Covid-19 Safe management plan, V13, 7 December, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a time of great challenge for the world, and in NSW we are also facing a second wave of infections. As a church, our priorities remain:
- To honour God in all we do, seeking to grow Christians spiritually, and continue to share the gospel of hope and joy.
- To continue ministry but in necessarily new and adaptive forms. Our priority is faithful preaching of God’s Word.
- We recognize that fellowship and unity are important, but to be nurtured in new ways.
- Our desire is to maintain on-site services for all members of all congregations, but also recognize that some people may not be able or ready to do so. Therefore online and on-site ministry options will be made available.
- Health and protection of our members is a high priority, especially the elderly, and we will comply with the NSW Government guidelines regarding meetings and hygiene.
This Covid-19 Management Plan forms the policy by which our church will operate our activities during the Covid period. The plan is updated regularly, as per government directives, and all members (especially leaders and coordinators of events) must comply with these rules.
New changes to these rules (compared to the previous version) have been marked in red.
WSCCC has been registered with the NSW Government as a Covid Safe Organisation.
Provisional reintegration of worship services
|Service||Date for return to on-site services||Service time||Also available on-line via|
|Strathfield English (S9)||Oct 25||9am Sundays||YouTube livestream|
|Strathfield English (4:30)||Oct 18||4:30pm Sundays||YouTube|
|Strathfield Cantonese (combined)||Oct 18||10:30am Sundays||YouTube livestream|
|Strathfield Mandarin||July||10:30am Sundays||Zoom|
|Croydon Park Mandarin (CPM)||Nov 7||4:30pm Saturdays at Strathfield||YouTube livestream|
|Croydon Park English (CP10)||Dec 6||2pm Sundays at Strathfield||YouTube livestream|
|Children’s Sunday School||Oct 25
Rules for bookings (as of 7 December, 2020)
- All activities on-site, including pre-existing ministries, must be first approved by a deacon or pastor, and availability booked through Gigi.
- Worship services have priority.
- Bookings must state the expected number of attendees. Total people on site must not exceed 344 (2sqm).
- No bookings by external organisations until further notice.
- Strict adherence to hygiene checklist, as per below, must be adhered to.
- Bookings by external organisations will be considered for February 2021 onwards.
- All bookings must be approved by Diaconate, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The usual other booking conditions apply (as per church guidelines).
- All bookings are tentative only, pending changes in Covid restrictions and our church’s internal ministry requirements. The church will endeavour to honour approved bookings, and we will seek to provide at least 2 weeks’ notice of cancellation (but Covid regulations may be more rapid).
- Only one external ministry booking may be held on site at one time.
- Maximum numbers will apply:
- 180 in the chapel, 150 in the hall.
- Total attendance on-site for external bookings not to exceed 300.
- Covid registration of attendees applies. A copy of attendees must be provided for the church’s records (for 28 days), but responsibility for incidents or contact tracing remains with the booking organizer.
Maximum numbers and social distancing
- The maximum number of people allowable on the whole site is 1 per 2sqm. For WSCCC Strathfield (687sqm) this is calculated to be 344 people; this includes children.
- Social distancing of 2sqm between people must be maintained. This works out to about 1m from each other. Exceptions:
- Family members to each other. Therefore social distancing applies 1m between each family/couple etc.
- Children/youth from each other (but adults to stay 1m from children).
- Maximum attendance in each room is 75% of its capacity.
- For the Chapel: 180 people
- For the Hall: 150 people.
- There is now no limit to how many groups or rooms are on-site at one time, as long as the total number on site is 344 or less, and social distancing is observed.
- On booking an activity (with Gigi), the number of attendees must be stated, so as to allow other groups to also use the church.
- There is to be no overlap of groups between timeslots. That means each group must vacate the premises promptly before the next group arrives. There are also to be no early arrivals if there is an earlier group booking on site.
Practical social distancing measures
- Informal fellowship: 2sqm (1m) between people/couples.
- There is to be no mingling on the lawn outside the church.
- No more than 2 people in the church elevator.
- Congregational singing is permitted, with masks encouraged for the congregation.
- Up to 50 singers (choir or music team) may perform or lead on stage, with 2sqm (1m) between singers.
- Singing in children’s ministry (primary age and below) is allowed.
- Physical contact.
- No hand shaking or hugging.
- No distribution of shared Bibles, bulletins, offering bags, platters by ushers.
