Nov 23, 2021 Update: We’re erring on the side of safety
Mayor Bowser has lifted mask mandates in the District of Columbia but left it to houses of worship to determine our own protocols. Given a) our commitment to safety, b) some of us are still not eligible for vaccines, and c) we have differing levels of risk tolerance, we are keeping our mask mandate in place until further notice.
When you gather indoors at St. Columba’s for any reason – worship, meetings, fellowship, rehearsals, classes, etc. - you will be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. Thank you for your understanding and your care for others.
From Anthony Kittrell, Director of Operations, on indoor worship:
As we move our 11:15am service indoors, we understand some may experience trepidation about this change. Our goal is to collaboratively ensure you feel safe so together we can navigate the complexities of our “new normal”. For example, we have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning, including regular sanitization of door handles, sink handles, refrigerator handles, handrails, touch screens, and other frequently touched areas. We performed an assessment of our Nave HVAC units to ensure they are working at 100% functionality, we replaced all of our filters, and cleaned our entire duct system. We also purchased personal protective gear, such as masks and hand sanitizing stations, and implemented disinfectant spraying of the pews. We look forward to seeing you!
As summer ends, we look forward to gathering together for worship, fellowship, ministries, and more. In this ever-shifting COVID landscape, staying safe and keeping others safe is paramount. Recognizing that the people of our congregation and community have differing needs and differing understandings and comfort levels of acceptable risk, we will have ways to gather for worship and other activities both indoors and outdoors, as well as on line.
We ask that you follow the guidelines set forth below, consistent with those provided by the CDC and DC city government. We will notify you as guidelines change.
When you gather indoors at St. Columba’s for any reason – worship, meetings, fellowship, rehearsals, classes, etc. - you will be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.
To assist with contact tracing, everyone must register for indoor gatherings and events.Parishioners and guests will be asked to check in either at one of our brand new kiosks placed throughout the building, or to check in online. We will keep it simple and easy for all.
We have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning, including regular sanitization of door handles, sink handles, refrigerator handles, handrails, touch screens, and other frequently touched areas. We added alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations throughout the building and we have personal protective gear, such as masks, readily available for any guest that may need them.
As we take measures to ensure the safety of others, we ask you to do the same: If you are eligible to be vaccinated, we ask that you do so before gathering indoors, and to follow the guidelines set forth here.
When worshipping or gathering outdoors, wearing a mask is at your comfort or discretion. When gathering for a St. Columba’s activity not held on St. Columba’s property, please check with the host or organizer.
If you are experiencing cold-related symptoms, please stay home. If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have come in contact with COVID-19, please email Greg Parker or Tony Kittrell immediately. A notice to all individuals who came in contact with said person will be notified via email without mentioning name. The Operations team will arrange a medical grade cleaning of the area and contact tracing will begin. If you have contracted COVID-19 and tested positive, you will need to quarantine for two weeks and not participate in St. Columba’s activities, e.g., choirs, youth group, etc. until you have tested negative.
Thank you very much for your attention and care.
*These guidelines are based on what similar businesses, organizations, and churches are doing in the area. Business and Employment firm VedderPrice also reviewed