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Covid hits our private school - an update of sorts


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I don't remember which thread(s) I had talked about the situation with my son's private school and their reluctance to follow any Covid protocols put in place by the state so I thought I'd update here because we've had an interesting month and I thought some might be interested in what happens in a hot spot to a school who ignores health mandates.

Quick background:  My 17yods is attending a small private Christian school for the first time this year.  When the state mask mandate for schools went into effect, this school decided they weren't going to follow it.  They said teachers would mask, and they would enforce social distancing but that was it.  We were willing to take the risk despite our disagreement because our kids have been playing sports at this school for years as homeschoolers and the majority of our social outlet is at this school.  Plus, we feared for our son's mental health if we didn't go this direction.

Anyway, school went along pretty well until November.  We knew from being in and around the school that they were not following their own sparse Covid procedures.  Teachers were not masking, no social distancing was being done (at least in the high school), no temp checks being done.  When basketball season started, no limits on spectators and basically me, my dh and one other couple wearing masks in the stands at games.  Thanksgiving came and then they got walloped.  1/3 of the school absent the three days after Thanksgiving. 

They shut down the school completely on December 4th after having a student test positive.  This student had been at school and noticeably sick for three days before going to get tested.  During those three days they had the whole student body in one room rehearsing for their Christmas cantata!  There were so many teachers absent that those four days  after Thanksgiving my son ended up with half of his day in study halls (with no work to do - LOL!)  

So, we just received notice that the school will remain shut down until January 4th due to sickness among the staff and students.    A whole month!  I'm pleasantly surprised that they reacted as quickly as they did.  Amazingly, my son has been fine.  Two of the first positive tests were in his class and the third played a basketball game with him on the 4th then tested positive two days later.  We've had our both of our sons quarantined for the past 10 days (one attends, the other  just plays sports there).  

  FB posts from people associated with the school/church have made me roll my eyes.  There seems to be a reluctance to say the word Covid so comments are being made like, "Wow!  Whatever this illness is, it spreads like wildfire!".  I've been biting my tongue and not making any comments but boy has it been hard.  Another interesting comment I read last night.  "Whatever this flu is, it is really weird.  I haven't been able to taste or smell anything for two weeks".  It's like they have a pact not to mention the word Covid.

We really don't know how many cases there have been because some (most?) are refusing to be tested.  The principal says that they are revisiting and revising the Covid procedures for the school and will re-issue them before the school starts back up again.  Can't wait to read that document - lol!

 

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Who knows how far the chain of transmission spreads. It’s sad, and I can’t help but feel that this wilfull ignorance will have to be answered for. I can’t tell you how painful it is that Christians are behaving in this manner. Our local Christian school is the same, except they never pretended that they were going to follow any guidelines.

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15 minutes ago, JanOH said:

Thanksgiving came and then they got walloped.  1/3 of the school absent the three days after Thanksgiving. 

The only thing that surprises me about this post is that it took so long to get to this situation at that school. You must live in a really remote area if it took this school so long to feel the consequences of willful defiance of mask mandates. In my area, such behavior would have caused a massive explosion of cases in a couple of weeks. Stay safe!

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4 minutes ago, TCB said:

Who knows how far the chain of transmission spreads. It’s sad, and I can’t help but feel that this wilfull ignorance will have to be answered for. I can’t tell you how painful it is that Christians are behaving in this manner. Our local Christian school is the same, except they never pretended that they were going to follow any guidelines.

Absolutely painful and sorrowful because lives are being affected.  I don't understand it.  We don't attend the church associated with the school but have many friends there.  Or did ... I'm afraid I'mnot going to be able to look at them in the same way ever again 😟

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Just now, mathnerd said:

 

The only thing that surprises me about this post is that it took so long to get to this situation at that school. You must live in a really remote area if it took this school so long to feel the consequences of willful defiance of mask mandates. In my area, such behavior would have caused a massive explosion of cases in a couple of weeks. Stay safe!

Not remote at all.  And cases have been high in that county all along as compared with the rest of the state but positivity went from maybe 4-5 percent up to 15 in three weeks or so in November.  Just exploded all over the state.

Part of the outbreak at the school seems to have begun at an overnight youth rally held at a nearby church that some of the staff and students attended.  Not sure who thought that would be a good idea . . 

😟

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27 minutes ago, JanOH said:

revising the Covid procedures

Oh snort, no need now. They're mostly immune at this point, lol. Maybe not perfectly, but still, why bother?

Well I guess it's predictable. Let's just say other noticeable virus nose thumbers have been having it come at them too. 

8 minutes ago, JanOH said:

I'm afraid I'mnot going to be able to look at them in the same way ever again

I think we're all going to need to show a lot of grace as this blows over.

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5 minutes ago, JanOH said:

Part of the outbreak at the school seems to have begun at an overnight youth rally held at a nearby church that some of the staff and students attended.  Not sure who thought that would be a good idea . . 

Oh wow. No wonder DeWine is so apoplectic with stuff like that going on. And there are no rules he can pass to stop that. People just aren't using common sense.

