Covid-19 Updates

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Reopening @ Cedarview

Dear Cedarview Community Church Family,

The board and Reopening Committee are looking for input from the church congregation to help gauge the level of interest in resuming our in-person gatherings. A brief but important survey has been created for this purpose. The survey will be open until Sunday, August 9. Participants must be 18 years of age or older. We look forward to hearing from you.

From Pastor Don - Thoughts On A Cautious Opening

Hi Cedarview.

I'm sure by now we've all heard of the 30 percent reopening allowance for Ontario churches. And by now I'm sure you've all seen the online reopening videos. Most of them immediately inviting weary online church watchers back into the fold. Cedarview shares that desire. That's where we want to be. I'm tired of staring at empty seats.

But there is a deeper concern. Our church board and staff have spent a great deal of time trying to sort out some of the issues frequently not mentioned in the current "Welcome Back" videos. What about the recommendations about not singing - about wearing masks whenever possible - about York Region Board of Health suggesting churches not provide separate children's ministries - about making sure every adult attendee is logged in so there can be government contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 incident?

Of course, virtually all of these precautions are in a state of flux. The situation changes every few weeks. In view of this, our smaller group ministries will likely be the first to re-gather.

We currently have a committee in place investigating all the provincial and federal regulations and recommendations. Both are important to us. We're trying to do two things at once - trying hard to balance our desire to be back together while searching our hearts about our ability to give an honest, thoroughly investigated assurance that all who come back are absolutely safe to do so. This is so much more than a popularity issue.

I know social media is packed with opinions. We're just trying to do the best we can before the Lord. So please remember we will not wait one week longer than necessary to safely re-gather. It's our heart's desire. But it simply must be safe for everyone. We're working things through even though we aren't quite there yet.

So God bless you, Cedarview. We're only getting closer to much better days!

Your brother in Christ,
Don Horban

Frequently Asked Questions About Reopening

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help everyone understand the decisions that have been made so far regarding our reopening in this time of COVID-19.

Why aren’t we doing services on Sundays like other churches?

We can only answer for our church and the board has decided we are going to start off with smaller events to work out all the wrinkles and processes before we move onto holding services again. We are one of the largest churches in York Region and there are many moving parts to this whole thing. We need to figure out what works not just for right now, but as we re-open more activities.

The stipulation is that the physical distancing needs to be in place for every attendee and this is in all directions. Once the physical distancing is in place, then a church is able to host up to 30 percent of its occupancy. The social distancing parameter overrides the occupancy allowance. With the distancing requirements, we cannot fit 30 percent in the Sanctuary. Even if the occupancy allowance is raised to 50 or 70 percent, if the distancing requirement is still in place, we cannot increase our numbers.

The seats in our Main Sanctuary do not move so we are limited by what we can configure based on the distancing rules.

Without singing and children’s ministries, as well as the other restrictions like masks, no-touch, and no socializing before or after a service, the in-person experience is going to be very different from what you enjoyed before COVID-19. To paraphrase Larry Osborne from North Coast Church in California: It is time to go back to the building when we can offer something better in the building than we can online.

Every facet of our service from greeting, ushering, communion, worship, fellowship, children’s ministries, Nursery care, every facet of hospitality service, and giving is impacted by the regulations we need to follow during this stage of re-opening.

Why can’t we just meet in the parking lot and do outdoor or drive-in church?

This option is great for a church located in a more rural area. Broadcasting any service in a neighbourhood is generally not well received by those in close proximity.

When we do start to meet again, why do we have to pre-register or check-in when we arrive?

This is a requirement for contact tracing, which is one of the components needed to be in place when the province moved into Stage 2 and it is still in place as we move into Stage 3. Please note that we disclose any of our attendance records to York Region Public Health only if there has a been confirmed case of COVID-19 and that disclosure is limited to the persons who attended the same events or were in the building together. After 30 days, we can destroy these attendance records.

Should someone test positive for COVID-19, every place he or she has been will need to be notified so others can watch for symptoms and act accordingly.

