The following is an update from Asbury’s Church Council on COVID-19 policy at Asbury Church
When Asbury returned to in-person worship services and other church activities, Church Council established a policy to follow the CDC’s data for Lehigh County.
The CDC established a color-coded system: Green for low case volume, Yellow for rising case volume and hospitalizations and Red for when the spread of new Covid-19 infections increases to the point where it is prudent to take extra precautions to slow the spread of the virus.
Lehigh County is experiencing significant increases in new Covid-19 cases. When the combination of newly diagnosed cases and Covid-19 hospital admissions reach high thresholds, the CDC moves a county into Red status. On Thursday, May 12, the CDC moved Lehigh County’s status to Red, indicating high community spread of Covid-19.
We recognize this information could be surprising for you because much of Pennsylvania is in the Green or Yellow status. Unfortunately, Lehigh County’s Covid-19 profile now mirrors the high Covid-19 levels in parts of northeast Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. This means we need to take extra steps to protect everyone attending services and other activities at Asbury.
Church Council has reviewed and discussed the data throughout the weekend. Based on the policy established to protect members and guests at Asbury and the high level of community spread currently in our area, Asbury will move from “masks optional” to “masks strongly recommended” for all indoor activities effective Monday May 16.
We know this is disappointing given how much our members have enjoyed worshipping without masks. However, we are dealing with the most contagious respiratory virus in history and need to continue to be flexible in order to worship safely.
Church Council is monitoring the CDC dashboard regularly and will as adjust based on the rate of Covid-19’s spread in Lehigh County.
Thank you for your understanding.