President Biden signed a resolution ending the COVID-19 national public health emergency effective May 11, 2023. With the end of the public health emergency, many businesses have completely eliminated all contact tracing and other COVID related tracking and masking mandates. Further, as the public health emergency comes to a close, CDC has declared that they will stop tracking community level ratings, instead shifting to COVID-related hospital admissions as a primary metric to measure the spread of COVID-19.
Given these changes, at this time WCF will stop monitoring community level ratings for COVID-19 and related adjustments in masking. WCF will continue to notify close contacts about known COVID exposure, but cease formal notification emails to the larger community.
We recognize that even with the conclusion of the public health emergency, voluntary COVID precaution measures may still vary from one person to another. WCF will continue to maintain areas of our sanctuary where social distancing will be available for those who desire more space and additional precautions. In addition, we continue to encourage our community members to care for each other by staying home when sick or after a known exposure to COVID-19.
If you have additional questions or considerations, please follow up with Rebecca Hunt, head of our COVID task force.