Dear First Pres Family,
What a difference four weeks has made. A month ago the Coronavirus Task Force was tracking with staff toward being able to fully reopen our campus in September. In mid-June, California relaxed restrictions. COVID-19 case rates reached minimal levels (as low as 1.9 cases per 100K). Then case rates began increasing…and last week’s case rates in Alameda County were at what the state formerly called the Purple/Widespread virus tier. So now we are stepping forward a little more slowly.
This week, we are thankful there are signs that Alameda County case growth may be slowing, and also that the Task Force’s policies and procedures work has served us well. In the past weeks, we’ve been able to move forward with slight adjustments for worship to keep everyone safe, and we are good to hold Children’s Ministry outdoor as planned for this Sunday, July 25 (like the July 11 photo above).
We reiterate some general advice to keep safe:
- Get vaccinated.
- Wear a properly fitting mask in public indoors in keeping with the recent advisement from the six Bay Area counties and City of Berkeley.
- We recommend avoiding dining indoors and reducing travel.
- Avoid travel to virus hot spots (e.g., Missouri, Arkansas, Nevada).
The staff is working on what the fall will look like, and the Task Force will help with parameters as needed. Currently, in addition to worship, here are a few things the Task Force is exploring for staff to be able to move forward when it’s safe to do so:
- Hospitality and lunch: Defining policies and phases for safe ways to extend beyond fellowship on the plaza after worship, including bringing back lunch (in partnership with The Table Catering).
- Children and youth: Developing parameters for what in-person ministry can look like—whether outdoor or indoor, given that we’re hearing that vaccinations for children under 12 years of age may be delayed to 2022.
- Fire season: Beginning to look at potential impact and actions for indoor spaces if air quality outdoors becomes an issue.
We are looking forward to cases declining, vaccination rates further increasing, and to being able to be together in person on campus. To reach us with a question or concern, please email us via [email protected]fpcberkeley.org.
Sue Burger, Executive Director for Operations
On behalf of the First Pres Coronavirus Task Force:
Ralph Anderson, Bev Estes, Anne Diggins, Nate Lawson,
Barbara Pedersen, Sandra Ramos Thompson, David Wagner