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9 minutes ago, JanOH said:

Absolutely painful and sorrowful because lives are being affected.  I don't understand it.  We don't attend the church associated with the school but have many friends there.  Or did ... I'm afraid I'mnot going to be able to look at them in the same way ever again 😟

We are in a sort of similar but not as drastic situation. I am fb friends with a number of parents and I am seeing some of the same covid-denying, and a careless attitude at administration levels. It’s mind boggling.  

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31 minutes ago, JanOH said:

 

So, we just received notice that the school will remain shut down until January 4th due to sickness among the staff and students.    A whole month!  I'm pleasantly surprised that they reacted as quickly as they did. 

 

What I've learned from watching when schools around here shut down is that they don't do it because they've gotten smart or started to care that people are getting sick; they do it when they can't staff the school anymore. Sounds like they got to that point and didn't have a choice. 

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11 minutes ago, JanOH said:

Absolutely painful and sorrowful because lives are being affected.  I don't understand it.  We don't attend the church associated with the school but have many friends there.  Or did ... I'm afraid I'mnot going to be able to look at them in the same way ever again 😟

I wonder how many hospitalizations and deaths resulted from transmissions carried home by students, teachers, and staff.

Cuz the Covid infections didn't stop at the school.

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14 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Oh wow. No wonder DeWine is so apoplectic with stuff like that going on. And there are no rules he can pass to stop that. People just aren't using common sense.

I understand what you are saying, but (IMHO) it really isn't due to a lack of common sense. It's an FU attitude & they cling to it while those in their communities get sick and/or are hospitalized and/or die. Even though I've read about how/why people feel/believe that way, I don't understand it. But I finally realized that it isn't possible for me to understand this POV when we don't possess a common moral baseline.....and - at this point in the pandemic - I really think that's the difference.

Edited by Happy2BaMom
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44 minutes ago, JanOH said:

 

  FB posts from people associated with the school/church have made me roll my eyes.  There seems to be a reluctance to say the word Covid so comments are being made like, "Wow!  Whatever this illness is, it spreads like wildfire!".  I've been biting my tongue and not making any comments but boy has it been hard.  Another interesting comment I read last night.  "Whatever this flu is, it is really weird.  I haven't been able to taste or smell anything for two weeks".  It's like they have a pact not to mention the word Covid.

 

I just can't with this. You have way more self-control than I do. 

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1 hour ago, JanOH said:

 FB posts from people associated with the school/church have made me roll my eyes.  There seems to be a reluctance to say the word Covid so comments are being made like, "Wow!  Whatever this illness is, it spreads like wildfire!".  I've been biting my tongue and not making any comments but boy has it been hard.  Another interesting comment I read last night.  "Whatever this flu is, it is really weird.  I haven't been able to taste or smell anything for two weeks".  It's like they have a pact not to mention the word Covid.

Oh, man. I need that head-banging emoji everyone talks about... 

Did anyone get seriously sick, do you know? 😞 That sounds so frustrating to watch. 

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1 hour ago, JanOH said:

.    FB posts from people associated with the school/church have made me roll my eyes.  There seems to be a reluctance to say the word Covid so comments are being made like, "Wow!  Whatever this illness is, it spreads like wildfire!".  I've been biting my tongue and not making any comments but boy has it been hard.  Another interesting comment I read last night.  "Whatever this flu is, it is really weird.  I haven't been able to taste or smell anything for two weeks".  It's like they have a pact not to mention the word Covid.

We really don't know how many cases there have been because some (most?) are refusing to be tested.  The principal says that they are revisiting and revising the Covid procedures for the school and will re-issue them before the school starts back up again.  Can't wait to read that document - lol!

 

I’m just gob smacked that no one will admit it’s COVID. I live in an area where few people mask, and lots of people think it isn’t that serious, etc.  The public school requires  masking but it isn’t well-enforced. I think they gave up on weekly temp checks and trying to make kids distance in class. We had hundreds of people going to football games, for Pete’s sake. But nobody is pretending COVID isn’t a thing or refusing to admit that that’s what they have.

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

Oh, man. I need that head-banging emoji everyone talks about... 

Did anyone get seriously sick, do you know? 😞 That sounds so frustrating to watch. 

I don't know.  I have heard that a teacher's husband is struggling after several weeks but I don't know how serious it is.  That's all I've heard.  Oh, I do know that the first student positive case ended up in the ER but no one seems to know more than that.

Edited by JanOH
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1 hour ago, sassenach said:

I just can't with this. You have way more self-control than I do. 

Well, they all already know that I don't agree with them.  I'm trying to lay low for the sake of my kid.  Some of these people are his teachers (which raises a whole 'nother set of issues -I know)

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I had to check where you're located (it's not by me) because we've had a very very similar situation here, right down to the basketball teammate testing positive December 4th! 

People here are making me feel like I'm being ridiculous for quarantining. Others who have been affected are not telling anyone and not quarantining. I'm seriously re-evaluating friendships over it. It's super sad.

