Covid-19 Safe management plan, V23, 26 June 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a time of great challenge for the world, and any country can experience a sudden outbreak. 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 recognise that fellowship and unity are important, but to be nurtured in safe ways.
- We encourage people to attend our services on-site, where we can better express our fellowship, unity and encouragement. Some services will be ceasing their livestream recordings to promote in-person worship.
- 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.
Current worship services
According to the latest announcement at 2pm on Saturday 26 June 2021, all of Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Central Coast have been placed under lockdown for two weeks, starting 6pm 26 June to 9 July.
Therefore, all services will be online only (for at least 27 June and 4 July).
Rules for bookings (as of 26 June, 2021)
- No new bookings to be made until after 9 July
- Any current bookings will be cancelled between 26 June and 9 July.
- All pre-existing internal ministries on site, must be booked through Gigi.
- Worship services have priority.
- Strict adherence to hygiene checklist, as per below, must be adhered to.
- Bookings must state the expected number of attendees. Total people on site must not exceed 340 (for internal bookings).
- EXTERNAL BOOKINGS:
- All external bookings require special approval by Diaconate as a whole (not ad hoc by individual deacons or pastors), and will be considered on a case-by-case basis at the monthly Diaconate meeting.
- 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:
- 90 in chapel, 75 in upper hall.
- Total attendance on site for external bookings not to exceed 172.
- External organisations will be responsible for Service NSW QR code registrations, not the church, although the WSCCC QR code will be available.
Maximum numbers and social distancing
- The maximum number of people allowable on the whole site:
- 172 (4sqm) at Strathfield, including children
- 125 (4sqm) at Croydon Park, including children
- Maximum attendance in each room is to be:
- Strathfield chapel: 85
- Strathfield upper hall: 75
- Strathfield upper and lower foyer: 12
- Croydon Park chapel: 60
- Croydon Park hall: 75
- Croydon Park upper foyer: 15
- Social distancing of 1.5m between people is a personal responsibility recommended between unrelated parties.
Practical social distancing measures
- Compulsory for general attendees.
- Compulsory for those serving food (plus gloves).
- Compulsory for those cooking or preparing food in the kitchens.
- Compulsory for those serving Holy Communion.
- Fellowship on the church lawn is now permissible, with social distancing encouraged.
- No more than 2 people in the church elevator.
- No singing by choir or congregation.
- Distribution of items:
- Handing out single-use items is allowed: bulletins, handouts etc.
- Shared items by individuals, eg church Bibles, should be wiped down between use, or not distributed.
- Shared items by multiple people in one meeting should be avoided, eg offering bags, and communion trays.
- Offerings: We encourage members to organise electronic banking for their offerings, however, a wooden offering box is available at the church entrance for your cash or cheque offerings
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).
- 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.
- We strongly encourage attendees to be vaccinated for Covid.
- Anyone who lives or works in a declared region under lockdown should be staying at home and not visit or attend church activities.
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 registration via Service NSW QR Code by all attendees at all activities at church.
- This is available in English and Chinese.
- Ushers or other regulars must assist others who have trouble with registration.
- Hand sanitiser will be provided by the church at each hall or entrance.
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:
- Cooking in the church kitchen must be by a designated team wearing masks and gloves. When the kitchen is used for cooking, anyone in the kitchen must wear a mask.
- 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. Food no longer needs to be pre-packaged.
- 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.
- We encourage church members to maintain fellowship and ministry activities at homes.
- Our guidelines are:
- No more than 5 visitors allowed (including children).
- 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.
Police inspections and fines
- From time to time the police inspect churches to ensure that they are complying with the regulations. If we are inspected, all members are to comply with the instructions of the police. The leaders (pastors and deacons) present should be informed immediately to work with the police.
- The church is responsible for applying Covid regulations to our activities. If there is a systematic breach, the church will be responsible for paying the penalty (eg fines or other restrictions).
- If the police deem that an individual has breached the regulations (especially the Covid regulations stipulated by the church), that individual will be responsible for their transgression and liable to pay the fine personally. The church will not be responsible for paying the fines for individuals who breach the regulations.
28 February 2022
31 December 2021