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Updated Guidelines for Oregon Conference Entities Regarding COVID-19

Updated Guidelines for Oregon Conference Entities Regarding COVID-19

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It’s All About Jesus! The mission of Oregon Conference churches and schools is to focus on Jesus in all things, knowing, loving, and serving Jesus and others as we share Jesus with the world. Sometimes, that feels challenging. Yet our communities need the peace that Jesus brings even more today than ever as we address the COVID-19 pandemic together. 
 
That’s why the Oregon Conference is committed to cooperating with the guidelines of local health authorities and government agencies to promote the public health and wellness of our communities. We are especially concerned for those who are most at risk for severe complications of COVID-19. 

Here’s what to expect from Oregon Conference Entities:
 

Churches 

UPDATE MARCH 17, 2020- CHURCH IS STILL OPEN, ALL IN-PERSON GATHERINGS ARE SUSPENDED UNTIL AT LEAST APRIL 15. READ MORE HERE.


On Wednesday, March 11, 2020 Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced a prohibition on large public gatherings in the state of Oregon effective immediately and until April 8. Out of concern for the public health of our communities and abundance of caution, all Oregon Conference churches will comply with the Governor’s order and cancel (or move online) any events in which a TOTAL ATTENDANCE of 200 or more is expected. At this time, we expect that all churches will have no more than one service on a Sabbath.  
 
In addition, all churches in the Oregon Conference will discourage individuals at high-risk for severe symptoms of COVID-19 from attending any public events. These high-risk groups include: 
Any individual who is immunocompromised
• Any Individuals age 60+ who have underlying medical issues such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease. 
• 

Any individuals age 70+ in any health condition. 

For some smaller churches, these measures may make it prudent to cancel events and church services.

For all events, it is imperative that anyone exhibiting any symptoms of respiratory infection be sent home to self-quarantine immediately.  

We also expect that all potluck meals will be cancelled until April 8. 

It’s as important as ever that our spiritual communities rally together to care for each other, even when personal contact is discouraged. That’s why we’re encouraging creative ways for churches to continue ministry by: 
• Making plans to care for the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of the elderly and others who are at-risk groups. 
• Continuing some form of online or live-stream worship experience. undefined
• Moving ministry meetings online. 
• Promoting proper hand washing, sanitation, and cleaning. 
• Following environmental cleaning guidelines. (e.g., clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily or more frequently) 
• Encouraging volunteers and leaders of ministry to self-screen for symptoms of illness daily. 

We are here as Seventh-day Adventist Christians to care for people by finding ways to meet spiritual, physical and emotional needs. 


Schools 

The Oregon Conference Department of Education has been in close contact with all Oregon Conference Schools to monitor and evaluate the public health concerns related to our school communities. 

UPDATED 3-17-20- Oregon Conference Schools will be closed until at least April 28, to align with Governor Brown's executive order.

All Oregon Conference Schools will remain closed March 16-31, to align with Governor Brown’s closure of K-12 schools. Read VP for Education Gale Crosby's statement for more details...
 


Conference Office 

Oregon Conference is actively monitoring and evaluating public health risks and concerns to provide timely, relevant guidance to churches, schools and ministries. 
The conference office has telecommuting options available for staff. It also is limiting meetings that include guests from outside the daily workforce.
Ministry events are canceled through April 8. We will update the public before that time on ongoing measures.  


Camp Meeting 

Oregon Conference is moving ahead to plan and prepare for Camp Meeting from July 17-25, 2020. We are already working to provide the safest possible environment for Camp Meeting on the Gladstone grounds.  

We will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak. Conversations are already underway to determine a timeline for decisions about closing camp meeting. 

If you want to register for your campsite, registration is now open. https://www.oregonadventist.org/campsite-reservations  


Personal Prevention Habits 

Every day, we learn more about this virus. And the best defense is still personal prevention. We’re glad to remind you of the following habits to reduce the spread of the coronavirus: 

Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer 
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands 
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick 
• Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others 
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it away. 
               If you don’t have a tissue, cough into your elbow. 
• Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that you frequently touch. 
• Boost your immunity through everyday healthy habits (see NEWSTART and CREATION Life resources) 
• Trust in God.

Please keep our entire faith community in prayer as we navigate these challenging times together.

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