RETURNING TO THE BUILDING:

A PHASED REOPENING PLAN FOR CHURCH OF THE OPEN ARMS

The Open Arms Leadership Council spent several weeks evaluating the changing coronavirus conditions before adopting the following plan. Each phase shift described below requires an evaluation of current coronavirus conditions in Oklahoma.  We expect more weeks of improving conditions to pass before moving into the next phase.  It is possible that conditions will not improve, but infections will increase. In that case, returning to a prior phase will be necessary in order to protect people’s lives. Progress will not necessarily be linear. Each person can help by:

  • encouraging careful hygiene,
  • following of the physical/social distancing recommendations,
  • encouraging people to stay at home if they have any symptoms of illness or are part of a vulnerable population,
  • cooperating with contact tracers if a person is diagnosed with the coronavirus

The ultimate goal of our church is to return to the full use of our building with services in the sanctuary without spreading this virus during church events.  This may not be possible until we have a vaccine. Please be patient and cooperate with the plan adopted by our Leadership Council. You may direct inquiries to the executive team which includes the three presidents (Conna Wilkinson, Pam Schonauer and Adrian Maxey), or of course Pastor Kayla.

WHERE WE ARE NOW (AT LEAST THRU JUNE 2020)

PHASE ONE

  • Worship: Our regular service will occur online. Worship leaders may record or live-stream from the sanctuary during online worship if desired.  We are open to the possibility of small group worship experiences which occur outside with l0 or fewer persons spaced 6 ft apart utilizing safety precautions. 
  • Communion: The sacrament of communion will be offered online.
  • Food Pantry and SISU: These ministries will continue to operate within the building with precautions to address essential needs. (10 volunteers or less wearing masks and sanitizing)
  • Leadership Meetings: The church leaders and teams will continue to meet virtually.  No in-person meetings should occur in people’s homes unless they are outside with social distancing and masks.
  • Small Groups: These may meet online or outside with safety precautions.
  • Weddings & Funerals: These services may occur in the sanctuary when less than 10 people are in attendance, utilizing safety precautions.  These services may occur outside with more than 10 in attendance while utilizing safety precautions.  
  • Office Hours: Our office staff will maintain essential operations on site.  Those in the office should be wearing masks when more than one person is present, and make sure that surfaces, including the phone, are regularly sanitized. This includes anyone counting money.
  • Renters & Building Users: We will provide an additional protocols for our building users/renters which includes gathering limits, required safety precautions, distancing protocols, and sanitizing. We will add these to our existing building use guidelines.
  • Signage: We will post signs around the building indicating coronavirus symptoms and safety precautions.

High risk individuals (people over 60 and those with underlying conditions),

whether staff or volunteers, are encouraged to shelter in place.

PHASE TWO

In order to move from Phase One to Phase Two, Oklahoma should have:

  • a two-week drop in corona virus cases
  • fewer than 4 new cases per 100,000 people per day.
  • at least 150 new tests per 100,000 people per day with adequate contact tracing
  • an overall positive rate for tests below 5 percent
  • more than 40 percent of  ICU beds free

(information based on https://www.vox.com/2020/5/28/21270515/coronavirus-covid-reopen-economy-social-distancing-states-map-data)

During Phase Two, we will observe the following protocols and precautions:

