St Matthew’s guidelines on Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

12 March 2020

 

Many of you are aware that the Australian Government has activated an Emergency Response Plan for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Australia. The risk of transmission in Australia remains low, however the situation evolves on a day to day basis and is likely to become more widespread.

The staff team at St Matthew’s are aware that members of St Matthew’s attended a recent concert at which a person who later tested positive to COVID-19 was also present. We are monitoring the latest updates closely at WA Department of Health website.

 

Our God is sovereign, and all things happen in accordance with his good will and purposes. Part of God’s will is that we show Christ-like love and concern for others during these times.

Therefore, we are eager at St Matthew’s to do our part to ensure our community stays safe and is cared for during this outbreak. Given the elevated risk levels of contracting COVID-19, the senior staff and Church Council at St Matthew’s have decided to put some protective measures in place at all church gatherings. This is to ensure we are doing our best to care for members of our church family and our community, and we ask for your cooperation. We are particularly concerned to protect those aged over 70 and with existing conditions as they are the most vulnerable to the virus. Out of love we will be taking the following precautions:

What are we asking all members of St Matthew’s to do?

  • Keep an eye out for updates and instructions from reliable sources such as WA Health website.

  • If you have been travelling in an affected region (including as at March 12th mainland China, Iran, Republic of South Korea, or Italy) or have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should self-quarantine for 14 days. Please do not come to church or any St Matthew’s events during that time.

  • If you show symptoms of fever, dry cough or sore throat and have recently been overseas or have had contact with a confirmed case, you should self-quarantine for 14 days and seek medical attention. Please do not come to church or any St Matthew’s events during that time until symptoms have resolved, AND you have been cleared by a medical professional.

  • All members are encouraged to follow personal hygiene guidelines, including the regular washing of hands, avoiding touching your face, and minimising physical contact.

 

What will we do differently at church services and events?

For the foreseeable future all ministries of St Matthew’s will continue as planned, including Youth Group, Sunday services, Playgroup and ESL classes. However, to protect us all and to do our best to provide a clean and safe environment in which our community can meet:

  • Any food or meals at St Matthew’s services or events will be served to you where possible (rather than passed around or self-service), in order to avoid common handling of plates or serving utensils. Members are encouraged to be thoughtful in what food is brought to services and events to minimise infection risk and to wash their hands before eating and drinking.

  • Hot drinks will be served in recyclable cups and distributed by servers who have washed hands. They will also pour milk and add sugar etc., in order to avoid common handling.

  • Communion will be distributed from the front in individual cups. All attendants will wash their hands immediately prior to the distribution.

  • Nametags will be handed to you, rather than self-service.

  • We will not pass the basket around for offertory during the service, but instead have a box at the back of church where you can place your contributions and feedback slips.

  • Where possible we will prop our doors open to enable easy access without the need to touch door handles.

  • We encourage all people to bring their own Bible rather than use a shared one from church.

  • We also encourage everyone, when greeting people at church, to refrain from making physical contact as much as possible (e.g. refrain from handshakes or other forms of embrace).

 

What will we do differently with children’s and youth ministry?

  • We are making adjustments to the games and activities to minimise shared physical contact with objects and each other.

  • We will be offering a reduced array of toys and washing them before and after each session.

 

What else will St Matthew’s do?

  • Inform you immediately if you have been exposed to the virus at a St Matthew’s event.

  • Provide hand sanitizer at services and events (subject to availability).

  • Ensure sufficient surface disinfecting supplies so that commonly touched surfaces can be disinfected before and after each service or event (including sound desk, PowerPoint computer, door handles, tables, kitchen area, bathrooms etc.).

  • Heed any further measures recommended by WA health.

 

 

Please join us in praying for the situation: that God would bring about healing and a solution, for health authorities and governments around the world as they lead us, for an opportunity to show Christ-like love and concern for others during these times. We will continue to update you on how this situation affects our church community and if you find yourself in either spiritual or physical need please don’t hesitate to contact St Matthew’s via hello@stmatthews.com.au or (08) 9381 2640.

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CONTACT US

114 Onslow Rd

Shenton Park, WA 6008

(08) 9381 2640

hello@stmatthews.com.au

© 2020 St Matthew's Anglican Church Shenton Park