As many regions are relaxing stay-at-home guidelines, and businesses and organizations around the world are beginning to reopen, people are eager to resume their pre-quarantine activities. Yet, coronavirus cases are on the rise again, and many groups are wary of jumping in too quickly, putting the community at greater risk and extending the pandemic.
We talk with numerous businesses and organizations around the world each day, and have found varying levels of confidence in reopening. But there’s one group that, across the board, we’ve found is more skeptical of going back to “normal”–houses of worship. There are several reasons for their apprehension.
No One Knows When It WIll Be Safe
While the CDC has provided specific considerations for faith-based organizations, they’re not crystal clear guidelines. These instructions are left to the discretion of local and state authorities, and quite frankly, it’s all over the place and frequently changing.
Our only hope for certainty of safety is a vaccine. And while early trials have been positive, there’s no real fixed timeline. And again, reports are all over the place and frequently changing.
With so many mixed reports and uncertainty, and with the health and safety of their community on the line, houses of worship are playing it safe and continuing to host drive-in services.
Safety and Community are Imperative
A primary goal of any house of worship is to create a warm and caring fellowship for members.
That’s where coming together, supporting each other and ensuring the health and safety of all members is so important. No church wants to be in the position that Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in Union County, Oregon found themselves in last month–responsible for 236 coronavirus cases, the state’s largest outbreak.
Playing it safe and taking the right precautions to protect members is the right thing to do until we have a better handle on this pandemic.
Even if a church decides to hold services indoors, there are still some members that should not be exposing themselves to such risks. Seniors, people with pre-existing medical conditions, immunosuppressed–these church members can feel left out or even shunned if they’re unable to attend services with their family and peers. For these individuals, offering an outdoor option along with indoor services can provide safer and more inclusive environments that are necessary in our current state.
This tool allows you to calculate your risk of contracting coronavirus based on age and various medical conditions. And the results are alarming. Sure, a person under 40 with no medical conditions is at very low risk–less than 1% age-specific fatality and comorbidity rate. But start upping that age range, and tacking on pre-existing conditions, and the rates begin to soar.
For all of these reasons, we believe that drive-in church services are here to stay for the foreseeable future. And why not? Providing outdoor drive in services exclusively or concurrent with indoor services just makes sense to protect the most vulnerable of the flock.
If you are interested in hosting drive-in services at your house of worship, our drive-in audio technology can help you create a safer, more inclusive environment. Order our FM transmitter or contact us to discuss your options.