On May 5, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Covid-19 no longer represents a “global health emergency”.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:
- Continue to practice good personal hygiene, such as washing hands, covering nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
- 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.
- Continue to maintain adequate ventilation for all indoor activities.
II. Recommendations on wearing masks:
- Masks are welcome but not required while attending worship services or any indoor church activities. It is a personal choice to be respected.
- Groups can choose to put in place mask practices in view of their specific contexts.
III. Update on Worship services:
- Offering bags are to be passed during offertory hymn.
- Clergy and assistants are required to wear masks when doing the consecration of Holy Communion (after offering).
- 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: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions
WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing – 2023-05-05: https://www.who.int/news-room/speeches/item/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing—5-may-2023