In response to the recent news about the coronavirus (COVID-19), our prayers to God are for those who are ill with this virus and for those who care for them, especially in countries that have been most affected. We also pray for health and frontline workers as they face their daily tasks. And we remember those communities and businesses that have been affected and any facing discrimination as a result of the circulation of the virus.
Public Health officials tell us that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to any virus. General prevention measures include:
- Get your flu shot if you have not already received one.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Stay home if you have influenza/respiratory virus symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, trouble breathing).
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
- If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Currently, the risk of getting COVID-19 in Canada remains low for the general population. But as the last few days have shown the situation can quickly change. Everyone should use their best judgement on how to minimize risk, especially for those who are most vulnerable:
- aged 65 and over,
- with compromised immune systems,
- with underlying medical conditions.
If you’re rejoining us after travelling abroad, please review the suggested guidelines on the federal government’s website https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices which has the most up-to-date information for returning travellers.
- Worship has been cancelled for Sunday March 15. Session (the Minister and elders) will be meeting to determine our next steps as a congregation in light of the public health situation. We will keep you informed in the coming days and weeks by email and here on the church website.
Other Church Events
- Let’s Do Lunch is cancelled next Wednesday March 18. We will continue to monitor the public health situation over the next few weeks before making a decision about the April Let’s Do Lunch.
- Please pass along the news to any friends from outside the congregation who normally attend Let’s Do Lunch.
- We are also cancelling our Children’s Choir rehearsals and Messy Church gatherings until classes resume at Ontario Public Schools. Current plans are for schools to reopen on April 5.
The Government of Canada provides updates as well as other health safety practices and resources at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html. Information about the current status of the situation in Ontario is available on the Ministry of Health website at www.ontario.ca/coronavirus. It’s important to ensure that you are using credible sources of information like these to get your information about COVID-19.