As the current concerns over the COVID-19 virus continue to mount, our leaders within Bloordale United Church ask you to exercise an abundance of caution, even while urging you not to panic. The risk to us in southern Ontario is currently low, and Public Health officials have yet to declare an emergency. So for the time being we plan to continue to worship together and gather for meetings, as well as allow the use of our building for our various renter agencies and groups. Nonetheless, we are taking some precautions, such as undertaking repetitive cleaning of our public spaces, washrooms, door handles, etc., making gloves and wipes available in the kitchen and elsewhere, asking all our renters and users to exercise cleaning diligence and extra caution, and initiating a protocol for the safe serving of coffee and snacks after worship. We also ask you to take the following preventative actions to help avoid the spread of this novel virus:
- Get a yearly flu vaccination, available from clinics and pharmacies as this is the best way to prevent influenza infection;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Use hand sanitizer when you arrive at church and when you leave again;
- Refrain from shaking hands (elbow bumping or a bow is the new handshake!);
- Stay home if you have any symptoms (fever, coughing, sneezing, etc.) and seek medical attention;
- Stay home, also, if you are simply uncertain about your safety (we can circulate worship services, with sermon, if you request them);
- And don’t come downstairs for coffee and conversation after worship, if you are uncomfortable doing so.
You may be aware that the games of various professional sporting leagues with home base in the US, such as Major League Baseball, NBA Basketball , and NHL Hockey have been postponed or temporarily suspended. In view of the fact that a few of their players have tested positive for COVID-19 and in view of the massive attendance at these games, these seem to be prudent precautions.
Also, you may be aware that the Government of Ontario has just announced that public-funded schools will remain close for two weeks after March Break as a precaution.
At the moment, the Government of Ontario has not ordered restrictions on public gatherings, as there has been no significant evidence of community transmission in this province. However, this could change at any time.
We will continue to monitor the situation and report back as the need arises, or as stricter limitations become necessary.