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A Message From Bishop Carter About COVID-19

A Message From Bishop Carter About COVID-19

COVID-19


 

Dear Florida Conference Clergy and Laity:

We continue to pray for you as you navigate this season. We had all hoped we would be through this pandemic by now, but we clearly are not.

Like you, the conference is monitoring the increase in new Covid-19 cases and the concerns around the Delta variant and its rapid spread, especially among those who are unvaccinated. We understand that although 

Florida represents only 6% of the US population, it also represents 20% of the new cases being reported.
(source links: ABCActionNews & CBSMiami).

We invite you to continue to do what you have been doing. Lean into this next season of the pandemic, being aware that we are living in an in-between time that requires hybrid ministry at every level.

In this regard, we invite you to continue to follow the guidance we offered on May 14th, which is directly connected to the CDC updated guidance from May 13th:

1. Encourage unvaccinated people to wear masks while indoors. Mask wearing is optional for those who have been fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated is defined as being two weeks after the last dose of the vaccine. 

2. Extend grace to one another. Be sensitive to children under 12 years old who are not old enough to be vaccinated and those who are unable to be vaccinated because they are immune compromised. Adults who are fully vaccinated who have children or grandchildren or vulnerable persons in their household may choose to wear a mask. For this reason, some churches may choose to require masks for everyone.

3. Making masks optional requires trust. Churches should consider providing caution zones where people who want to wear masks can do so.

4. We continue to encourage people to maintain social distance and use sanitizers. 

5. Continue to work as a team to monitor your local context and consult with your local health department and the CDC about the specifics to your context.

Finally, we know some of you are preparing for the opening of pre-schools later this summer. Our recommendations around pre-schools remain connected to the CDC guidelines (July 9th update) and the guidelines of your local context. Most pre-schools working with children who are all unable to be vaccinated due to their age require masks for children (over two years old) along with the adults who are volunteering or working with them.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your District Office or the Episcopal Office through ashanks@flumc.org

The Peace of the Lord,
Bishop Ken Carter


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