COVID-19 Updates

Updates and Resources Regarding COVID-19 — Please check each section as new posts are added as they become available. Thank you.

Video made for the PA Council of Churches About Getting Vaccinated
Click Here for Video

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Update About the CDC’s Latest Guidance on Mask Wearing

Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to mask and social distance. Wow, just wow. BUT (and this is a big but) before you strip naked (at least your face, that is…) and run through your favor indoor space with reckless abandon, let’s break this down a bit. 

First, why the change? The bottom line is that more and more research shows us that: 

1) The vaccine is pretty darn good at preventing symptomatic COVID infection, especially severe disease, hospitalization, and death. 

2) The vaccine is also pretty good at preventing asymptomatic COVID. Translate: It can prevent you from spreading it to others. 

So fully vaccinated people are protected from getting infection and giving it to others. Amen!  So what does that mean for day-to-day life? 

The CDC previously recognized that fully vaccinated people could relax masking and distancing in their private lives; namely, with other vaccinated families and friends and with select unvaccinated individuals. They also said you could nix the masks outside given the low risk for COVID transmission al fresco. 

With this update, fully vaccinated individuals can now remove their masks and get a little closer to others in many indoor public places.   

So what’s the catch? Let’s read the fine print… 

  • Fully vaccinated people must still wear a mask in health care settings, transportation hubs such as airports and stations, and public transportation. That includes planes, buses and trains traveling into, within or outside of the U.S. as part of a federal mask mandate that was extended to Sept. 13.
  • Fully vaccinated people must wear a mask or socially distance in places required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. 
  • Fully vaccinated people may still need to wear a mask depending on where they live and where they go. Some business owners may follow CDC guidelines, but others may be more reluctant to lift their own rules on masking. 

Here is the link to the official CDC guidance for your review:  Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People | CDC

Also attached a helpful graphic provided by the CDC. A key take-away from this chart I would especially like to highlight is the left-sided column – namely the activities that are still high-risk for those that are UNVACCINATED. Hint, hint: why haven’t you gotten your jab yet??? 

This is also a good opportunity for me to remind you all that COIVD is complicated and everyone navigates the ongoing fear and anxiety in different ways. Remember to Be Kind. No mask shaming (either to wear one or take it off)! 

Kara Mascitti, MD, MSCE, FACP, FIDSA; Medical Director, Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection Prevention; President, Network Medical Staff; Physician, St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Associates”

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Questions about the COVID-19 vaccine:The CDC has shared answers for some Frequently Asked Questions – Click Here to see. Check out the CDC website for additional tools and resources at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/vaccines.

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United Way of Pennsylvania (UWP), has launched their 2nd COVID-19 Impact Survey!  
Their first survey was a 6 month look at the impact of the pandemic on Pennsylvania families. Now UWP is conducting a second survey to help inform advocates about the experiences of Pennsylvania communities. This survey asks about childcare, food insecurity, housing, healthcare, and employment status. Here are the links to the survey: English: http://bit.ly/UWPsurvey         Spanish: http://bit.ly/UWPEncuesta 
  UWP is asking that individuals complete this survey and push it out far and wide over the next two weeks. If you have any questions, please contact: Rebecca O’Shea, UWP   Advocacy Engagement Coordinator(717) 238-7365 x204   roshea@uwp.org.

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Recently Released Announcements from the Governor’s Office  (3/2021)

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Suggested Guidelines for Local Church Gatherings in the Fall, 2020 – October 29, 2020 –

Rev. Dr. Bonnie Bates, Conference Minister

Click Here for the Suggested Guidelines

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Coronavirus resources available for churches, pastors.  For resources churches and pastors may find helpful in practicing ministry during the pandemic visit ucc.org/coronavirus

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  Up-dates re COVID-19 From the UCC Disaster MinistriesClick Here

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From the National UCC

Click here for the COVID-19 Daily Briefing Archive

You should be able to go there Monday through Friday to get updates.

Coronavirus resources available for churches, pastors – For resources churches and pastors may find helpful in practicing ministry during the pandemic visit ucc.org/coronavirus

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