Pandemic considerations

COVID GUIDANCE: RALPH CONNOR MEMORIAL UNITED CHURCH, CANMORE – adopted 2 March 2022

Cognizant of our desire to optimize the safety of ourselves and others,

WE REQUIRE:

We require that

  • All aspects of the current provincial COVID policies must be followed. We note that as of March 1, 2022, the province has moved to “step 2” of the process of phasing out public health measures.  This removes most expectations for masking, 2m distancing and capacity limits, though it is still required that people with confirmed COVID cases must isolate at home.
  • All gatherings and activities in the Church, plus drop-ins or appointments, whether Church-related, community-based, or carried out by renters, will be accountable to the same standard.
  • We remind ourselves of the need for respectful interaction between those who have greater or lesser comfort with masking and social distancing. Different people will have different comfort levels, especially as we become reaccustomed to public gatherings and interactions. We specifically respect the right of our staff members to set safe limits within their personal workspace.

WE RECOMMEND:

We strongly recommend the following for all Church users:

  • Staying home if you feel generally unwell, especially if you are experiencing COVID symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, runny nose or sore throat). As noted above, if you have a confirmed case of COVID you must stay home.
  • Wearing a mask when singing or during close social interactions.
  • Coughing/sneezing into one’s elbow/sleeve to minimize droplet spread
  • Frequent handwashing and/or hand sanitizing.
    • There are hand-washing sinks upstairs and on the main floor, and hand sanitizer will generally be available.
  • We continue to be strongly supportive of double-vaccination plus ongoing boosters as an important tool for public safety.

We further recommend the following for all Church users:

  • Wearing a mask at all times.
  • Sanitizing high-touch surfaces before and after a gathering: light switches, doorknobs and exit bars, faucets and toilet handles. Sanitizing chairs or pews is not generally needed, though there may be situations where the meeting organizer determines this should be done.
    • The Church will continue to have spray bottles of appropriate surface-cleaners available.
  • Minimizing the sharing of hand-held microphones or items that are passed around during a gathering (clipboards and pens/pencils, offering plates, communion ware)
  • Increasing ventilation: opening the sanctuary doors and using a box fan to evacuate the air, after gatherings of 30 minutes or more; opening windows for gatherings in Gordon Hall; using the air-circulating furnace fans in the narthex.
  • Reducing, whenever practical, the size of gatherings. The sanctuary and Gordon Hall both have official “fire capacities” of 90, but at present gatherings of no more than 60 would be prudent.
  • Encouraging appropriate distancing where possible and practical
  • Considering the use of outdoor spaces when weather allows.
  • Continuing to use Zoom or other online platforms when practical, as a replacement for or in concert with in-person gatherings.

Some groups and individuals using the Church may decide to have additional, agreed-upon health practices expected within their gatherings.  We are not averse to such additional measures, but it will be solely their responsibility, and not the Church’s, to communicate and enforce these expectations.


Please note: the policy noted above replaces the previous document from September 2021, and the Vaccination Expectation policy from November 2021.  If you have comments/concerns about the present policy, please relay your concerns to minister@ralphconnor.ca as we will be discussing these guidelines regularly at our monthly Church Council meetings. 

We plan to return to in-person Worship on Sunday, March 20, 2022, location to be determined.
In the meantime… and even once we return to in-person services… Sunday Worship Services are posted each Sunday at the “Ralph Connor Canmore” YouTube channel – click here

For a PDF download of this page: COVID guidelines RCMUC 2March22