TKC – POST COVID-19 RE-OPENING PLAN
Dear Family and Friends,
As the restrictions on gatherings at places of worship are being gradually lifted, TKC has put in place arrangements to prepare the church facilities for a safe return of members to worship services. This document provides information on new safety measures that the church continues to implement to ensure that the resumption of physical gathering continues in a safe and caring approach.
It is understood that the potential for the spread of infection during gatherings is present, and some spread of the infections globally have taken place in faith-based gatherings. As best as possible, online services and meetings will continue in order to prioritize the health and safety of all the church members.
We do not want any member of the church to feel compelled or pressured into resuming physical attendance of church services. The decision is solely that of the respective individuals or families, and should only be taken if and when they feel comfortable enough to return.
We were intentionally thorough in planning over several days for the safe re-opening of the church, even after the Ontario government had lifted restrictions and permitted places of worship to gather up to 30% of their capacity. The decision to re-open our doors was never taken lightly, and was finally made so as to not deny the members who were yearning to return the opportunity to do so. It was a decision that we made only when we were satisfied that we had put enough safety measures in place, and had made due consultations with health and safety experts, and had done a careful study of public health guidelines.
As the recovery phase evolves, we shall regularly monitor the most current information and advice from Health Canada, Provincial and Toronto Public Health Agencies as best practices continue to be developed globally. Our strategy will be updated on a regular basis as guidance from these government agencies evolves, and new safety measures will need to be implemented.
Let us stand together and reach out to one another as we have always been encouraged to do.
Pastor Tayo Ojajuni
“The Lord your God is in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph.3:17 NKJV)
Worship service/Meetings attendance
- As directed by the government of Ontario, attendance is limited to no more than 30% of the capacity of the church premises.
- If the calculated reduced seating capacity (30%) is less than the anticipated number of attendees, the pastorate will consider creating a new schedule to hold more services
- We shall continue to monitor evolving directives from the government, and communicate the allowable caps on attendance to the church members accordingly.
- Online viewing platforms (YouTube, Facebook & Instagram) will continue to be available to everyone.
- The children’s church is suspended until further notice.
- Some of the auditorium seats have been removed and the rest rearranged to ensure physical distancing between individuals.
- The floor has been marked appropriately to encourage physical
- Different points of entry and exit from the church have been assigned appropriately
- The number of people singing in the choir has been limited as much as possible, and are at a safe distance from one another, and the congregation.
- Sharing of microphones is not encouraged. Microphones shall be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer’s instructions after each use.
- Standing and sitting 6 feet (2 meters) apart is enforced
- Handshakes, hugging, touching, or passing items between people compromises the two-meter distance. This is highly discouraged and must only occur between members of the same household. Instead, smiling, waving and nodding are encouraged upon arrival, or at the end of services
Cleaning Plan – Facilities & Maintenance Department
Our facilities will continue to undergo an intensive deep clean and disinfection prior to reopening. Deep clean protocols, and standards have been established and are documented.
We have purchased a ULV (Ultra Low Volume) Fogger that disinfects and sanitizes large spaces in minutes using the natural anolyte solution to protect against viruses, germs and bacteria. We use this equipment after each service to disinfect the sanctuary and the seats in readiness for the next service
We shall continue to practice regular and frequent sanitization and disinfection in all areas of the church facilities with the best available products. These areas will include but are not limited to:
- The foyers
- Main sanctuary
- Multi-purpose room
- High-touch surfaces (door knobs, tables & counters surfaces, hand rails, toilet laps, etc.)
The following cleaning practices are implemented:
- In order to ensure that the Church environment is properly ventilated, we shall carry out the replacement of HVAC filters of the highest quality, to ensure they are within service life and appropriately installed.
- We use hospital grade disinfectants in all areas of the facility, and we will continue to explore new equipment and supplies for increased prevention of the transmission of viruses and bacteria.
- Special attention is placed on high-touch surfaces including but not limited to door hardware, ATM machines, light switches, which are regularly sprayed and wiped with disinfectant.
- Hand sanitizer stations are accessible in common areas throughout the facilities on an ongoing basis.
- Sweeping of floors is minimized to avoid dust while mopping of the floors is done more frequently during and in between services
- Additional time and cleaning personnel are dedicated to between services, especially on Sundays
- If and when the Children’s church resumes, the teachers will monitor the children in their care when visiting the washrooms.
- In accordance with safety guidelines, members of the Facilities & Maintenance department will continue to be properly trained and educated on the best practices regarding cleaning. They must wear disposable gloves, surgical mask, and eye protection during cleaning.
- Washrooms will be monitored to restrict occupancy to 2 persons at any given time so as to reduce overcrowding
- There will always be a member of the Facilities & Maintenance Team at the washroom area, to ensure that the 2 persons rule in the washrooms is followed.
- Signs and markings have been posted in the washroom areas
- Washrooms will be deep cleaned regularly and soap dispensers will be refilled frequently.
- Entrance doors to washrooms will be propped open to eliminate the need to touch door handles
In order to have a safe and conducive environment for all, everyone who wishes to physically return to the church for services must take note of and abide by the following where applicable.
- Members are encouraged to do a Covid-19 self-assessment that is available at the church building’s main entrance, and on the COVID-19 page of the church website HERE. You will be re-directed to the appropriate Ontario government website.
