Beloved in Christ,
Due to the rising case, transmission, and positivity rates of COVID-19 in Loudoun County, the session has decided it is prudent to reinstate a mask requirement for in-person worship, effective this week, Sunday, August 15. We are asking everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask/face covering while in the church building. Masks will be available at the door for anyone who doesn’t have one. We will also continue to practice social distancing, although reservations are not required to come to the worship service.
While unvaccinated people are most at risk of hospitalization and death, vastly outnumbering vaccinated people at this point, even those who are fully vaccinated can be carriers of the virus. With the Delta variant transmitting much easier than the original strain, the chances of unknowingly spreading the virus are much higher. While masks are not a guarantee against spreading the virus, they have been shown to be effective in reducing the spread significantly.
This also means we will continue not singing aloud in the sanctuary. We are working on creative alternatives, though, to help us give musical expression to our faith in worship.
We are all disappointed that this step is necessary, as we all hoped the pandemic would be nearing an end by now. Unfortunately, like so many times previously, that hope has been overly optimistic. So for the health and safety of all in our community, we will do our part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Anyone who feels uncomfortable coming to the service in person or wearing a mask at the service is encouraged to join us by live stream at www.catoctin.org/watch-live.
If you have any questions, please contact the pastor or a member of session. Thank you for your participation in our mitigation efforts.
Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash