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Reopening Churches During COVID-19 Webinar

On June 11, over 400 of you joined us for a webinar with Dr. Fred Southwick, an infectious disease expert who attends a Florida United Methodist Church. Here are some key things he shared that may help augment your returning to in-person worship plans:

  • Being outside is much safer than being inside. There is much less transmission of the virus outside especially when people remain appropriately distanced.
  • The virus spreads mostly from droplets and aerosols released from infected people when they talk, cough, sneeze, and sing. For this reason, wearing masks and remaining six feet apart are essential.
  • Singing is the most dangerous activity you could do in church. Aerosols created by singing are not stopped by a mask or face shields. We recommend no congregational singing. Dr. Southwick recommended any soloist who leads singing should be tested every two weeks as well as remain appropriately distanced.
  • Although cleaning high touch areas like doors and restroom counters between services is important, it is not prudent to spend thousands of dollars on a deep clean each week because the virus does not stay active on surfaces beyond three days. 
  • Older adults and those with other medical conditions are more likely to develop complications from being infected. They should remain especially vigilant and avoid gatherings.
  • Children’s ministry in smaller groups with limited capacity, wearing masks and social distancing that does not involve volunteers in the vulnerable population can be done safely. Children who live with vulnerable adults should remain careful not to spread the disease at home.

To watch the Webinar with Dr. Southwick Hosted by the Florida Conference, June 11 click HERE

To download the PowerPoint slides from Dr. Southwick click HERE.  If you or your church have additional questions about returning to in person worship please visit our COVID-19 resource page or email Alex Shanks at

Note: Dr. Southwick presented a second webinar on July 1st that was hosted by the RCA of Gainesville, FL.  To view his latest webinar click here.