COVID-19 Protocols

Sanctuary Reopening

As we prepare to re-open our sanctuary, we seek the Lord for His divine wisdom and guidance and will be obedient to Him first and foremost.  Furthermore, New Life Baptist Church will adhere to National, State and Local Government Health/Safety and Scientific guidelines for reopening our sanctuary under acceptable safe conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When we resume worship and fellowship at our sanctuary during this pandemic, everyone should not expect business as usual.  Because of the grave risk of illness (known and unknown) and even death (for some with underlying medical conditions) if attracted coronavirus, it’s imperative that everyone asses what we do and where we go on a daily basis.  Therefore, we must establish safety guidelines and enforce safety measures to ensure all New Life members, guests and visitors are kept safe.  As circumstances change during this pandemic, we will update our COVID plan to reflect current guidelines. We will implement applicable guidelines and recommendations from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), Department of Health (DOH), and our state and local government.

The complete COVID-19 Plan will be posted on the church’s website in the very near future. Following are excerpts from the plan.

         Entry Control Points:

  • Only side doors and main entrance door to the sanctuary will be accessible so that we can monitor all attendees
  • Main entrance door is the primary entry control point
  • Side entrances and main entrances are available for exit. Please follow the directions of the ushers.
  • Doors will be propped open (weather permitting) to avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces
  • Hand sanitizer and face covering (for those who arrive without wearing one or replacing damage or broken ones) will be available
  • CDC signs/symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) poster will be placed at each entrance in use, to query attendees of potential or confirmed COVID-19 exposure
  • Anyone with potential or confirmed COVID-19 exposure will not be allowed entry and advised to consult their healthcare provider for guidance.
  • Temperatures will be taken of all attendees using touchless thermometer and anyone with a temperature 100.4 degrees or above (based on DOH guidelines) will not be allowed entry.

         Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols:

  • All commonly or high-touch surfaces of New Life Baptist Church utilized for worship and in support of will undergo deep cleaning and disinfecting prior to reopening and after each service, potential or confirmed COVID-19 incident, and/ or use of those areas of the facility
  • Including: work stations, mirrors, chairs, headrests and armrests, doorknobs, handrails, restrooms etc.—using soapy water as appropriate, followed by appropriate disinfectants
  • Hand sanitizers will be available in the sanctuary, contact areas such as meeting rooms and liquid hand soap will be available in the restrooms for frequent handwashing.
  • Everyone is encouraged to perform frequent handwashing before and after using the bathroom, before and after eating, after coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose, touching or adjusting their face covering.

         Physical Distancing Guidelines:

  • All seating (pews, chairs etc.) and gathering arrangements will be in accordance with physical distancing requirements (six feet distance from non-household members)
  • Members of the same household may be seated together as a single unit
  • If six feet physical distance is not feasible, a physical barrier will be installed instead
  • Markings will be placed on floors or seats indicating six feet radius to help guide members and visitors
  • When workstations cannot meet physical distance requirements, a physical barrier will be installed between them
  • Enforcing minimum six feet separations between all persons (of different household) in all interactions at all times (before, during and after service)
  • All attendees (members, visitors, guest etc.) must refrain from our traditional meet and greet gestures (handshake, hugs, kisses) avoiding physical contacts during COVID-19 pandemic—maintaining physical distance--encouraging wave or other greetings

         Individual Control Measures and Screening:

  • All attendees are required to sign-in upon entry listing name and phone number to assist tracking/tracing should a COVID-19 incident occurred at New Life Baptist Church
  • Sign-in log will be kept on file for two weeks and then shred when no longer serve its purpose
  • Safety/Security and Medical representatives are assigned responsibilities for monitoring COVID-19 incident at NLBC
  • Administrative Office is responsible for tracking/tracing COVID-19 incident at NLBC—reporting mishap to local Department of Health
  • All attendees, staff, members and guests must self-screen for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving at NLBC
  • Any individual with temperature of 100.4 degrees or above will not be permitted to attend services or enter the facility
  • Any individual with a household member diagnosed with COVID-19 or with symptoms of COVID-19 (including a fever above 100.4 degrees) will not be permitted to attend services or enter the facility
  • Face covering must be worn by every employee (staffs, members) not working alone unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection
  • Exceptions:
  • Individual has a medical condition or disability that makes wearing a face covering inappropriate; or when the job has no in-person interaction
  • Individual is deaf or hard of hearing and is commutating with someone who relies on language cues such as facial markers and expression and mouth movements as a part of communication

         Staff and Members Training:

  • Inform staffs and members of CDC guidance on COVID-19 prevention--utilized CDC Symptoms of COVID-19 Video
  • What you need to know:
  • Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms
  • Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk of developing more serious complications from COVID-19.
  • Church leaders, to include all ministers, ministry leaders, Board of Directors, Trustee Board, Ushers, Greeter, Security and Medical Personnel will receive a comprehensive training on COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.

         Communion:

  • No direct physical contact between servers and members, visitors or guests
  • Anything to be consumed may not be presented to the members, visitors or guests in a communal container or plate
  • Upon scripture readings and blessing pre-packed communion elements, they will be distributed to attendees upon conclusion of service, to be consumed at individual’s home or as determined by them.

         Wedding Ceremonies/Receptions and Funerals:

  • Wedding ceremonies/receptions and funeral ceremonies are allowed indoors/outdoors
  • Maximum people limited to 30 or 25% of building capacity whichever is less, excluding vendors and their staff
  • Everyone is required to maintain physical distance as outlined in this guidance
  • Wedding couple is exempted from physical distance so long as they maintain six feet physical distance from all others
  • All in attendance must wear face covering as outlined in this guidance
  • Wedding couple is exempted from wearing face covering so long as they maintain six feet physical distance from all others.

         Signage:

  • Post a sign at the entry control point(s) that says face coverings are required and must be worn (covering nose and mouth) before, during and after services, (whether indoors or outdoors)
  • COVID-19 safety information and requirements, such as CDC, DOH, and OSHA posters shall be visibly posted strategically throughout NLBC (restrooms, entry control points, indoor/outdoor etc.)

         Facility Ventilation System:

  • Doors will be open where feasible (without compromising safety/security) to introduce fresh air into the sanctuary
  • Install the highest efficiency air filters in existing ventilation system
  • Alternatively, install portable high-efficiency air cleaners

        RE-ENTRY TASK FORCE MEMBERS

Archbishop Lorenzo Peterson
Sister Alice Drummer-Task Force Chair
Dr. Thelma Jackson
Brother Harden Keys
Elder Lisa Thomas
Sister Terry Butler
Minister Rebecca Ligon
Minister Latoya Brown
Deacon Gary Downs
Sister Altavia Jones
Sister Antoinette Walker
Brother Robert Simpson
Senior Pastor
Operations Director
Board of Directors Chair
Trustee Board Chair
NLBC Treasurer
Trustee Board Vice-Chair
Trustee Board Member
Board of Directors Member
Board of Directors Member
Trustee Board Member
General Membership Rep.
NLBC Safety Officer