- Anyone who is experiencing any of the symptoms detailed HERE (cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat, etc.) must remain at home, and contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, or their health care provider for more information and guidance about testing
- Individuals who have travelled internationally in any previous 14 days, and individuals who have had close contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases in any previous 14 days are prohibited by law from visiting the church
- Individuals under 15 years, those over 70 years of age and people with chronic medical conditions are at greater risk of severe disease, and are advised to join the services online
- Face mask is strongly encouraged to be worn where it is difficult to maintain 6-ft physical distance. The mask should cover both mouth and nose.
- Everyone is encouraged to use hand-sanitizers pre and post church service
- Please, continue to practice proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Cover the mouth and nose with elbow when coughing or sneezing or use a tissue then discard in waste bin. Wash or sanitize hands afterwards
Prayer, Counseling & Support Services
COVID-19 has presented unprecedented issues and concerns for the global community. As we focus on keeping ourselves healthy and containing the spread of COVID-19, we must realize that God is the supreme authority who has the whole world in His palm, and so, we must not lose our focus of Him. We may be apart physically, but we are not alone.
If there is an emergency, or you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital or emergency department.
In addition, the following services are available to anyone who may be facing difficulties, stress and anxiety, and desires to get help and talk to someone:
- Pastoral Counseling & Prayer line – Call 1-844-(PRAYER4)
- Community Support Services – Information and referral for community, government, social and health services, including mental health resources across Ontario. Call 2-1-1, Toll-free: 1-877-330-3213
- For a free cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program that offers guided mental health self-help supports for adults and youth 15 and older. Call Toll-free: 1-866-345-0224
- As advised by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, there will not be serving or provision of food and beverages before, during, or after services until further notice, because of the increased the risk of spreading COVID-19
- As advised by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, serving exposed Holy Communion items will be suspended.
- Everyone attending the Holy Communion service will either provide their own pre-packed Communion items or they shall pick from pre-packed Items that is hygienically provided.
- E-transfer to email@example.com is highly encouraged for all forms of giving
- Members who are unable to give by electronic means are advised that offering baskets will not be passed around by the ushers any longer. Instead, the baskets will be placed at convenient spots where members can have access to them.
- Individuals who wish to give by cash or cheques will still be able to do so, but will have to take an envelope from a designated location by themselves. Ushers will be on hand to assist as may be necessary.
- Handing out of the printed weekly bulletins is suspended
- Members are advised to frequently visit the church website and other social media sites for pertinent information. thekingscovenant.ca
What we shall do if a case of COVID-19 is reported?
Though we sincerely hope and pray that no member of TKC will be identified as being COVID-19 positive. However, since we are not God it is imperative and expected through this whole re-opening process that efforts are made by the church, to ensure that ALL worshippers and visitors are tracked. This is to guarantee that, we are able to provide 100% COVID-19 Contact Tracing in the case that follow up of any kind is required.
A record of the names and contact information (phone number and/or email) of the members and visitors who attend services are being kept. The confidentiality of the information will be protected by the church, and will only be provided to local public health authorities in the event there is a case of COVID-19 who was contagious while attending services.
- COVID-19 Emergency Management Team (EMT)
The following individuals have been designated as follows:
Akin Reju – Assistant Pastor
Ola Laditi – Operations Coordinator
It is mandatory for church members or employees to report to the EMT if they or someone in their household test positive for COVID-19. The EMT will activate the necessary alert and protocol established, and this include notifying Toronto Health department of any such occurrence.
- Infection-Control Measures and Compliance with Health Canada/Toronto Public Health Guidelines:
It is required that TKC members who have or suspect that they have the COVID-19 or other communicable illness will seek appropriate medical treatment. TKC member who becomes symptomatic during a church service, will immediately be separated from other members/worshippers, and will not be permitted to stay. Such a person(s) will be directed to the nearest COVID-19 test Centre (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations/) to be tested. They will be required to follow the recommendations of their health authorities, and will not be allowed to return to the church until either a negative test result has been received or, they have self-quarantined for 14 days.
- It is required that sick members stay away from the church for the period of time recommended by medical professionals, and a related right of TKC to enforce that requirement for sick members and those who have been exposed, where that restriction is necessary to protect other members.
- If a member is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, the pastorate will obtain from that member the names of any other persons/members that they have been in “close contact” with during the prior 2 weeks. The pastorate will inform the church members with whom they have had close contact of their possible exposure, and instruct them to self-monitor for symptoms. Close contact is defined as within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes
- Continue to practice social distancing and provide hand washing facilities and extra sanitizing gels in key places within the church facilities. Disinfection of all frequently touched surfaces is routinely being performed.
- Contamination eradication
- We will follow Toronto Public Health guideline that recommends the performance of enhanced cleaning and disinfection after persons suspected/confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in the facility.
- We will close off areas visited by the ill person and ventilate to increase air circulation in the area.
- We will immediately carry out an intensive deep clean and disinfection of the entire facility; bathrooms, common areas, drum set, shared electronic equipment like microphones, pianos, cameras, keyboards, tablets and remote controls, used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
- For a confirmed case, on the advice of public health authorities, or where we assessed and determined that it is beneficial to use a professional third party cleaner or specialized teams will rapidly sterilize and decontaminate against pathogens to effectively prevent infection and illness within the facilities.
- All activities will be suspended until the cleaning and disinfection have been satisfactorily completed.
- We shall be guided by the Toronto Public Health which will continue to advise us of any additional measures needed to reduce the risk of spread in the setting.
The church offices have begun operating modified opening hours from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday. You can still reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or, by calling 416 633 3288. Please, leave a message if you called outside the specified office hours, and you will get a response within the next business day.