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COVID-19 Advisory Task Force Update: June 27, 2020

Good afternoon, 

Since we last updated you on June 18 with the recommendation related to small group gatherings, the Houston COVID-19 data trends have deteriorated rapidly, with confirmed positive cases, hospitalizations, and ICU usage surging, along with most other metrics. 

As an illustration, in the seven days leading up to that decision, authorities reported an average of 627 new COVID-19 cases in the region. In the last seven days, that has jumped to 1,510 average new cases per day.

This is increasing the strain on the capacity of our hospital system, and while they have room to ‘surge’ to manage these new cases, leaders at the Texas Medical Center issued an urgent plea to Houstonians to adjust our behavior to stop the spread.

Earlier this week, Governor Greg Abbott asked all Texans to stay home as much as possible, before taking steps on Friday to dial back the reopening of several sectors of our economy. Here locally on Friday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo shifted the county’s COVID-19 threat level to Level One. This level indicates "a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening. At this level, residents should take action to minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs.”

While we agree that church is essential, the small group gatherings we recommended would not be "minimizing contacts wherever possible."

In light of this, we regretfully, but confidently recommend to the church body that we suspend the plans to resume small group gatherings until further notice. This is not a decision we take lightly, but given the data in front of us and the pleas from medical experts and elected officials alike, this is the prudent course.

We hope to update you with more positive news in the near future, because we, like you, long to see our South Main family face-to-face soon. 

In the meantime, please pray for our city. Pray for the medical professionals in our hospitals and clinics along with our first responders and other frontline workers who risk their health and safety every day to protect ours. Pray for our elected officials at all levels that they are wisdom-filled as they guide our city, county, state, and nation as we journey the tough road ahead. And pray for each other, your South Main family, along with the ministers and staff. These are difficult days, and may prove to be rougher in the days ahead.

Please stay healthy and stay safe.

Grace and Truth,

COVID-19 Advisory Task Force

 

Wade Cline
Claire Frazier
Jason Harper
Brad Jernberg
Nancy McNiel
Susan Moore
Clint Pasche
Lauren Raimer-Goodman
Randy Taylor
Steve Wells