COVID-19 Updates

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

From the PA Council of Churches

We have continued to add more videos to our YouTube channel urging Pennsylvanians to #GetVaccinated! You can view all the videos at
One of our members has upped the game, however–please check out the video produced by the Synod of the Trinity, Presbyterian Church (USA) at
A diverse collection of members of the Synod of the Trinity Presbyterian Church (USA) joins the Pennsylvania Council of Churches to urge you to get vaccinate…
We are challenging all of our members to consider submitting videos that reflect the diversity of their members and congregations! This is not meant to be competition, though a little friendly promotion within your networks and Pennsylvania as a whole is welcomed and encouraged.
If you decide to submit your own video, it should be sent to me at I can receive videos via Dropbox, Google Docs, or a large file transfer program like TransferNow (which is free). It will be shared on our YouTube channel and via social media–including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Tiktok!
Thanks for considering! Blessings and peace,
Rev. Sandra L. Strauss, Director of Advocacy & Ecumenical Outreach
Pennsylvania Council of Churches, 900 S. Arlington Avenue, Suite 211A, Harrisburg, PA 17109
(717) 545-4761/(717) 545-4765 (fax)/(717) 350-0165 (cell);
Video made for the PA Council of Churches About Getting Vaccinated
Click Here for Video


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”


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


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:         Spanish: 
  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


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


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


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


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


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




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