May 14, 2021 Update from COVID-19 Advisory Task Force

South Mainers,
As you likely saw, the CDC issued updated guidance yesterday that stated fully vaccinated people can resume both outdoor and indoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.
This is great news as it is a sign we are getting COVID-19 further under control!
The South Main COVID-19 Advisory Task Force met following this announcement to reassess our protocols. As we have been following CDC guidance from the start of the pandemic, it was determined that beginning this Sunday, May 16, masks will be optional for those who are fully vaccinated. 
A few more details:
*The updated CDC guidance only applies to those who are fully vaccinated – meaning at least two weeks beyond the final dose in the vaccine regimen (after the 2nd dose for Pfizer and Moderna, after the single dose Johnson & Johnson).
*We strongly encourage those who are not yet fully vaccinated to continue wearing a mask at SMBC.
*While students in their early teens (ages 12–15) were able to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines earlier this week, no children under the age of 16 have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated. Because of thisall children ages PreK to 15 are required to wear masks while on-campus. This policy will be revisited as vaccinations of young people progress.
*While the SMBC mask requirement is in place for children ages PreK to 15, masks will also be required for fully vaccinated adults and teens when participating in Family Ministry activities. This practice serves to both model the safety precautions for and serve in accord with MainKids, Tribers, and Youth.
As we move through this next phase of the pandemic, it is imperative that we remember to love our neighbors which include the 11% of adult South Mainers who have not been fully vaccinated, some by choice or because of medical necessity.
At the same time, there may be many members who do not yet feel comfortable attending without a mask and/or desire to sit in the designated “socially distant” seating area in the back few rows of the center section of pews. God has provided us an opportunity to be gracious to all as we enter this next phase of gaining control over the virus. As we make progress toward full reopening, let us treat the “family of God in this place” with respect and love whether they have on a mask or not, or need a little extra space.
Click here for the CDC’s announcement.
COVID-19 Advisory Task Force

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