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covid 19 update

Church Health Policy Update in the context of COVID-19 as of May 13, 2023

On May 5, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Covid-19 no longer represents a “global health emergency”. In early April, the Province of BC has lifted all restrictions in gatherings and events, restaurants, sport activities and visiting long-term care or seniors’ assisted living facilities. In response to the current context of COVID-19, GSV wishes to conduct in-person services and gatherings in a safe manner, applying a package of tailored precautionary measures to reduce the circulation and risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. The Church is grateful to everyone in our concerted effort to love one another and be mindful of the health and well-being of the community.

I. Advice to attendees of worship services and gatherings:

  1. Continue to practice good personal hygiene, such as washing hands, covering nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  2. Anyone with respiratory symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath and cough are encouraged to refrain from attending any in-person church activities until symptoms have completely resolved.
  3. Continue to maintain adequate ventilation for all indoor activities.

II. Recommendations on wearing masks:

  1. Masks are welcome but not required while attending worship services or any indoor church activities. It is a personal choice to be respected.
  2. Groups can choose to put in place mask practices in view of their specific contexts.

III. Update on Worship services:

  1. Offering bags are to be passed during offertory hymn.
  2. Clergy and assistants are required to wear masks when doing the consecration of Holy Communion (after offering).
  3. Communicants may choose either to dip the host into the consecrated wine or take a cuplet of wine or juice available.


Province-wide restrictions 2023-04-06:

WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing – 2023-05-05:—5-may-2023