COVID-19 Safety Updates

Basic COVID Safety Protocols

Updated September 21, 2021

The following are recommended safety protocols for those planning or leading PCM events. These events include worship services, weddings, memorial services, group meetings, and external events. All internal events must be scheduled in advance with the office and relevant staff members and submitted using the Speed Form per procedures published on the PCM website. All external events must be approved in advance using the Facilities Request Form. These protocols do not apply to the PCM Nursery School, which maintains its own operating procedures.

  1. Face Coverings: Our requirement for face coverings (masks) is based on current CDC, state, and Morris School District recommendations. Masks should be available and provided for use if needed. Exceptions are the following:
    • Meetings between fully vaccinated individuals, whereas any participant can request that everyone wear a mask.
    • Worship leaders when speaking or performing.
  2. Physical Distancing: Physical distancing should be based on current CDC and state recommendations. In the Sanctuary and Chapel, the first two pews must be left vacant.
  3. Room Usage/ Capacity Limits: The following meeting spaces can be utilized with the number of attendees not to exceed room capacity limits approved by the Session (see table below): Church on the Green: Sanctuary, Chapel, Mutch Hall, Choir Room; Parish House: Erdman Room, Sheffield Hall, South Street Hall, Youth Room, Conference Room, and Library. The basement should not be used for meetings or group activities. During Nursery School hours, only the Erdman Room and South Street Hall (with Nursery School Director permission) may be used, and there will be no access to the first floor rest rooms. Rooms should be ventilated with outside air wherever possible.
  4. Contact Tracing Support: Those responsible for an event should be able to produce a list of attendees upon request. The use of the OpenPath system, a reservation application, or a sign in sheet is suggested.
  5. Communication: Attendees should be informed of PCM protocols and what is expected of them. Signage should be implemented as appropriate.
  6. Building Access Management: Visitors to the Parish House should enter using the OpenPath access system or sign in at the office. Those attending worship should reserve in advance or sign in with an usher upon arrival.
  7. Event Access Management: Access and egress from all events should be planned so as to avoid the queueing of attendees.
  8. Singing: All choral ensembles will sing masked during services and rehearsals. Physical distance and masking for youth and children’s ensembles will follow state and Morris School District guidelines for choral singing. Congregational singing will be masked at all times.
  9. Hybrid Meetings: Those hosting ‘In person’ meetings should provide a virtual meeting alternative to accommodate those who do not wish or are unable to attend on site.
  10. Cleaning and Disinfecting: Indoor meeting locations should be cleaned and disinfected per CDC guidelines. Spaces that will not be used again for 24 hours or more need not be disinfected, with the exception of Nursery School classrooms.
  11. Food: Food should not be served indoors, neither should the Parish House or Mutch Hall kitchens be utilized, except for our children’s and youth programs, which will follow Morris School District guidelines.
  12. Personal Contact: Attendees should refrain from direct personal contact.
  13. Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer dispensers will be readily accessible in all PCM buildings and outdoor meeting locations.
  14. Offering: Offering plates should not be passed at services, but instead should be stationed at the Narthex entrances to the Sanctuary under usher supervision.
  15. Communion: When Communion is celebrated, the elements should be provided to worshippers in sealed individual packets.

Use of the Howard House

The following safety criteria are recommended to allow use of Howard House by current tenants:
  1. Cleaning and disinfecting of common areas will be performed daily.
  2. Tenants will be advised that their leased facilities are available subject to state restrictions.
  3. Tenants will be advised that masks are required in all common spaces in Howard House. Common spaces include the entrance foyers, downstairs hallway, downstairs bathroom, and the stairwell.
  4. Tenants will be responsible for implementing their own safety criteria per state and CDC restrictions and guidelines for their leased space, including physical distancing, the wearing of masks while in the building, screening, and contact tracing.
  5. Tenants will be responsible for advising PCM if a person testing positive for COVID-19 was in the building. All other tenants will be advised accordingly by church administration.
  6. Childcare will resume in the Howard House following CDC and state protocols. Services in the sanctuary will be available on the first floor via live stream.

Estimated Capacity Limits Based On Physical Distancing