COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Minneapolis First SDA Church is committed to providing a safe and healthy place to worship. To ensure we have a safe and healthy place to worship, we have developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our church and that requires full cooperation among our members/visitors. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our church.

Door Access & Church Capacity

All members and visitors will be required to enter the church using only the front entrance of the church during church service. This will enable us to easily track the number of people who are entering the church in order to comply with local regulations that limit the number of people in our church building. Once the capacity established by local authorities has been reached,
additional people will not be allowed to enter. We are currently limited to have a maximum of 200 people in the church (50% of the 400 church capacity).

Screening Questions

All members and visitors will be screened with the questions listed below when they arrive. If a member or visitor answers yes to any of the following questions, they will be advised to go home, stay away from people and contact their health care provider. The questions will also be posted in the electronic bulletin for members/visitors to screen themselves before coming to
church.

Please answer “Yes” or “No” to each question. Do you have:
❏ Fever or feeling feverish?
❏ Chills?
❏ A new cough?
❏ Shortness of breath?
❏ A new sore throat?
❏ New muscle aches?
❏ New headache?
❏ New loss of smell or taste?
❏ In the last month have you been in contact with someone who was confirmed or suspected to have coronavirus (Covid-19)?


People who are at a higher risk of severe illness due to Covid-19 are strongly encouraged to continue worshiping from home at this time.

Facecloths/Masks

Everyone who is over 5 years old will be required to wear face masks in church. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old are not required to wear face coverings, but are encouraged to wear a face covering when in public if they can do so reliably in compliance with CDC guidance. Children under age 2 years must not wear face coverings​ . The church will
provide disposable masks for those people who might not have any.
Pulpit participants may temporarily remove their face masks when presenting/speaking at the pulpit as long as they stay 6 feet away from everyone else and they must put on their masks as soon as they finish presenting/speaking.

Social Distancing

Members/visitors who do not live in the same household are required to maintain a social distance of 6 feet apart.They should refrain from hugging, handshakes or elbow bumps. They should also not crowd at entrances or hallways.
Members/visitors will be seated every other row by family and each family should maintain a distance of 6 feet apart from other families. The first two rows in front of the church will be empty. Colored tape will be used to mark the pews for social distancing. We will also utilize the fellowship and fireside room once there is no additional space for social distancing in the
sanctuary. Ushers will direct members/visitors and show them where to sit. At the end of the church service, ushers will also guide everyone out of the sanctuary from back to the front of the church. Social distancing will be maintained at all times.

Hand Hygiene

Members/visitors are encouraged to maintain proper hand hygiene by regularly using a sanitizer or washing hands with soap and water. Members/visitors should bring their own personal sanitizer if possible but the church will have sanitizers available at the church entrances and other strategic locations.

Cleaning & Disinfecting

In addition to the regularly scheduled church cleaning, we will ask 3 or more volunteers to assist in disinfecting frequently touched surfaces after the service is over using a disinfectant that is effective against the Coronavirus per EPA standards. Areas to be disinfected include doorknobs, countertops, barriers, railings, handles, ends of pews, tops of chairs, Microphones,
Piano, AV equipment and other surfaces. The community services group will also be asked to disinfect frequently touched surfaces that are used by volunteers and visitors on Thursdays. During church service, the front door entrance (2 doors) will be kept open so that members/visitors do not have to touch the door knob in order to open it. The bathroom doors will also be slightly propped open so that members/visitors do not have to touch the knobs in order to open them. The doors leading to the sanctuary will also be kept open.

Hymnals, Bibles and Printed Bulletins

Hymnals and Bibles will be removed from the sanctuary because they cannot be effectively cleaned. Members/visitors are encouraged to bring their own bible/hymnal or follow using the projector. Printed bulletins will not be provided by the church until further notice. Members/visitors are welcome to bring their own printed copy from home or can follow the
program displayed on the projector.

Microphones

Microphones should not be shared but if they must be shared, they should be disinfected after each person uses them.

Singing    

The worship council is advised to consider temporarily reducing the number of songs we sing during the divine service since the department of health recommends that churches refrain from singing or use pre-recorded music. Singing can spread droplets that can transmit the coronavirus. Members/visitors should wear masks if singing.

Offering Collection

Instead of having deacons go around collecting offerings, we will have 2 baskets at the back of the church where members/visitors can deposit their offering as they come in or leave the church. Members/visitors will also be encouraged to use electronic methods of paying for offering such as cash app or the adventist giving app.

Children

Parents are encouraged to watch over their children at all times and escort them to the bathroom when they need to use the bathroom. Children should not be roaming in the church unattended.

Potluck & Bread Ministry

Since it is very difficult to social distance while having potluck, we will not have potluck for the unforeseeable future (probably until social distancing is no longer required). We do not currently have adequate space to have potluck while maintaining social distancing. Having potluck will also require members/visitors to remove their mask/face coverings. The bread ministry will also
be temporarily put on hold at this time.

Sabbath School Classes

Since children do not know how to social distance, sabbath school classes will be held online until social distancing is no longer required. Online sabbath school classes will be held between 9am-10am​ . Those members/visitors who wish to go to church for the divine service can go to church after sabbath school is over.​

Afternoon Clubs & Activities

All in-person afternoon clubs and activities will temporarily be put on HOLD at this time (probably until social distancing is no longer required). Classes can continue to be held virtually.

Communion Service

The communion service will not take place for several weeks or more after we open to give us time to evaluate various options for safely partaking in the communion service. Communion service activities such as foot washing or passing around the bread and wine can increase the chance of spreading the virus since members/visitors come into very close proximity with one
another when doing foot washing or passing out the wine and bread.

Water Fountain

The water fountain located in the fellowship hall will not be available for use for the unforeseeable future. Members/visitors are encouraged to carry their own bottled water if needed.