COVID-19 Update - March 8
Today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. People are considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks following their second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine or two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The new guidance allows fully vaccinated people to 1) gather indoors without wearing a mask and 2) to gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. This is a major milestone in the fight against this pandemic and should be celebrated.
The guidance continues to recommend that 1) all people wear masks and utilize safety precautions in public and group settings, 2) fully vaccinated people not gather with people from more than one household, and 3) fully vaccinated people not visit an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or who lives with a person at increased risk. The effectiveness of the various vaccines against the COVID-19 variants is still unknown. Until that threat is better known, precautions continue to be recommended.
This latest guidance does not change previous recommendations and cautions as we continue through Lent and approach Holy Week. While substantial portions of our church population may now be fully vaccinated, many worshippers will not be. The risk to the unvaccinated is too great to relax mask wearing and other safety precautions by fully vaccinated people in small or large gatherings. Mask wearing and safety precautions are still recommended for people who participate in in-person worship or other church gatherings.
Please continue to care for your siblings in Christ and help to protect their lives.
COVID-19 Resources - February 10
New Castle Presbytery hosted an informative update yesterday about the COVID-19 pandemic and what it means for churches with Lisa Allgood, career immunocytochemist and Executive Presbyter for Cincinnati Presbytery. The video of that deep and technical dive into where we stand is below. This resource and the links below may be helpful as congregations and sessions discuss plans for the next months.
COVID-19 Update - November 10th
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the churches of Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery. In many communities, the daily positive case numbers are at record numbers. Hospital ICUs are near or at capacity. Many schools are reversing course and being forced back to online learning because of out of control community spread of the virus in classrooms and halls. As I write today, Oklahoma has over 20,000 active cases of the Coronavirus and seven-day average over 2,000 positive cases a day.
While wearing a mask and washing hands has helped to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, those measures were not mandated in all areas or practiced in all churches. Now we are set to navigate this “second wave” of increased cases as we enter the holiday season. With cases spiking before the holiday season, there is growing concern about the spread of the virus during and after Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas as families, friends, and communities come into greater contact. These concerning numbers are expected to continue their rise. Read More HERE.
COVID-19 and the Flu Resource - October 6th
The flu season will complicate an already tenuous situation as churches navigate COVID-19. COVID-19 and the flu are both respiratory illnesses and share common symptoms. They are also differ in important ways. While experts learn more every day about the novel coronavirus, see what we already know about flu vs COVID-19 by clicking HERE
Office Disruptions and Contact Information
The Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery office is open, but our hours or availability may be limited so please call ahead to the presbytery office before arriving. Our phone number is 918-582-3077.
If you need to get in touch with us, our direct contact information is below:
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has gathered all of the denominational resources together into one updated webpage for easier viewing and reference. Please take a look at all the available resources HERE.
The Presbyterian Foundation has created a one-stop, simple to read resource for all things related to COVID-19 legislation. Find out more HERE.
Free 24-Hour Support Line
Cigna is offering a separate 24-hour toll-free help line, to support resiliency during this time of high stress and anxiety.
If you are aware of any retired member or an employee who is not eligible for the EAP, please let them know they have access to Cigna by calling 866-912-1687 to connect with qualified clinicians, including licensed social workers, profressional counselors, and psychologists, who can provide support and guidance.