COVID-19 Statements Timeline
March 14, 2020
Dear Church Family,
We find ourselves in uncharted waters. The last time, to my knowledge, that we heard calls for large scale social distancing across the USA was during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-1919. In that outbreak, we found ourselves in much the same situation. Any place that was to hold a congregation of people was called upon to cancel those meetings to help mitigate against the spread of that disease. Some municipalities even went as far as banning spitting in public. 1 Churches again have been called upon to help in this fight against a highly infectious flu. 2
So what is our plan at Brushy Fork? In consultation with the Switzerland County Health Department and EMA Director, along with the published recommendations from the Indiana State Department of Health we will continue with our public gatherings until a case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in our county or one of our neighboring counties. At that point, we will move our public gatherings online to be viewed at home. We are blessed to have a buffer between us and the nearest cases of COVID-19. We have 3 confirmed cases in Johnson County, Indiana, 4 confirmed cases in Jefferson County, Kentucky, and 4 confirmed case in Butler County, Ohio. 3 If the Switzerland County Health Department, EMA Director, or any of our state agencies provide any more guidelines, we will continue to follow them.
We will also want to continue to emphasize facility cleanliness and vigilance in personal hygiene. All our door knobs and common surfaces will be wiped down with an appropriate cleaner and we want everyone to either wash their hands or use hand sanitizer (60% or higher alcohol content) before any service at Brushy Fork. We will also drop “Hugs and Handshakes” from our order of service. It is not that we want to be distant or unfriendly, but we want to be mindful and proactive in protecting the most vulnerable in our community.
Why are we taking these measures? We want to be good neighbors. We should not fear dying from COVID-19. In fact, the recent White House briefing stressed that 98% or more of the people that contract COVID-19 will get better and live perfectly normal lives. However, there are two goals in following the governments guidelines. First, we want to “flatten out the curve” or decrease the rate by which people contract the virus so that our health care system can care for those who are the sickest. Second, we want to protect those who are the most vulnerable in our community. It is clear that those with underlying conditions and those who are over the age of 70 bear the brunt of the mortality of this disease. We don’t want to be the person who carries this virus to the most vulnerable in our population. 4
As more information becomes available we will update our website. Let me just encourage you to not be discouraged or have a spirit of fear. Our God is in control and our trust is in Christ and Christ alone.
1. National Center for Biotechnology Information
2. Churches working with Government; Indiana Gathering Guidance
3. Indiana Cases of COVID-19; Kentucky Cases of COVID-19; Ohio Cases of COVID-19
4. White House Briefing; High Risk People