GREETINGS BETHANY FAMILY!
This past week the governor announced a vaccine requirement for healthcare workers, PreK-12 teachers and staff, higher education personnel and students aimed at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 Delta Variant. In addition, a statewide indoor mask mandate for all Illinois residents, regardless of vaccination status was implemented – effective Monday, August 30th.
We are thankful to see that the COVID-19 related numbers in the Peoria community have not experienced the significant increases that are being seen in other parts of the state. Having said that, we continue to monitor the occupancy status of local hospitals and watch for local outbreaks.
In assessing the recent actions, we wanted to provide you with an update. The elders have reaffirmed our decision to continue Sunday worship services as they are currently structured.
- First – In reviewing the governor’s order, it appears to exempt religious gatherings from the mandate as was the case with previous orders regarding worship gatherings, group size, and mask measures. Our understanding is that worship gatherings are not included along with the public institutions mentioned, and that we are to continue to consider medical precautions and local community rates as we seek to faithfully worship.
- Second – The latest available information on Peoria hospital bed occupancy rates show that the numbers remain fairly low – below stated thresholds of concern.
- Third – While we continue to see and hear of cases within the church and neighbors, etc., there is no indication of significant spreading that is associated with our members and attenders.
Please know that we encourage and respect each individual’s decision on the precautionary steps that you take. For those at greatest risk or with greatest concern, we will continue to offer the online streaming of our services each Sunday. In addition, if you are experiencing any of the known symptoms of COVID, are not feeling well, or have been exposed to someone with COVID, please stay home and follow the guidance provided by the CDC for testing and quarantine.
Please let us know if there are specific ways that we can minister to you or if you would like to discuss. Thank you for your continued prayers for our church and our church family!