November 18, 2021 From the Synod COVID Smart Team, Minnesota is experiencing the worst case levels of COVID-19 for 2021. In fact, we were the worst COVID hotspot in the United States, for several days. Our hospitals are currently stressed and there are limited ICU beds available and none in some areas. This is causing routine medical procedures to be delayed.
This is a difficult place to be in with the pandemic as we approach our Advent and Christmas celebrations. With this in mind, it is imperative that all congregations embrace the public health protocols of mask wearing and social distancing. We can reduce the risks and still enjoy our celebrations by: Wearing a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth in all indoor settings including our sanctuaries,
Practicing physical distancing by remaining six feet apart between family groups,
Not having coffee fellowship and similar events (where there is food, drink and conversation with unmasked people in close proximity to each other) until the risk of transmission has returned to a safe level, and
If you are experiencing any COVID symptoms or you have been exposed to someone with COVID, whether you are or are not vaccinated, get tested. Stay away from others until you obtain a negative PCR test
Guidance for close Contacts in Faith Communities who have tested COVID Minnesota Department of Health October 2021
If you have close contact with someone who has had a positive COVID-19 test (regardless of whether a test occurs at a clinic, testing site, at home, or at another setting), follow the appropriate guidance at Close Contacts and Tracing. If you are not fully vaccinated
Stay home and away from others (quarantine) and wear a mask if other people are around.
Get tested immediately. If the test is negative, test again three to five days after the last time you were close to the person with COVID-19. If you are considering a shortened quarantine period of seven days, your second test must be a PCR test that occurs at least five full days after your last exposure. You should also follow Under certain conditions and a negative COVID-19 PCR test: 7-day quarantine.
Watch for symptoms for 14 days. If you start to have any symptoms, get tested again right away.
Wear a mask in public, indoor settings for 14 days following exposure or until you receive a negative test result.
Consider wearing a mask at home for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result if you live with someone who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease, or unvaccinated (including children under the age of 12).
You do not need to quarantine if you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. You should watch for symptoms for 14 days.
If you start to have any symptoms, stay home and away from others immediately (isolate), get tested again, and follow other recommendations on If You Are Sick or Test Positive.
If you had COVID-19 in the past three months If you have recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months and are exposed again:
You do not need to get tested unless you develop symptoms.
You do not need to quarantine if ALL of the following are true:
Your illness was laboratory confirmed in the past three months.
You have fully recovered.
You do not currently have any symptoms of COVID-19.
If you are a K-12 student
If you are a student in an indoor K-12 classroom setting and were within 3-6 feet of another student with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting. For more information about close contacts in schools, refer to Schools and Child Care COVID-19: Best Practice Recommendations.