WSPC Coronavirus Response

Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.  —3 John 1:2
Our core gospel value is to partner well with our community to work toward the life and health of the most vulnerable (people 60+ and those with underlying health conditions). 
As Christians, we respond to any danger with faith, hope, humility and prayers for divine wisdom.

WSPC Update:

In our efforts to partner well with our community to work toward the life and health of the most vulnerable ...
  • At this time, our church building is closed to cooperate with the Governor's Stay at Home order. 
  • We will join University Presbyterian Church on their  LIVESTREAM. Services times: 8:30am (traditional) and 10:00am (contemporary).
  • Check daily devotionals and other resources on our blog HERE.
In partnership with our excellent Public Health officials …
  • We strongly encourage members over 60, anyone with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems, and pregnant women to follow CDC and King County Public Health recommendations to remain at home as much as possible.
  • We strongly urge you to remain at home if you have even very mild symptoms and contact us if you need help with groceries or medications (These include: runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, muscle aches/flu-like symptoms, shortness of breath, fever, abdominal pain or diarrhea. )
Let’s remain patient and prayerful!

Resources:

Partnering with Public Health to Limit Community Transmission of COVID-19

Decisions to modify or cancel events are based on the priority of partnering well with public health to limit transmission of the disease, with the desire to safeguard those with a higher risk of severe illness. “Community transmission” means that the source of the infection is unknown. In other words, the virus is found in individuals who have no known contact with a previously diagnosed Coronavirus patient or travel to a location with a known outbreak.

In King County, we are currently in a community transmission situation that is still developing. It is essential that we follow the direction of King County Public Health in taking conservative measures at this early point to limit ongoing transmission of the virus. As of March 11, this means that any gatherings must take the following steps to minimize risk:

  • Urge anyone who is sick, aged 60 years old and older, and people with medical conditions not to attend.
  • Find ways to give people more physical space so that they aren't in close contact as much as possible.
  • Screen employees and/or volunteers for symptoms.
  • Make sure people can wash their hands with soap and water or sanitizer.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily or more frequently.

The measures that West Side is taking currently are in place because community transmission of this virus, even among the very healthy who will likely have very mild symptoms, has proven to be more dangerous for groups at risk for severe illness from this virus. We will re-assess the risk frequently as Public Health experts provide information and recommendations.

This chart gives a helpful visual on decisions about programs and gathering:

Measures Taken to Limit Community Transmission

Since widespread testing for COVID-19 is not available in King County, we have four very effective measures available to help prevent transmission of the virus. Each preventative action is described below, along with the current measures in place at West Side.

The first is excellent health hygiene.

This is an individual measure and includes frequent handwashing, not touching your face for any reason, covering any cough with a fresh tissue, etc. See longer recommendation here.

The second is self-isolation of any person who displays any symptoms that have been associated with the disease.

Since we do not have testing, it is important to self-isolate at the sign of any symptom until the symptoms go away.

Currently we are strictly enforcing the request that anyone with symptoms remain away from any gatherings until their symptoms resolve. These include: runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, muscle aches/flu-like symptoms, shortness of breath, fever, abdominal pain or diarrhea.

Out of an abundance of caution, we also ask those who may be experiencing the following additional symptoms to refrain from participating and stay at home: unexplained tiredness/fatigue, headache, general malaise, gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, please stay home.

The third is social distancing.

COVID-19 is transmitted by droplets that land on surfaces or people standing close enough to someone who is coughing, singing or speaking. Increasing the distance between people helps to prevent person to person transmission. For those who have a risk of severe illness from this virus (people over 60, immunocompromised, pregnant women) the recommendation is to strictly limit distance by staying home to worship or work.

Current Measures – We have closed our building to all activities for two weeks from March 12-31, and will worship via LIVESTREAM with UPC. Pastor Laurie is preaching there on March 22. We are asking small groups to refrain from meeting for the next two weeks to support the self-isolation measures that local and national public health officials are asking from us. 

The fourth measure is to sanitize surfaces.

We don’t know exactly how long the virus can survive on surfaces, but it is likely several hours. Therefore, we will regularly sanitize surfaces between individual and group use. Public health recommends the same measures with your cleaning materials at home.

Current Measures – Our building has been sanitized, and we are using the opportunity while it is closed for further deep cleaning.

Older Adults

West Side's population includes a large group of older individuals, who the CDC say are at higher risk of getting sick from coronavirus.

Q. What exactly does 'older' adults mean? What is the age threshold?
A. The CDC says "older adults" and people with serious chronic medical conditions "are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness."
Anyone over  60, with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women should try to avoid places with large crowds — such as movie theaters, busy malls and even religious services, infectious disease experts say. "This ought to be top of mind for people over 60, and those with underlying health problems," said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University professor and longtime CDC adviser. "The single most important thing you can do to avoid the virus is reduce your face to face contact with people."
But why is age 60 often used as a threshold for those who need to be extra cautious? "We now know more about who is at risk," US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said. "(The) average age of death for people from coronavirus is 80. Average age of people who need medical attention is age 60."

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/10/health/coronavirus-q-and-a-tuesday-march-10/index.html, accessed 3/10/2020

How Can I Prepare at Home for an Outbreak

Good personal health habits and home-based actions help prepare and prevent the spread of flu. Some practical steps to take are:

Take everyday preventive actions to prevent respiratory illnesses like flu.
  • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with people who are sick.
  • Practice good health habits, such as getting plenty of rest, exercising, drinking plenty of fluids, eating healthy foods, and managing stress.
  • Washing your hands for 20 seconds often will help protect you from germs.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
  • Stay home if you have flu symptoms even if you do not have a fever.   If you have a fever stay home for 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines, such as acetaminophen.
  • Find ways to put distance between yourself and others (social distancing) so that you do not get coughed or sneezed on, especially if you are 60 and older or have underling health conditions, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a weakened immune system.

Plan to have extra supplies of important items on hand.
  • Soap and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, tissues, mask to wear if you are sick.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved cleaning supplies or soap and water to regularly clean frequently touched surfaces and objects like doorknobs and light switches.
  • If you take prescription medication talk to your doctor about keeping an emergency supply at home.
  • Have non-prescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines.

Plan to use a separate room and bathroom  for sick household members.
  • Clean the sick room and bathroom daily using soap and water, a bleach-and water solution, or EPA-approved disinfectant.
  • A clean disposable facemask maybe appropriate for sick persons when sick people are in close contact with others such as going to a medical appointment.
  • Do not share personal items.
  • Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first.

Notify your workplace if you or someone in your home gets sick with flu symptoms.  Ask to work from home.

Stay in Touch with others by phone or email. If you live alone and become sick during a flu outbreak you may need to ask others for help. Have persons or a person call, text or email you  to check on you during your illness.

How to help my neighbor and show the love of Christ during an outbreak

Supporting each other in our neighborhoods will help the community be resilient if the spread of coronavirus occurs.

Talk to your friends and neighbors about how you can help each other if someone in the household gets sick.

Check on vulnerable neighbors and have them give you contact information if more help may be needed.

Have extra shelf stable food on hand to be able to offer a meal to a neighbor if they are sick.

Drop off groceries on your neighbors’ doorstep or groceries could be ordered by grocery stores for drop-off.

If school is cancelled and your neighbors work, offer to watch non-sick children until other arrangements can be made.