Coronavirus Preparedness Information

Given the events of the past several weeks and the concern of the Coronavirus infection in New York, we wanted to pass on some general information to the church. There is no reason to be alarmed, but we as a church body have a responsibility to be informed and be proactive about decreasing the potential risk of infection and the spread of such diseases.

What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the name given to the novel coronavirus that has recently made headlines due to it being a "new" virus to humans. Coronaviruses as a whole are just a type of viruses of which most cause symptoms of just the common cold. However, COVID-19 is in a group of just a few types of coronaviruses known to date that can lead to more severe illness, though still, the vast majority of infected persons will only have mild illness. Those at higher risk for developing severe symptoms include the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, including those who have compromised immune systems. From the most recent information, children do not appear to be more susceptible to this virus, and from studies on the known cases to date, children, if infected, typically are asymptomatic or have milder symptoms.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Some will have no symptoms
  • Those who do develop symptoms, the onset is noted to be an average of 4 days post-exposure but can range a few days less or more
  • Symptoms usually include fever with mild cold-like symptoms to even more severe symptoms (shortness of breath, severe cough, high fevers)
  • Reported mortality estimates have ranged between 2-3.6%, but most experts believe that overall mortality, especially in the U.S., should be much lower once more widespread testing is done


  • If you have had first-hand exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or if you think you have any symptoms as noted above, you should immediately contact your primary care physician or the NY Health Department at ‪888-364-3065‬
  • If you have any severe symptoms as noted above, please seek emergent medical attention or call ‪911‬
  • As there is no current vaccine, prevention is the best plan of action:
    • Avoid close contact with people who you know are sick
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth without washing your hands
    • Stay home when you are sick to keep others from getting sick
    • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissue is available, cough/sneeze into your elbow and not into your hands
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty

Key Points for Church Members:

  • We ask that anyone with fevers or symptoms of any active infection stay home and refrain from contact with large groups until they have sought medical care and are cleared by a medical professional
  • Personal belongings such as cell phones and frequently used items can be infected, microphones, doorknobs, all equipment should be frequently disinfected
  • We advise older and immunosuppressed individuals to stay home and keep away from crowds if possible as they are more vulnerable
  • Avoid close contacts, including hugging and handshaking after communion until this is resolved