COVID-19 Guides for Places of Worship | Immigrant Services Calgary

COVID-19 Guides for Places of Worship

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Quick Facts

As Alberta is relaunching, places of worship are also starting to reopen throughout Alberta. Here are a few things to keep in mind during this time:

  • Everyone should use the self-assessment tool before attending.
  • Physical distancing must be maintained between people who are not from the same household at all times.
  • Everyone has the decision to choose to wear non-medical masks, however, it is not required if physical distancing is maintained at all times.
  • Infants and children should remain with their parents or guardians at all times. Please note that nursery/children’s church is not permitted.
  • Individuals not from the same household should be reminded to maintain physical distancing when returning to vehicles or homes.
  • Two cohort families can sit together with sufficient spacing between them and other cohort family pairs.
  • Remember to sanitize your hands upon entry and exit
  • Please do not share any food or beverages for the time being
  • Any contact between congregants such as hand shaking or the sharing of communal items (e.g. communion chalice) must be prohibited
  • Congregational singing is a high-risk activity and is not allowed. Infected people can transmit the virus through their saliva or respiratory droplets while singing. Please consider alternatives such as soloist music or piano/guitar offertories instead.

More Details

 COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Supporting Congregants’ Safety 

 Staff, visitors and congregation should use the self-screening tool before attending. 

 Offer multiple services and opportunities to worship to reduce the attendance to 50 people or one third of normal worship service attendance, whichever is smaller and whichever ensures physical distancing be maintained. 

 Staff, visitors, and congregation should be provided information on the requirements for operation and the importance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

 Consider posting signs indicating COVID-19 physical distancing protocols. 

 Physical distancing must be maintained between people who are not from the same household at all times. 

 Staff, visitors, and congregation may choose to wear non-medical masks, however, it is not required if physical distancing is maintained at all times. 

 Infants and children should remain with their parents or guardians at all times. Nursery/children’s programs are not permitted. 

 Individuals not from the same household should be reminded to maintain physical distancing when returning to vehicles or homes. 

 Consider having cohort families, whereby two cohort families sit together with sufficient spacing between them and other cohort family pairs. 

 

Supporting Staff and Religious Leaders 

 Religious leaders should support COVID-19 prevention activities, procedures, and education. 

 Staff and volunteers should be given information and training about appropriate physical distancing, processes, and hygiene practices. 

 Staff should wear appropriate PPE if they are unable to maintain 2 metres of separation from congregants. 

 

Facilities 

 Control and stagger entry into facilities. 

 Congregant lineups should be reminded of the importance of physical distancing. This should be clearly marked to prevent congestion. 

 Organizations should maintain a single point of entry and a separate point of exit. 

 Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol content must be available at facility entrance and exit and available throughout the venue. 

 Congregants should be reminded to clean their hands on entry and exit. 

 Develop and implement procedures for increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas, common areas, public washrooms. 

 Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch/shared surfaces such as: doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, faucets and taps, elevator buttons, railings. 

 Facilities should be cleaned and sanitized at least once between services. 

 Seating should be arranged or marked (in case of pews) to ensure social distancing. 

 Facility rental programs should be suspended if they cannot adhere to gathering restrictions.