Your health and wellbeing are of primary concern to our faith community – as is our commitment to justice.
If you are considering attending a protest, rally, march, or any mass gathering where hundreds or thousands of people are expected, please be sure you are taking all the steps possible to minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19 since the opportunity for exposure to the virus in these environments is significant.
Here are some ways that you can Love Yourself and Love Your Neighbor.
Things to consider before deciding to attend:
- If you’ve had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or have experienced symptoms consistent with COVID-19 we recommend that you do not attend any large gatherings and stay under self-quarantine until 14 days have passed since a known positive COVID-19 encounter, or until 14 days have passed since the disappearance of COVID-19 symptoms. Those symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
- Take your temperature the day of any march, parade, rally, or other large gathering. Do not attend if your temperature is higher than 100.4°.
- Be mindful of your individual risk factors (age, pre-existing conditions, etc.).
- Consider whether your job, living arrangement, or family situation puts you in direct contact with others that you live with, care for, or work with who might be in a high-risk category.
- Be aware that shouting and singing have been shown to dramatically increase virus-laden respiratory droplets that are expelled into the air, and they can travel many feet.
If you choose to attend:
- Wear a mask.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Sanitize your hands before and after the event. If possible, take a small container of sanitizer with you should you need to clean your hands during the event.
- Cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
- Check the weather, take a bottle of water, an umbrella if necessary, and whatever else you might need with you so you can avoid accepting anything that has been touched by someone else.
- Engage in social distancing if at all possible. (Unfortunately, this will likely be impossible in gatherings of this size.)
- Wash your hands if hand-washing stations are available or as soon as you are back home.
- Clean and sanitize all items you took with you to the gathering (cell phone, keys, eyeglasses, etc.) once at home.
- Health officials urge anyone who participates in a mass gathering to self-quarantine at home for at least 14-days after the event. In order to protect the health and lives of our congregation, we ask that you self-quarantine at home (please don’t come to the church campus) for at least 14 days after attending such an event and only if you’ve also been symptom-free for that quarantine period.
- If you are around a large number of people who aren’t wearing masks (even if you are wearing one) you should be tested for COVID-19 infection. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and health officials across the country have been strongly encouraging all individuals who have attended mass gatherings to be tested for infection as exposure to the virus in these environments is highly likely.
If you want to monitor current COVID-19 infection trends and hospitalizations, the Texas Medical Center has a helpful COVID-19 page updated every day that shows Daily New COVID Cases, Daily New Hospitalizations, and the Infection Rate in the Greater Houston Area.
Whatever you choose to do, please be safe! God loves YOU and ALL of God’s children!