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Seeking Church Hosts for Vaccine Clinics

Posted: May 11 2021 at 04:16 PM
Author: By Arlene Christopherson, Asst. to the Bishop/Dir. of Connectional Ministries


Covidvaccinevial

UMC’s and Vaccination
The Northern Illinois Conference and Illinois Great Rivers Conference are teaming up with the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) to help provide 100 vaccination sites around our state by the end of May. This push toward helping get more people vaccinated is key to fully entering Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan. The best thing we can do to return to fully return to in-person worship is to be vaccinated. We are seeking churches to serve as host sites. The IDPH will provide the staff as local churches reach into their communities and invite the unvaccinated to participate. If your church would like to participate in this effort, please contact me at achristo@umcnic.org. 

Bridge Phrase
We celebrate the patience, care and measured response our churches have made in this season of the pandemic. Your care for others and your commitment to “Do No Harm” is one of the reasons the State of Illinois is again shifting in the Restore Illinois Plan to a new Bridge Phase on May 14.  This move is due in large part to the number of persons who have been vaccinated in our state.

On May 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. We also understand that changes in these public health guidelines that have kept us safe, such as wearing masks, social distancing and handwashing, are revised depending on the COVID-19 situation. Click here for a mask-wearing and choosing safer activities illustration from the CDC.

In the Bridge Phase, note the public health guidelines that have kept us safe, such as wearing masks, social distancing and handwashing. Singing is still considered a high-risk activity and guidelines advocate exercising caution. Dining together is still limited to 10 persons, which indicates that coffee hours should not yet be reinstated. As always, outdoor activities allow for more flexibility than indoor activities. In the new Bridge Phase, meetings, which would include worship services, move to 60% capacity. 

Once we have been in the bridge phase for four weeks, the state will again assess the metrics and determine if we can move to Phase 5 expected by June 11, the final phase in the Restore Illinois Plan to fully reopen the state.

You can find detailed information about the Bridge Phase at coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/bridge-phase.

Our NIC Return Plan remains a good guide as you proceed to welcome back your congregations. It can be found at umcnic.org/returnteam
 

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