BUC Congregants’ Guide for In-person Services: What to Do, What to Bring, What to Expect
We are pleased to once again provide in-person church services at BUC. These will continue to be backed-up by on-line services for those remaining at home. At the same time, we are being extra vigilant in order to protect YOU, your family, our staff and volunteers and the congregation at large.
Please note, as per Health Canada’s advice, if you are 70 years of age or older, ill or immune-compromised, we strongly encourage that you remain at home and access BUC’s services on-line. For those planning in-person attendance, here is what you can expect and what we ask of you:
PRE-REGISTRATION THE WEEK OF THE SERVICE:
The allowable capacity for BUC’s service is 50 persons minus volunteers, officiants and musicians. We strongly advise pre-registration and priority will be maintained for those who have pre-registered.
BUC’s Office Administrator (Lili) will receive pre-registrations for the ‘next Sunday’ service by email at firstname.lastname@example.org (or use ‘contact us” page), until 1230hs on the Thursday before the service, after which pre-registration is closed. (For those without email, a message can be left on the BUC phone at 613-825-1707 up until Thursday at 1230hs, but email is preferred). Either way, state your full name, contact phone number and the number of family members planning to attend. (Your pre-registration applies for that one week only and may be used by OPH for contact tracing).
BEFORE LEAVING HOME SUNDAY MORNING:
Ensure that you and your family are ALL symptom-free and have not tested positive or had direct COVID-19 contacts during the past two weeks. IF YOU ARE UNSURE OR RESPOND WITH A “YES” to ANY of the questions below please protect yourself and others by STAYING AT HOME EVEN IF YOU HAVE REGISTERED TO ATTEND THE SERVICE. (In consideration of others, if you need to cancel please let us know by email: email@example.com)
COVID-19 Screening Questions:
- Have you traveled outside of Canada in the past 14 days?
- Are you waiting to be tested or waiting for test results? Have you tested positive for COVID-19 or had direct contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 over the past 14 days? (NOTE: Direct contact includes caring for someone with COVID in your household or currently being part of a classroom/work cohort that has been compromised by COVID and required to self-isolate)
- Do you have any of the following symptoms: fever, new onset cough, worsening chronic cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, decrease or loss of sense of taste or smell, chills, headaches, unexplained fatigue/malaise/muscle aches (flu-like myalgias), nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, runny nose/nasal congestion without other known cause?
- If you are 70 years of age or older and take the decision to come to BUC’s in-person service, are you experiencing any of the following symptoms: delirium, unexplained or an increased number of falls, acute functional decline, worsening of chronic conditions?
PLAN TO BRING WITH YOU:
- NON-MEDICAL MASKS for everyone in your family over two years of age. As per Ottawa Public Health (OPH), a mask can be cloth or disposable but must securely cover the nose, mouth and chin. Masks are to be worn at all times while indoors for the BUC service. (NOTE: Due to the rise of COVID-19 in the Ottawa community, no other masking exceptions will be made at this time).
- PLASTIC BAG(S) for boots or shoes during inclement or winter weather. All outdoor clothing will be taken to the pews. Boot bags help keep footwear contained and the church cleaner.
- In order to respect the safety of your family and others, if you plan or need to use the washroom bring DISINFECTING WIPES to clean touched surfaces.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON ARRIVAL:
- Entry and exit will be by the front door only. Prior to entry, you and your family will be asked by a BUC volunteer to physically distance and to wait in line in order to respond verbally to the FOUR COVID-19 QUESTIONS, previously listed, as per Ottawa Public Health. Those who have symptoms or have been told to be tested, are waiting for test results, have tested positive or have had direct COVID-19 contacts during the past two weeks will be asked to return home to self-isolate.
- You and your family will be asked to wear your non-medical mask – BUC is a public building and by order of Ottawa Public Health masking is mandatory. (NOTE: We have a small supply of hand-made cloth masks for those who may have forgotten theirs – this mask then becomes yours and, if you desire, a donation can be made for it to BUC).
- All persons entering BUC will be asked to sanitize their hands (a ‘squirt’ of hand sanitizer will be provided).
- You will be asked to place wet or dirty boots/shoes in a plastic bag. (NOTE: A small supply of bags will be available for your use, if you forget yours).
WHAT TO EXPECT ONCE INSIDE BUC:
Things will, of necessity, be quite different:
- You and your family will be ushered to and asked to remain in your designated pew space. The congregation will be physically distanced and masked throughout the service. Hand sanitizer will be available at the sanctuary entrance/exit.
- The pews will be free of shared material and shared practices have been curtailed (paper bulletin, collection plate, communion etc). The Children’s Corner has been removed.
- There will be no congregational singing or choir, but our spirits will be lifted by taped music, soloists and musicians, as permitted by Ontario Public Health.
- There will be no shared hugs, handshakes or passing of the peace. Group activities on the lily pad and fellowship after the service are prohibited.