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Any Church-related Covid Outbreaks?


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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Nope. No one in our entire stake has been infected (that we know of), either before or after we returned to in-person meetings. It helps that most of our members (including me) live in a jurisdiction that has only had just over 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began, and all but one of those were returning travellers who acquired the virus elsewhere (mostly in America). Our quarantine system seems to have served us well, with only one known case of local transmission, which was caught quickly and stopped.

Congratulations on successfully managing the virus. Are you confident in the long term safety of your area?

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We have had 2 (possibly 3) in our ward and 8 in our stake that I know of.  The ones in our ward were on March.  The others in our stake were before August.  

I haven't heard anything about nearly everyone other than that.  I'm not in the ward Facebook group and most my ward facebook friends are not posting much or are sharing church and/or political things.  Half our ward could have covid and I'd never know it.

Edited by Rain
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4 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Are you confident in the long term safety of your area?

What precisely do you mean by ‘long-term safety’?

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I don't know if it was related to meetings or anything else about how or where they are, but I found out 4 stake presidents have died from it in the past month. Found out on the missionary mom's board from a letter from a mission president.

Edited by Rain
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7 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

What precisely do you mean by ‘long-term safety’?

The virus is not going away. Eventually we all have to open and be expose. It seems to me that those areas that are relatively virus-free now will have to keep isolating  indefinitely or risk mass infection later. Or wait until a vaccine is available. 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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6 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

It seems to me that those areas that are relatively virus-free now will have to keep isolating  indefinitely or risk mass infection later.

I'm still not entirely sure what you mean. I live in a jurisdiction that is fully virus free and has been for about two months now. Right before that, we had three cases (two acquired in another jurisdiction, which spread to one other person), and before that, we had likewise gone months without any active cases. What do you mean by 'isolating'? All of our businesses are up and running except for buffets (tragic!), even brothels. Our schools are running as normal. We do still have limits on numbers in public spaces, based on the size of the venue, and a requirement for people to register their details, but most businesses just use a QR code for this. Is any of this what you mean by 'isolating'?

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4 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I'm still not entirely sure what you mean. I live in a jurisdiction that is fully virus free and has been for about two months now. Right before that, we had three cases (two acquired in another jurisdiction, which spread to one other person), and before that, we had likewise gone months without any active cases. What do you mean by 'isolating'? All of our businesses are up and running except for buffets (tragic!), even brothels. Our schools are running as normal. We do still have limits on numbers in public spaces, based on the size of the venue, and a requirement for people to register their details, but most businesses just use a QR code for this. Is any of this what you mean by 'isolating'?

Are you in New Zealand? If so, you are truly fortunate, I love Jacinda their Prime Minister! Sorry if I got overly excited to mention this, and if you don't actually live there. 

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42 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I'm still not entirely sure what you mean. I live in a jurisdiction that is fully virus free and has been for about two months now. Right before that, we had three cases (two acquired in another jurisdiction, which spread to one other person), and before that, we had likewise gone months without any active cases. What do you mean by 'isolating'? All of our businesses are up and running except for buffets (tragic!), even brothels. Our schools are running as normal. We do still have limits on numbers in public spaces, based on the size of the venue, and a requirement for people to register their details, but most businesses just use a QR code for this. Is any of this what you mean by 'isolating'?

Sorry I haven't been able to be clearer. What is your rules regarding outsiders coming into your jurisdiction? If someone carrying the virus comes in, what do you think will happen? By isolating, I mean keeping out people other than your community.

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6 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Sorry I haven't been able to be clearer.

No worries. Thanks for responding to my request for greater clarity.

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What is your rules regarding outsiders coming into your jurisdiction?

International travellers face a fortnight of quarantine. With most international flights grounded globally, there aren't many of these, and so far the system has worked.

Currently, we have similar rules for one other sub-national jurisdiction that is experiencing a significant outbreak of community transmission. Everyone else is free to come and go.

