Local churches having to rethink COVID-19 polices on the fly as omicron cases rise

METRO ATLANTA — Much like businesses and government agencies, metro area churches are beginning to make changes as the amount of COVID-19 cases in the area begins to rise again.

On Friday, the Archdiocese of Atlanta sent out new guidelines for their churches. Many other houses of worship in metro Atlanta have been doing the same.

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The Archdiocese note was a reminder to parishes that they should review their protocols and add new ones if they need to. At the RhemaNation Church in DeKalb County, they’ve already stepped up their safety procedures for anyone who comes to the building.

The church explained what their procedures are and why they are in place to Channel 2′s Michele Newell.

“You have to keep your mask on throughout the service,” said Kay Gibson, the church’s communications director. “Our COVID-19 task force is just a small team of individuals, health care professionals, nurses and doctors.”

Before their Sunday services, the church requires parishioners to preregister in order to attend the service in person. The task force will then check each person as they enter the building.

“If church members are unable to preregister before coming to church, they can register in person but they still have to get checked in,” Gibson said. “Then we move on and go to the sanitizing station and encourage them to sanitize before they enter into the church.”

There is also an option to watch the service virtually, online.

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Historical Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta recently suspended their in-person services. On their website, the explain it was a safety decision based on the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. They said the decision was made in consultation with their COVID task force.

The RehmaNation Church said they are prepared to make adjustments to their protocols if things continue to change.

“We are literally monitoring every single week along with our pastor and our trustees, just seeing what is going on in the world,” Gibson said. “If it gets to a point where we need to go back to virtual, we have no problem with that.”

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