Covid-19 and CPC

An update from Covenant regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

The church office has received several inquiries regarding precautions against and planned reactions to any potential outbreak of COVID-19 in Alabama. Although there have not been any reported cases of COVID-19 in Alabama as of the date of this writing1 we want to be prepared to act quickly should the need arise. Because we have received a number of questions regarding COVID-19 we are sending this information out to everyone.

God has prepared us for a potential COVID-19 outbreak, and He prepared us well before any report of COVID-19. Over the past three years we have been blessed with (among many other things) improved cleaning procedures and equipment, increased training for staff and volunteers, and a solid livestreaming system. Before moving on to the details of what we are doing and what our plans are, it is important to remember that while COVID-19 is new to us it is not new to God (Isaiah 40:28, Hebrews 4:13, Job 28:24-27). While the world gives way to fear and worry we can look to Christ and rest assured that God will provide for us (Matthew 6:25-34, Philippians 4:6-7).  

How are we prepared?

  • Increased sanitization procedures (in addition to standard cleaning). Surfaces and items that are frequently used or more likely to be used near the face are sanitized after use. Some examples of these items are toys in the children’s rooms, dishes, utensils, chairs and tables, countertops, etc… This is not a response to COVID-19 in particular, but rather something that we began doing in the fall of 2019 to limit potential transmission of disease in general. The active ingredient in our standard sanitizer is a chemical with a very long name that is typically referred to as benzalkonium chloride. According to the Association of Public Health Laboratories, benzalkonium chloride has some effect against enveloped viruses like the Corona viruses3, but it is not ideal. As a direct response to COVID-19, we are implementing an additional sanitizing schedule for frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, offering plates, etc… with a solution that uses sodium hypochlorite as the active ingredient. Sodium hypochlorite has been shown to be very effective in reducing coronavirus infectivity4 and is expected to be effective against COVID-19 as well.
  • First Aid & CPR training for Staff. Part of this training involves the transmission of communicable diseases and steps that should be taken to limit exposure to disease. This is important because the CPC staff spends a lot of time at CPC and come into contact with just about everything and everyone. Adequate training on preventative and protective measures helps us avoid becoming infected and spreading the illness ourselves. This is also not a direct COVID-19 response but is still part of being prepared for these types of events.
  • CPC network and livestream system. Over the past several years we have developed and installed a solid livestreaming system. We have also updated our network infrastructure to be able to stream even during times of high demand. This means that from every possible situation from “all is well” to “everything is shut down” we can still broadcast the worship service.
What can I do on my own?

COVID-19 appears to be spread primarily via large droplets (like those produced by a cough), much like influenza. While being a previously unseen strain of virus, COVID-19 is still a virus and transmission can be limited by standard preventative measures.2

  • Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands as frequently as possible and use hand sanitizer after washing hands (if sanitizer is available).
  • Avoid touching your face as much as possible, especially after touching a potentially contaminated surface. COVID-19 can potentially infect a person through the eyes, nose, or mouth.2
  • Limit exposure to crowds and public places, particularly if you are part of an at-risk group (elderly adults, people with serious chronic health conditions)4.
What is our plan?

We are currently operating as we do normally. The Session, Diaconate, and Staff are closely monitoring the situation with COVID-19. As the situation changes the Session may choose to suspend all or part of the services at the church, or may decide to move some or all of the services to remote platforms (like livestream) as needed. Any changes to CPC services or schedule will be communicated as soon as possible via email (subscribe to our mailing list here), our website (www.cpcauburn.org), our mobile app, and our social media platforms.

If you are quarantined as a precautionary measure or because you are ill, we encourage you to participate in corporate worship via our livestream, available at https://cpcauburn.org/live.

Sources
1 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html
2 https://emcrit.org/ibcc/COVID19/
3 https://www.aphl.org/programs/infectious_disease/tuberculosis/TBCore/Infoondisinfection.pdf
4 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html
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