As I’m writing this, I’m listening to a Monday, March 29th interview with Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the current director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Dr. Walensky is pleading with people to continue masking, physical distancing, and staying home as much as possible, even if already vaccinated. Why? Because the country as a whole is seeing an uptick of about 5% in new cases of COVID-19 and new hospitalizations from the disease. Deaths are also on the rise again, and there is concern we may be seeing a new surge.
The website COVID Act Now (covidactnow.org) rates the risk level of states – and counties – by considering the daily average of new cases, infection rate, positive test rate, hospitalizations, and number immunized. Both the state of South Carolina as a whole, and Beaufort County specifically, are currently at “High” risk level.
I know many of you have already received your vaccinations. I know many of you are eager to get back to in-person meetings and worship services. I am as eager as anyone to be leading worship back in our building, feeling the energy of being together.
There is now a task force currently looking at the CDC guidelines and widely available data on disease transmission, new cases, and the feasibility – as well as the advisability – of beginning to move toward reopening our buildings.
There are many factors to take into consideration, and it’s likely that we will move cautiously toward allowing some small group gatherings, with some strict guidelines, before we move toward reopening for worship services. We will reach out to hear our members’ hopes, ideas, and suggestions soon. In the meantime, if you have questions, feel free to contact me or Board President Jeanine Darville.
As Dr. Walensky and President Biden have both said publicly – we’re almost there! Hang on just a little while longer!
Be well, and stay safe everyone!
Rev. Lori Hlaban