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If someone carrying the virus comes in, what do you think will happen?

That has already happened. I mentioned that we had three active cases a little more than two months ago. Two of them brought the virus back with them from domestic travel and then infected the third. That's where rapid testing and contact tracing come in. So far, that seems to have worked well too.

In future, it may not, but that's where physical distancing rules come in. Indoor venues have capacities set based on how many square meters of space they have. Gaps of 1.5 metres between parties must be maintained. No public singing is allowed, and neither is drinking whilst standing in a group. Visitors to hospitals have daily caps. Visitors to aged care homes have similar caps and must present proof of vaccination against influenza. Queuing requires 1.5 metre gaps. And so forth. (I'm assuming you have similar?)

The goal in all of this is to prevent community transmission whenever possible, to reduce its spread when/if that front line of defence fails, and then to respond quickly to halt the spread. We've been incredibly lucky/blessed so far. I'm personally unsure just how much of that has been luck and just how much has been responding appropriately and in accordance with expert pandemic planning. Probably only time will tell.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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On 9/11/2020 at 6:22 PM, bluebell said:

Virtual Sunday school sounds horrible. 

Compared to the real thing, it is, but it's better than nuthin', sez I!

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On 9/10/2020 at 4:56 PM, Bernard Gui said:

For those who have returned to in-person Church meetings....

Has anyone in your congregation contracted the virus as a result?

Yes- We've had 1 death in our ward. It is suspected that the individual contracted the virus at church.

With the new church guidance about required masking at church, it makes me feel a little more comfortable but it's interesting to witness the backlash against the policy. We have numerous families refusing to attend if they are required to wear a mask.  I'm struggling to understand the rigid refusal of people to wear masks. These are some pretty staunch, leadership kind of people refusing to attend. I guess church attendance isn't really that important to them ;)

 

 

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5 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Yes- We've had 1 death in our ward. It is suspected that the individual contracted the virus at church.

With the new church guidance about required masking at church, it makes me feel a little more comfortable but it's interesting to witness the backlash against the policy. We have numerous families refusing to attend if they are required to wear a mask.  I'm struggling to understand the rigid refusal of people to wear masks. These are some pretty staunch, leadership kind of people refusing to attend. I guess church attendance isn't really that important to them ;)

Wow. It’s for less than an hour! There are 167 hours per week they would not have to wear a mask.

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15 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

With the new church guidance about required masking at church, it makes me feel a little more comfortable but it's interesting to witness the backlash against the policy. 

Are you referring to the Utah Area Presidency letter, or something else that I am not yet familiar with?

Edited by pogi
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8 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Yes- We've had 1 death in our ward. It is suspected that the individual contracted the virus at church.

With the new church guidance about required masking at church, it makes me feel a little more comfortable but it's interesting to witness the backlash against the policy. We have numerous families refusing to attend if they are required to wear a mask.  I'm struggling to understand the rigid refusal of people to wear masks. These are some pretty staunch, leadership kind of people refusing to attend. I guess church attendance isn't really that important to them ;)

 

 

As long as the church keeps allowing people to bless the sacrament at home we’ll continue to see “leadership-type” people refusing to come because of masks.  Once that goes away, they won’t have the option of sticking it to the man and staying in good standing at church at the same time.

At that point and for most members, sticking it to the man will be the first to go.  

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27 minutes ago, bluebell said:

At that point and for most members, sticking it to the man will be the first to go.  

Let's hope.

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34 minutes ago, bluebell said:

As long as the church keeps allowing people to bless the sacrament at home we’ll continue to see “leadership-type” people refusing to come because of masks.  Once that goes away, they won’t have the option of sticking it to the man and staying in good standing at church at the same time.

At that point and for most members, sticking it to the man will be the first to go.  

