UPDATE: As of April 1, we are relaxing our COVID protocols in all areas except for our very youngest children (who are unvaccinated.) Masks are now optional, as is social distancing; we will honor those who prefer to wear a mask (for any reason) and maintain some distance. Sunday mornings, we encourage those who wish to continue with physical distancing to sit in the section directly in front of the sound booth.
We have also updated the policy on food and drink. After worship, food and drink will only be available in the Fellowship Hall and must be consumed in that space (or outdoors, when weather cooperates.) The narthex / gathering space will be for people who do not wish to be around others who are eating or drinking.
We have not determined when the nursery will re-open. When it does, helpers/teachers working with infants, toddlers and preschoolers (who are unable to be vaccinated) will be masked to provide safety for our youngest children.
We are grateful that the measures we've had in place have resulted in no cases of COVID transmission for people coming to Eden Prairie UMC. We've learned in the past two years that anything may happen. While we have relaxed the protocols listed below, we know that until all ages have access to vaccines that are effective against all variants, we may have to return to them if transmission levels rise.
POLICY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO COV-19
• For the Unvaccinated or Partially Vaccinated: Please refrain from attending any church activities for 14 days if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19. You may shorten your stay away from church activities after day 10 without testing and no symptoms, or on day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later). As always, you should wear a mask indoors at the church, even after quarantining has ended.
• For the Fully Vaccinated: Please refrain from attending any church activities if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19 AND you have symptoms or have tested positive. You may shorten your stay away from church activities after you have had a negative COVID test 3-5 days after exposure. As always, you should wear a mask indoors at the church, even after quarantining has ended.
PROTOCOLS FOR ENTERING EDEN PRAIRIE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
These protocols are no longer in effect except for those who are working with children under age 5 os of April 1, 2022.
Please wear a mask when you come into the building and keep it on while you are indoors. We require wearing masks in the building at all times. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
OUTDOOR WORSHIP SAFETY
The Eden Prairie UMC Pandemic Response Team reminds you to mask and maintain social distance while attending outdoor worship. Given the current statistics and upward trend of community spread, face coverings and social distance are required at outdoor worship. Please come with your mask on and find a space that is at least 6 feet from others not in your household where you and your family can sit. During worship, feel free to unmask when you are safely distanced. After worship, put on your mask as you leave and wear it while greeting others. Thank you for caring for one another.
Masks and social distancing is required indoors. We have signage attached to the back of the pews indicating where individuals and groups may sit and be safely distanced. The signs "Closed for Safe Distancing" mean no one can sit there. We will adjust signage as needed for adequate spacing. Thank you in advance for following the signs.
As Christians, we are called to love and serve others. During a global pandemic, wearing a mask and maintaining a safe distance shows that servant love that Jesus modeled when he washed the feet of his disciples.
STEPS FOR ORGANIZING A GATHERING
Eden Prairie UMC will be open to small groups and for worship, guided by recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Anyone who wishes to organize a gathering of any size at Eden Prairie UMC must download and read the church's COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
1. Read the Preparedness Plan and click the button when finished.
2. Schedule your ministry-related meeting by calling 952-937-8781 or emailing the church office. We have two indoor spaces available at Eden Prairie UMC. We will only use them once a day, in order to properly sanitize between gatherings. At this time, gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer people in the Youth Room and up to 20 people in the Fellowship Hall.
3. Record attendance and contact information of all who attend. Provide this list to the church office, so we may notify others in case of COVID-19 exposure.