  • Worship: We will continue online worship services, but also begin in-person worship while managing the number of people per service to 61 persons or fewer (reservations may be required). (6,900 square feet of sanctuary divided by 113 recommended square foot per person with social distancing) Those in attendance will be required to wear masks and each family unit will need to be spaced at least 6ft apart from the next person or family unit (skipping pews).  We will utilize no-touch alternatives for passing the peace, collecting offering, and pennies from heaven. Envelopes and cards from chairs will be removed.  We will use screens as an alternative to the paper bulletins.  The front door will be propped open so people will not need to touch it.  Folks are encourage to leave the building rather than mingling inside.  A gradual exit will be observed to avoid bunching and bottlenecking.  Attendance will need to be taken, including people’s names and contact info (if we don’t already have it) so that if later someone tests positive for the virus, we can contact everyone who may have been exposed. 
  • Communion: The sacrament will continue to be offered online.
  • Singing: There will be no choir or congregational singing during in-person worship.
  • Food & Drink: There will be no coffee hour or sharing of food before or after church events. 
  • Cleaning: Cleaning will need to occur before each event in the building.  A detailed list of places to clean is included at the bottom of this document.  (This is in addition to the Saturday evening janitorial crew which cleans our building). We will need to maintain an ample supply of tissue, paper towels, soap, hand sanitizer and paper towels.
  • Leadership Meetings: Meetings and teams may continue to meet online, or in-person if physically distanced 6 ft apart while wearing masks. 
  • Small Groups: May meet in person with safety precautions or online. 
  • Weddings & Funerals: These services may occur in the sanctuary when less than 50 people are in attendance, utilizing safety precautions.  These services may occur outside as well while utilizing safety precautions.  
  • Office Hours: Our office staff will continue precautions outlined above. 
  • Renters & Building Users: Precautions continued as outlined above.
  • Infection:  If we become aware of someone in the building who has tested positive for the coronavirus, we will contact all who have been in contact with that person ask the infected person to cooperate fully with contact tracers.

High risk individuals (people over 60 and those with underlying conditions), whether staff or volunteers, are encouraged to shelter in place.

PHASE THREE

This phase will not occur until we have a vaccine or until public health officials give the go ahead.  Some of us may never return to large groups (more than 10) because of the threat of infection from coronavirus or other viruses.  Some of us already are incapacitated (and others may be in the future) and need the continuance of community through online services. 

  • Worship: We will continue online worship services along with in-person worship.  There is no limit or reservations required to attend in-person.  Worship may include all the elements in the manner they occurred pre-pandemic, including communion, singing, etc. 
  • Cleaning: Additional cleaning will continue before each event in the building.                  (see details in phase 2)   
  • Food and Drink: Same as before pandemic.  
  • Leadership Meetings: Same as before pandemic.   
  • Small Groups: Same as before pandemic.  
  • Weddings & Funerals: Same as before pandemic.  
  • Office Hours: Same as before pandemic.  
  • Renters & Building Users: Same as before pandemic.  
  • Infection:  If we become aware of someone in the building who has tested positive for the coronavirus, we will contact all who have been in contact with that person ask the infected person to cooperate fully with contact tracers.

High risk individuals (people over 60 and those with underlying conditions), whether staff or volunteers, are encouraged to shelter in place.

Sanitizing Protocols

ANY ITEM, AREA, SURFACE THAT PEOPLE CAN TOUCH WILL NEED TO BE CLEANED.  BEFORE AND AFTER AREA IS OCCUPIED.  THE LESS SURFACES, ETC THE LESS CLEANING AND LESS CLEANING SUPPLIES NEEDED.

Supplies for cleaning

  • Air sanitizer
  • Bleach spray bottles
  • General cleaning solution
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Gloves
  • Masks

If there are groups using any of these areas, they should bring their own cleaning supplies and trash bag to take their own trash out with them.

Community Hall & Kitchen

  • Tables and chairs
  • Light switches
  • Door handles
  • Faucet handles
  • Paper towel holder
  • Trash container lids
  • Cabinet doors and handles
  • Any item someone has handled.  We might need to find a new way to store all the serving spoons, spatulas, etc that were on the kitchen counter.
  • Elevator buttons and inside elevator walls

Lobby

  • Door handles & glass doors
  • Light switches
  • Shopping Cart
  • Name Tag Table: we might consider removing all of the items off this shelf
  • We might consider temporarily removing all chairs and tables – to discourage people sitting and putting things on these tables

Bathroom

  • Faucet handles
  • Toilet handle
  • Paper towel holder
  • Light switch
  • Door knob

Sanctuary

  • Chairs (maybe several can be temporarily removed)
  • Children’s area – we may need to remove books, toys, etc. or clean them continually
  • Door handles
  • Light switches
  • Piano
  • Music stands and podium
  • Offering baskets