It will be interesting to watch how some people choose to re-engage with church regularly. I've seen some fairly significant changes in some of our local families regarding Sabbath activities, church attendance (now that it's possible), and even some non-garment clothing options. These choices don't bother me at all but I've seen a general laxness creep in with many so I'm curious to see if people really bounce back to the way it was or if some of that laxness will stick.

41 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Wow. It’s for less than an hour! There are 167 hours per week they would not have to wear a mask.

I agree. For the families I've spoken to it's a political statement.

Personally, I'm much more comfortable that people are required to wear masks.

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We've been meeting since the first week of June. Several members have gotten the virus (including, the bishop himself he believes) but none of the cases are associated with our attendance.
We were the first to start meetings in our stake and our assigned high councilor took photos of our setup so other wards could see.

  • Those blessing the sacrament were gloves and masks
  • Those passing the sacrament also wear masks and they never touch anything a member might
    • they use tongs to hand out the bread (dropping it into congregants hands)
    • a special cover is over the water tray to separate cups so no accidental touching and they carry a basket to collect the cups
  • Some rows are open, others not ... additional seating in the overflow/gym that is spaced
  • The young women open all the doors before church so members don't need to touch the door handles (then close them before sacrament)
  • They also open all the doors before the meeting ends so they don't need to touch door handles and members are encouraged to space out their egress
  • A chair is in front of the pulpit so members don't touch it (and we wipe it down right after if they do)
  • Attendance will range from 70+ to just over 100
  • We are the only unit in our meeting house so we meet every week
  • Mask wearing is not the norm (bunch of rebellious Nebraskans)
  • Post meeting visitation is encouraged to be outside
  • Hymn books are removed (so we occasionally have to pick a different hymn than the music organizer since she doesn't check which ones are accessible)
  • We do sing, but most are church mouse quiet (but that is true even outside of pandemic parameters)
  • We started the first two months with just two speakers to accommodate extra sacrament passing time but we've got it down pretty good and have gone back up to three

So, are we 100% effective at pandemic hygiene? No (/cough masks). But, we do seem to be reasonably effective.

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12 minutes ago, Nofear said:

We've been meeting since the first week of June. Several members have gotten the virus (including, the bishop himself he believes) but none of the cases are associated with our attendance.
We were the first to start meetings in our stake and our assigned high councilor took photos of our setup so other wards could see.

  • Those blessing the sacrament were gloves and masks
  • Those passing the sacrament also wear masks and they never touch anything a member might
    • they use tongs to hand out the bread (dropping it into congregants hands)
    • a special cover is over the water tray to separate cups so no accidental touching and they carry a basket to collect the cups
  • Some rows are open, others not ... additional seating in the overflow/gym that is spaced
  • The young women open all the doors before church so members don't need to touch the door handles (then close them before sacrament)
  • They also open all the doors before the meeting ends so they don't need to touch door handles and members are encouraged to space out their egress
  • A chair is in front of the pulpit so members don't touch it (and we wipe it down right after if they do)
  • Attendance will range from 70+ to just over 100
  • We are the only unit in our meeting house so we meet every week
  • Mask wearing is not the norm (bunch of rebellious Nebraskans)
  • Post meeting visitation is encouraged to be outside
  • Hymn books are removed (so we occasionally have to pick a different hymn than the music organizer since she doesn't check which ones are accessible)
  • We do sing, but most are church mouse quiet (but that is true even outside of pandemic parameters)
  • We started the first two months with just two speakers to accommodate extra sacrament passing time but we've got it down pretty good and have gone back up to three

So, are we 100% effective at pandemic hygiene? No (/cough masks). But, we do seem to be reasonably effective.

Are you singing hymns in your ward?

Do you know if any of those Covid+ ward members attended church while symptomatic, or 2 days before symptom onset?

 

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32 minutes ago, pogi said:

Are you singing hymns in your ward?

Do you know if any of those Covid+ ward members attended church while symptomatic, or 2 days before symptom onset?

