The Leadership of FCC

Safe Church Policy and Procedure

As of August 16, 2022, the Vision and Leadership Team of the First Congregational Church voted in the following updated and revised policies and procedures for maintaining a safe church. The policies were revised to not only protect youth and children but any vulnerable individual which could be understood as such due to age, ability, power dynamics, etc.

You may review our Safe Church policy and procedure here. The attachments will be added soon.

Handling COVID

On September 20, the Vision and Leadership Team (VLT) discussed how we would handle Covid concerns, outbreaks, and returns moving forward in our new reality. As you may guess these are all guidelines and can shift in light of the health and safety of the community. To make on the spot decisions, Rev. Brian Donovan (pastor@fcc-salem.org, 207-350-9561), Becky Wolfe (beckywolfenh@yahoo.com), Laura Edwards (theedwards94@gmail.com), Emily Hollins (egould1025@yahoo.com), and Sue Lancaster (slanca@comcast.net) will confer and make any on the spot decisions to deal with health risks to our fellowship. Any of these individuals will help you personally, as well. That said, we, as a team, feel it is important to recognize that the concern of two and a half years ago is not the same as today. Today, the concern is still present but one which is fully manageable with common sense and the tools at hand from the CDC and our school systems.

Therefore, our guidelines / policies are as follows:

1. If you are sick, please stay home and rest, regardless of the type of illness. 
a. Please do this until you have no fever for at least 24 hours and have an improvement of symptoms or confirmation that the illness is not contagious.
b. Please also call the Pastor so we can pray, hold, and care for you throughout your illness.

2. Masks are encouraged and accepted as are those people who choose to not wear them.
a. The Worship Team will have some masks available if you would like one.

COVID SPECIFIC:
3. If you are exposed to Covid, please wear a mask immediately and test yourself on day five with a simple at home test or PCR test.

4. If you test positive for Covid or show symptoms which lead you to test for Covid, that is day 0.
a. Please isolate starting on day 0.
b. On day five (after positive test or first symptoms) you should be safe to no longer isolate / return to church if you have no fever and an improvement of your symptoms.
c. Please continue to wear your mask until day 12.

Finally, if you are engaging with / close contact with more vulnerable populations and have tested positive for Covid (or counting from the first symptom shown), the CDC suggests 12 days before engaging with these populations again. Doctors have also confirmed that a negative at home test (after a positive at home or PCR test) suggests a lack of being contagious. PCR tests will show positive for much longer times. Neither of these last two items are policy at the FCC; however, they may help you evaluate your risk when it comes to engaging with people who are vulnerable due to age and / or immunocompromised status.