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COVID Protocols Update: Aug. 18, 2021

By Rev. Dr. Fritz Ritsch

Dear Friends in Christ at St. Stephen: 


With the recent extreme uptick in COVID-19 cases in Tarrant County, the session of St. Stephen Presbyterian Church believes that we need to upgrade our COVID-19 protections until such time as the situation improves to a marked extent.  

  1. Masks are once again required inside of all buildings until further notice. Sanitizing stations will be set up in the sanctuary building.  
  2. Approved seating will be more clearly designated and also unapproved seating will be more clearly marked. Our designated seating is always six feet or more away from other designated seating. Please make sure that you are seated in the right place. Feel free to ask an usher if uncertain. 
  3. Worshipers may enter and exit through all narthex doors and the West Transept doors. However, they must not congregate in the narthex. Please exit directly to the campus and fellowship there.  
  4. Communion packets will continue to be used.  
  5. Please practice personal responsibility. Stay away from the church if you are sick or suspect you have been exposed, until it is resolved.  
  6. We ask that you call the church if you discover you’ve been exposed or if you or your family have COVID-19. Your confidentiality will be respected. You may contact any staff member. We have already had “breakthrough” cases, where those who’ve been vaccinated nonetheless get a mild case of COVID. Please let us know if this is the case. 
  7. All activities and meetings in either building are to be set up with six feet between chairs and individuals with masking required. The coordinator of the event is responsible for making sure these arrangements are made and that participants are reminded to abide by them. Tables have been set up in the Parish Hall in a way that can safely facilitate meetings and meals. Please do not rearrange these tables. Meetings, fellowship events and classes outside are strongly encouraged, especially if eating is involved or if it’s impractical keep people safely social distanced. 

    As we deal with this new outbreak, here are some things I encourage us all to think about, pray about, and act upon. 
  1. The Unity Across the City event planned for Dickies Arena on Sunday August 22 has been indefinitely postponed due to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the city.  
  2. Right now the Delta Variant is spreading among those who are unvaccinated. At the most basic essential level, if you have not received a vaccination, be aware that you are at risk and you are creating a health risk for others. Please get vaccinated.  
  3. However, the Delta Variant is also spreading among the vaccinated, fortunately for the most part without hospitalization. If you have been exposed or have COVID-19 and have been to church, please let us know at once. Be aware that there are vulnerable folks in our congregation, namely those with underlying conditions and children twelve and under who cannot be vaccinated.  


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