The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated its COVID-19 guidance for places of worship and shared a toolkit to support faith leaders in slowing the spread of the virus.
The updated guidance recommends that places of worship continue to meet online or outside if possible. If in-person services are held, NCDHHS recommends limiting gatherings to 30 percent of occupancy or 100 people, whichever is less.
“While the pandemic is global, the way we slow the spread of this virus is local, through on-the-ground action and shared responsibility. This new toolkit helps clergy of all faiths to double down on their efforts to protect our communities as we navigate this unprecedented time,” said Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.
A new online toolkit is available to help faith leaders slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. It includes 10 actions faith leaders can take with supporting materials and templates. Actions include:
- Follow NCDHHS guidance for places of worship to protect your community.
- Keep your congregation and faith community informed about prevention, testing, contact tracing and community supports.
- Urge community members to “Get Behind the Mask.”
- Encourage your congregation to download and use the mobile app SlowCOVIDNC.
- Urge your congregation to get tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms or think they’ve been exposed.
- Host a testing event in your community.
- Help connect people to resources and supports.
- Distribute masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Encourage people to participate in contact tracing.
- Amplify messages on social media.
The toolkit is available in English and Spanish. It includes talking points, sample language for websites and newsletters, social media posts, flyers, information to host a community testing event and to request Personal Protective Equipment and FAQs.
Feature photo: Late afternoon light shines through the stained glassed windows of the Page Memorial United Methodist Church in Aberdeen ~ Sandhills Sentinel Photographer John Patota.