- If a bulletin is prepared, they should be placed on seats prior to service.
- Offerings: We encourage members to organize electronic banking for their offerings, however, a wooden offering box is available at the church entrance for your cash or cheque offerings.
- Car-rides home:
Appropriate measures should also be followed if providing other church members lifts to and from church activities. Cars should contain no more than 4 persons at one time.
Screening of all attendees
- All attendees at church premises, whether staff, other attendees or contractors, must be screened as per below. If any of the following conditions are met, those people should not enter the building, and self-isolate:
- Respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, colds).
- Temperature of 37.5 degrees C or higher (as tested by church).
- Travel within the past 14 days overseas.
- Have visited a venue in NSW with a confirmed Covid case, as listed by NSW Govt.
- Close contact with someone known to have tested positive for Covid.
- Those people should immediately be tested for Covid at a testing unit.
- People awaiting the outcome of a Covid test should not attend church on site.
- People with persistent respiratory symptoms, despite a negative Covid test, should still isolate from church until symptoms resolve.
Hygiene checklist – to be followed by all groups
- A leader/coordinator is to be listed as responsible for each activity on site. They will be responsible for all of the following.
- Mandatory attendance register for all attendees:
- Sheet/book at entrance or electronically via QR code (to be verified by ushers).
- All attendees must provide name, email, and phone number.
- Limits to the number of attendees must be strictly adhered to.
- At the end of the event, please remove the page and place under office door for Gigi to keep for 28 days.
- Temperatures to be checked (by a designated person) for attendees.
- Face masks are strongly recommended by all adult attendees at all church events on site (not just services). Individuals must provide their own masks.
- Face masks must be worn by congregation members during singing.
- Exceptions: individuals speaking on stage during video recording (preachers, chairpersons, song leaders, people praying, Bible readers). These people must demonstrate an obvious minimum of 1.5m distance from other people.
- Youth group attendees of school-age (ie Glue, but not uni) may choose to wear masks if they wish (or not), as per the same guidelines for attending school. Leaders must wear masks.
- Adults who choose not to wear a mask will be allowed attendance and will be respected. However, they should be considerate to those around them, especially with regard to coughing and sneezing.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided by the church at each hall or entrance.
- Leaders of that event must organise someone to:
- After event, using disinfectant available, wipe down tables, chairs, door handles, and handrails. If used, also music equipment, AV and elevator buttons.
- Those people cleaning must wear gloves and use disinfectant.
Other hygiene measures
- Doors to be kept open where possible.
- Hygiene/Covid information posters will be placed on walls.
- Formal thorough cleaning will be done by our cleaners twice a week.
- The church recognizes the importance of meals in the fellowship of our congregations.
- Fellowship meals for groups are allowable with the following guidelines:
- Catered food must be served by a designated team wearing masks and gloves. This includes serving of rice, main dishes, pizza, cake, donuts etc. They must also distribute cutlery and plates to attendees.
- No food or utensils should be “help yourself”.
- No pot luck shared buffet/smorgasbord style meals.
- Food should be prepared by a designated team with strict adherence to Covid hygiene standards as well as the church’s Food Handling guidelines.
- Cooking on site (in church kitchen) will be possible from February 2021. In addition to the usual Food Handling guidelines, meticulous attention must be paid to cleanliness after usage, as well as food storage.
- Tea and coffee are permissible and attendees can help themselves.
- Heating personal meals (for self only) via microwave are permissible.
- We encourage church members to maintain fellowship and ministry activities at homes.
- Our guidelines are:
- As per NSW recommendations, maximum 30 visitors to one home (excluding the host family) for indoor gatherings, or 50 if held outdoors.
- People with symptoms, travel history or exposure to Covid-positive people should NOT attend others’ homes.
- Maintain 1.5m between families/couples.
- Maintain similar hygiene measures as per onsite ministries.
Attendees who develop symptoms
- Symptomatic members:
- Members should not attend if they have respiratory symptoms or fever, and should be tested for Covid.
- If a member tests positive after a church event:
- Appropriate medical care for the person as advised by Covid clinic.
- Close contacts (as advised by Dept of Health) should be tested for Covid, and be quarantined for 14 days. All church members are encouraged to download the CovidSafe app so they know if they are exposed.
- Announcements to be made to church members, especially those who have attended the same events as the affected person.
- Diaconate to consider closing church building, or that service, for 2, 7 or 14 days.
- Thorough cleaning of premises.