The other aspect of this is that it gives us an idea of how many people will be attending – we can then plan the room set-up and volunteers we need to help make your event or gathering run smoothly.

What is involved with being screened before I enter the church?

The Self-Assessment Screening needs to be done any time someone comes into the church for any reason. When you sent information about your event or ministry gathering, these details will also be included for you to review. Please be aware if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or greater)
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing
  • New smell or taste disorder(s)
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion (unrelated to seasonal allergies, postnasal drip, etc.)

Also, if any of the following apply, please stay home:

  • If you have been asked to self-isolate because you may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19
  • You have travelled out of the country in the past 14 days
  • You are in a high-risk category (weakened immune system, respiratory issues, or other)

Who needs to wear a mask?

York Region has mandated that masks must be worn in all public enclosed spaces, including places of worship. This comes into effect as of July 17, 2020. Children under the age of 5, those with medical issues that would prevent them from wearing a mask safely, and those who cannot put on or take off a mask by themselves are exempt.

Why do we have to wear masks if we can maintain the 2m physical distancing that is required?

We can’t guarantee that the 2m distance will be observed by everyone all the time you are in the building. Getting up in the middle of a gathering to use the bathroom or if you aren’t well, will likely mean that you will pass someone or others in closer proximity. York Region’s mask bylaw mandates that masks and physical distancing must both be in place.

Are you installing filters in the HVAC systems to help prevent the virus from moving?

We have a number of different HVAC systems in the church building and putting filters in all of them is cost-prohibitive at this time. That being said, the number of systems actually makes it safer in some regards. Someone’s breathing in the Main Sanctuary will not transfer and end up in the Gym for example.

We are restricting events and gatherings to the Main Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall for the time being for a few reasons. One of these reasons is that we can increase the amount of outside air coming in up to 60 per cent and we have an air exchanger in place to help keep the air moving in the Main Sanctuary.

What is being done to make sure the church is sanitized?

We reviewed our cleaning protocols with the arrival of COVID-19. We already had a very rigorous cleaning schedule and protocols in place, but we have implemented all of the various elements like frequent cleaning and sanitization of high touch points and removed items that cannot be sanitized.

Why are we not having BLAST camp in person this year?

While the Ontario Ministry of Health and York Region Public Health have given approval for day camps to operate, these approvals come with stringent protocols that must be followed. Children will be in groups of no more than 10 and these would include the leaders (so only 8 children) and there are to be no groups spending time together in shared spaces during camp. All supplies must be assigned and used only by one camper. Bathrooms would need to be sanitized between each groups’ use and drop off and pick up would need to take place outside the building. Children would need to be screened at drop off, including having their temperatures taken. Leaders would need to wear masks and full-face masks are required if there is any chance a child may cry.

We recognize and appreciate that families are going to have different comfort levels with having their children in group activities at the moment.

We can minister to more children by continuing our online activities while we are in this season. For Sunday services, we are not allowed to have Children Ministries’ services or events; children must be in the service with their parents.

Do I have to sit with my family?

If there is more than one person from your household attending an event or gathering, we ask that you sit together. This allows us to put as many people as possible in the room with the physical distancing parameters in place. Each person or household needs to have 2m (6.5ft) around in all directions. Every inch counts because in spaces like the Main Sanctuary we cannot move the seats around to make more room.

What do I do if I start to feel sick during an event or gathering?

If you are feeling unwell before the event or gathering, it is better to be precautious so please stay home. If you feel ill or unwell during an event or gathering, please notify the staff member or ministry leader. If you are able to leave on your own, we will help you to your car. If you need someone to come and get you, we will take you to an isolated area to help reduce the chance the virus spreads if that is what is making you ill. Please then contact York Region Public Health once you get home. If you test positive for COVID-19, please let your ministry leader or staff member know so we can take the necessary steps.

What if I do not feel ready to start attending any gatherings or events at the church yet?

We understand that not everyone is ready to engage in activities at the church yet. No one should feel pressured to attend an event or gathering until you are comfortable. We should be supportive of those who do not feel ready yet, just as we need to be supportive of those who want to attend an event or activity.

Additional COVID-19 Resources

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