St. Martin's Episcopal Church
COVID-19 Updated Protocols

The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island State Department of Health have both developed appropriate responses to prevent widespread illness from the coronavirus.

Medical professionals from within the St. Martin’s community are monitoring the situation and have made some recommendations.

What you can do as an individual
Because human coronaviruses commonly spread through respiratory droplets, Parishioners are reminded to take the same measures that healthcare providers recommend annually to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses.
1.       Get your flu shot , and make sure the people around you do the same.
2.       Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.  Hand washing should be about 20 seconds. Sing Happy Birthday twice, or for variety sing Baby Shark 3 times.
3.       Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue . Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.
4.       Stay home from work or school if you are sick .
5.       Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth . Germs spread this way.
6.       Live a healthy life . Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
7.       Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.
8.       If you are NOT feeling well, please stay home. Home pastoral care can be arranged. Substitutes can be found for Sunday ministries.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected.

These personal Stay Healthy Guidelines have been prepared and approved by medical professionals who are part of our St. Martin’s community.

Signed,
Dr. Patricia Nolan Dr. Douglas Anthony Dr. Allen Dennison Dr. Karen Ng  
Dr. Elizabeth Toolan      Dr. Denis Moonan Dr. William Hollinshead
 
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What we’re doing in church to keep our community healthy
1.       Ushers and others will clean & disinfect the altar rails and pew rails before each service.
2.       Hand sanitizers are available throughout the church.
3.       Since the church is large for our numbers and we have a good sound system, we offer the side aisles for those would prefer to maintain a 6-foot distance between parishioners.
4.       Pastoral visits to the sick are an ongoing concern and will be the subject of additional discussion and study.
5.       As this outbreak continues, the safety of our church community is our primary goal.  Should it be necessary, we will look for ways to accomplish virtual parish meetings, even services
What we’re doing for Coffee Hour
Coffee Hour is a much-loved social time at St. Martin’s that brings everyone together for a minute or an hour to catch up on church and personal happenings.  
In keeping with guidance from the Diocese and health and safety experts, we ask Coffee Hour hosts and assistants to wear gloves while preparing and serving.  They are available in the kitchen.

Please bring individually packaged snacks for Coffee Hour ( e.g. Granola Bars, packets of cookies, chips, popcorn, pretzels, or individual fruits that can be peeled – oranges and bananas.  We will revisit Coffee Hour protocol on a week to week basis.

During Communion
Anglican practice has always been to drink from the cup, yet in the Episcopal Church intinction has now become commonplace in the erroneous belief that it's safer than sharing the chalice. However, multiple fingers in the wine are a major source of cross contamination - much worse than drinking from the cup.

Good practice should now be:
No self-intincting - i.e. dipping your host into the cup. Should you wish your host to be intincted, please leave the host resting in your open palm so that the Eucharistic Minister can put a drop of wine on it with an intinction spoon. You may also tap the host against the cup as a sign of intinction.

No one should drink from the cup until further notice.

Sincerely,
David Brookhart
Sr. Warden