Yes, hymns. But some hymns aren't in the electronic hymnal because the Church doesn't own the copyright.
None of the known covid ill members attended while sick or asymptomatic. Well, maybe one of our doctor members did, but that was back in February. In retrospect, he thinks it was likely covid-19. But, no one is supposed to attend if there are any symptoms.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Let's hope.

A close family friend swore he wouldn’t step foot into the church as long as masks were required. He went in Sunday, masked, to attend the farewell of a kid in his ward.

I think that most active members will comply, even if the whine about it or swear they won’t attend, when the rubber meets the road. 

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I was surprised when I heard we had only about 30 members coming to our session of sacrament meeting (one half of the ward).  I'm now wondering if it is so low because of the requirement to wear masks.  

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9 minutes ago, Rain said:

I was surprised when I heard we had only about 30 members coming to our session of sacrament meeting (one half of the ward).  I'm now wondering if it is so low because of the requirement to wear masks.  

Could just as easily be because masks had not been required. A lot of elderly and higher risk individuals have been staying home, and wisely so.

Maybe it's just my area that is quirky, but our bishop still requires every household to get permission every single week if they are going to do the sacrament at home. Very weird...and a cumbersome process, especially for a bishop who struggles to respond to phone calls, emails, and texts :) 

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2 hours ago, Nofear said:

But, no one is supposed to attend if there are any symptoms.

True, but people still do.  They confuse it for allergies, or just an unrelated headache, or a sinus infection that they have been suffering with, or they thought they were just really sore and fatigued from working out the day before, etc.  Sometimes they will have just about every single symptom and simply dismiss it by saying, "I didn't think it was anything".   That it is why it is important to take measures to wear masks etc.

2 hours ago, Nofear said:

Yes, hymns. But some hymns aren't in the electronic hymnal because the Church doesn't own the copyright.
None of the known covid ill members attended while sick or asymptomatic. Well, maybe one of our doctor members did, but that was back in February. In retrospect, he thinks it was likely covid-19. But, no one is supposed to attend if there are any symptoms.

That is good that no one has attended while infectious. No disrespect, but I think that means that you guys are lucky more than it is that your measures are reasonably effective.  I don't mean to dis on your ward, but if you guys are singing hymns with few people wearing masks, then the lack of transmission in your ward is more due to luck (lack of exposure...yet) then the fact that your measures are "reasonably effective".

So, are we 100% effective at pandemic hygiene? No (/cough masks). But, we do seem to be reasonably effective.

I can tell you that none of the measures your ward is taking will compensate for the risks of singing without masks.  I just noticed that you mentioned that they are quiet singers. That will help, but still...

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Could just as easily be because masks had not been required. A lot of elderly and higher risk individuals have been staying home, and wisely so.

Maybe it's just my area that is quirky, but our bishop still requires every household to get permission every single week if they are going to do the sacrament at home. Very weird...and a cumbersome process, especially for a bishop who struggles to respond to phone calls, emails, and texts :) 

Oh, my area is very quirky.  Comparing masks to Muslim face coverings, getting after people in testimony meeting near veterans day for not honoring the veterans during the meeting yet, telling people covid doesn't exist,  The man my husband ministers to even asks my husband for a blessing often and then mocks him when he comes wearing a mask. 

It just didn't occur to me for some reason till you said something that that might be the reason why, but it makes perfect sense.  

My bishop is a really good man.  He had cancer just as we moved here and I suspect that helps with him requiring masks from the start of our meetings.  He also before we started wrote in his email that staying home from meetings did not mean you were less faithful or that members going were more faithful.  I have a feeling that had been brought up to him at some point.  

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

I can tell you that none of the measures your ward is taking will compensate for the risks of singing without masks.  I just noticed that you mentioned that they are quiet singers. That will help, but still...

I don't disagree. It'll be worse if we/the nation have a cold weather surge in infections. With the cold, the willingness of people to go aside to chat will be reduced.

Edited by Nofear
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