An Update on Our Church & COVID-19
Dear First Baptist Church Family,
This morning, at around 10am, we were informed that one of our employees has tested positive for the coronavirus. The employee is one of our part-time custodians (our local health department has asked us not to release the name.) The last time this employee was in our building was a week ago Tuesday, March 23 and at that time this person was not symptomatic.
As of right now, we are not aware of any staff or church member who came into close contact with this employee at any point in the days leading up to them becoming sick. Likewise, no staff or church member who has been in the building since the 23rd has shown signs of illness. Our staff team has been interviewed by members of our local health department and have been informed that we are unlikely to have been exposed to the illness and are at a very low risk of contaminating anyone else. However, we are not fully past the period of incubation and therefore we are taking immediate steps to reduce any additional risk or exposure. Effective immediately, the church building will be on a total lock down and no one will be allowed to enter again until Tuesday, April 7, two weeks after the original date of potential exposure. Also, starting tomorrow, I have directed our staff to begin working from home until next Tuesday. If by that point there have no additional reports of sickness, we will return to the office and resume activities under current social distancing guidelines.
Also, as you probably already know, St. Francois county has issued a stay at home order effective Friday, April 3 and the current expectation is that it will last throughout the month of April. Therefore, our church council has decided that we will continue with our current process of having church activities through online methods only. Our worship service can be found live on Facebook every Sunday morning at 10:30am and I will also continue to host a 10 minute devotion on Facebook every weekday at 10am. Many of our Sunday school classes are finding ways to stay connected during this time as well. If you haven’t already heard from your teacher or department director, please call him/her to discuss what methods are available to continue in your Bible study.
As always, please continue to pray for our church, and especially our staff member who is currently sick. Thankfully, this employee is feeling fairly well and not exhibiting serious symptoms at this time. Thank you for your continued support and understanding.