September 1, 2020
Media Contact: Breanne Forbes Hubbard, population health manager, Breanne.firstname.lastname@example.org
MRHD Urges Precautions to Prevent COVID-19 Outbreaks in Churches and other Faith-Based Settings
(Marion, Va.) – Mount Rogers Health District is alerting the public about the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks in churches and other faith-based settings.
There have been multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 in houses of worship throughout the district. Recently, one outbreak associated with a church has recorded more than 40 associated COVID-19 cases.
“We value our faith communities and the support and encouragement they provide during these trying times,” said Karen Shelton MD, director. “We want these communities to continue to be able to provide these important services, and implore both faith leaders and congregants to take steps to keep themselves and their communities safe.”
Whenever possible, faith communities should hold gatherings outside rather than inside. Please maintain six feet of distancing, and increase the distance to 10 feet if there is singing or shouting. Everyone should wear face coverings at all times. Please encourage everyone to practice good hand hygiene, by washing hands often and thoroughly, or using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. Avoid passing objects between members of the congregation.
“Unfortunately, our houses of worship are not immune to either the spread or severity of COVID-19 disease,” said Shelton. “We look forward to working together with faith communities to keep everyone as safe as possible.”
Visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/schools-workplaces-community-locations/faith-based-organizations/ for additional guidance from VDH for faith-based organizations.
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