Dear Ontario Conference Pastors, Head Elders, Clerks, and Communication Leaders:
The Provincial Roadmap to Reopen is a three-step plan designed to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures. The plan is based on:
- the provincewide vaccination rate
- improvements in key public health and health care indicators
At 12:01 a.m. on June 11, three days ahead of the projected date, the province will move into Step 1 of its reopening roadmap. The province is scheduled to remain in Step 1 for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on critical public health and health system indicators.
What does this mean for places of worship?
Religious services, rites and ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, are permitted indoors at 15% capacity and outdoors with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 meters; this was to happen in step 2 but was brought forward to be included in step 1.
Ontario Conference Guidance
It is essential to underscore that a growing percentage of the COVID-19 cases are the more transmissible Delta variant. Therefore, we need to continue to take all public safety measures necessary and follow a careful and gradual approach to returning to in-person worship. During step 1:
- Services should be kept to one room at 15% capacity to a maximum of 100 persons while maintaining physical distancing, wearing masks and all other Provincial, Municipal, and Conference guidelines are to remain in place.
- No socializing is to take place after the service. Attendees should leave the building and parking lot promptly.
- All attendees must be pre-registered and pre-screened, and the records kept securely for a minimum of 30 days; this is critical if there is a need for contact tracing.
May our great God grant you just what you need in each unfolding moment of these challenging times.
- Mansfield Edwards (President)
- Jakov Bibulovic (Executive Secretary)
- Virene Meikle (Treasurer)