calendar August 28, 2023 in News

5 Ways To Slow COVID Spread

Things churches can do to help slow COVID transmission

1. Encourage vaccinations.

CIDRAP’s Dr. Michael Osterholm urges everyone eligible to get the updated vaccine when it becomes available, likely in early-mid October. Don’t forget influenza and RSV vaccines: He recommends getting the RSV vaccine now and getting the flu shot once your area starts showing flu activity.

2. Provide the cleanest air that you can.

COVID spreads significantly via airborne transmission. To offset this, have the highest level of filtration possible installed in your HVAC systems (MERV13 is recommended). Also set the system to bring in outside air to increase ventilation. 

If you don’t have a forced-air system, don’t worry. Opening windows wide and positioning fans will increase ventilation. If you don’t have air filtration, inexpensive, DIY filters called Corsi-Rosenthal boxes after their inventors, can clean indoor air from airborne virus particles, wildfire smoke, pollen, dust, and more.  It is also a good idea to open windows and run systems on high to ventilate a room between classes, meetings, and services.



3. Get a CO2 monitor

These monitors, such as the Aranet4, are portable and can be used to measure the level of CO2 in room air.  High concentrations of CO2 can cause drowsiness and lack of focus (such as dozing off during sermons) and shows how well ventilated your space is. Hi levels of CO2 indicate that occupants are breathing more of each other’s exhaled breath, increasing the likelihood of spreading airborne viruses such as flu, RSV, and COVID. Some manufacturers also offer multi-room systems that can let you keep track of air quality across your facility.

4. Make N95 respirators available

for those who want them. Yes, this is a hot-button issue. It’s doubtful we will see or impose mask mandates again. Some people with conditions that pre-dispose them to more severe diseases will feel safer masked, and many appreciate it when others mask as well. Make it normal to wear a mask in your church. 

Masks work. Forbes magazine reported that the business and political leaders and other celebrities who attended the World Economic Forum in January – as well as staff were subject to strong COVID precautions, that included masks at some events.

5. Remember the basics:

Remind people to stay at home if they or close contacts are sick. This includes rostered ministers and other worship leaders.

Clean commonly touched spaces and objects (for example, communion vessels) between services.

Wash hands regularly. Have stations with hand sanitizer available several places in your facility.


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