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2 hours ago, JanOH said:

FB posts from people associated with the school/church have made me roll my eyes.  There seems to be a reluctance to say the word Covid so comments are being made like, "Wow!  Whatever this illness is, it spreads like wildfire!".  I've been biting my tongue and not making any comments but boy has it been hard.  Another interesting comment I read last night.  "Whatever this flu is, it is really weird.  I haven't been able to taste or smell anything for two weeks".  It's like they have a pact not to mention the word Covid.

We really don't know how many cases there have been because some (most?) are refusing to be tested.  The principal says that they are revisiting and revising the Covid procedures for the school and will re-issue them before the school starts back up again.  Can't wait to read that document - lol!

 

Ok, I know it's not funny but that made me actually LOL.

Edited by KathyBC
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2 hours ago, JanOH said:

FB posts from people associated with the school/church have made me roll my eyes.  There seems to be a reluctance to say the word Covid so comments are being made like, "Wow!  Whatever this illness is, it spreads like wildfire!".  I've been biting my tongue and not making any comments but boy has it been hard.  Another interesting comment I read last night.  "Whatever this flu is, it is really weird.  I haven't been able to taste or smell anything for two weeks".  It's like they have a pact not to mention the word Covid.

I wonder if they're saying this in a smirky, wink-wink-nudge-nudge way, like "obviously we have this silly little covid virus but we're going to pretend we just have the flu, because we sure as hell aren't going to get tested and have to quarantine and let the government track and trace us!"

I think there are a lot of people who know the virus is real, but they believe it's not that dangerous, the number of deaths is totally fake, and all the testing/tracing/quarantining is a conspiracy to steal our rights, force us into mandatory microchipping, and prepare us for a socialist takeover.

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15 minutes ago, KathyBC said:

Ok, I know it's not funny but that made me actually LOL.

Right?  It definitely got a snorting sort of laugh out loud here, too.

Our latest house catch phrase is “willfully obtuse” (need a band name, anyone?) ... Yup.  There it is.

 

ETA:  OP, I hope your son and family stay healthy, and everyone recovers well!

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2 hours ago, Happy2BaMom said:

I understand what you are saying, but (IMHO) it really isn't due to a lack of common sense. It's an FU attitude & they cling to it while those in their communities get sick and/or are hospitalized and/or die. Even though I've read about how/why people feel/believe that way, I don't understand it. But I finally realized that it isn't possible for me to understand this POV when we don't possess a common moral baseline.....and - at this point in the pandemic - I really think that's the difference.

Or they are apathetic--I have seen some Christians basically say we're told in the Bible we will suffer, and we're all going to die, so get on with it. Apparently suffering by staying home to protect people is not a valid way to suffer; it's important for people to suffer illness and death instead.

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31 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

I wonder if they're saying this in a smirky, wink-wink-nudge-nudge way, like "obviously we have this silly little covid virus but we're going to pretend we just have the flu, because we sure as hell aren't going to get tested and have to quarantine and let the government track and trace us!"

I think there are a lot of people who know the virus is real, but they believe it's not that dangerous, the number of deaths is totally fake, and all the testing/tracing/quarantining is a conspiracy to steal our rights, force us into mandatory microchipping, and prepare us for a socialist takeover.

This is very much the feeling here, unfortunately.

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33 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

I wonder if they're saying this in a smirky, wink-wink-nudge-nudge way, like "obviously we have this silly little covid virus but we're going to pretend we just have the flu, because we sure as hell aren't going to get tested and have to quarantine and let the government track and trace us!"

I think there are a lot of people who know the virus is real, but they believe it's not that dangerous, the number of deaths is totally fake, and all the testing/tracing/quarantining is a conspiracy to steal our rights, force us into mandatory microchipping, and prepare us for a socialist takeover.

I checked the state website to see if schools are required to report cases, and they are. A number of private schools in my county are reporting zero cases among students or staff. I bet they are playing dumb to avoid reporting. 

Quote

Schools are required to report cases to their assigned Local Health Department who then report to the Ohio Department of Health.

 

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37 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I checked the state website to see if schools are required to report cases, and they are. A number of private schools in my county are reporting zero cases among students or staff. I bet they are playing dumb to avoid reporting. 

 

The thing is, from what I understand, the reason they are not following the mask mandates, and probably the reporting requirements is that they feel that the school is a ministry of the church and therefore the state has no right or authority to force them to comply.  I'm sure there are lawyers all lined up in case the health department tries to jump in. 

The ironic part here is that I received paperwork from the school at the beginning of the year explaining what statute they operate under in the state of Ohio with the requirements they are to follow.  I kept the paperwork because one point was that is listed is that they are required to follow all public health directives under the statute they are allowed to operate under.  I really wanted to highlight it and send it back but like I said, I'm trying to not be too much of a squeaky wheel for the sake of my boys.

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1 hour ago, JanOH said:

Well, they all already know that I don't agree with them.  I'm trying to lay low for the sake of my kid.  Some of these people are his teachers (which raises a whole 'nother set of issues -I know)

I don’t think I could help being passive aggressive about it. “So sorry about your Covid!” “Praying for you as you fight these Covid-19 symptoms!” (Adding the 19 in is extra petty and I would probably not but I would want to)

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What a mess! I’m sorry you’ve been having to deal with this and that they haven’t taken it seriously until now. I can’t imagine how frustrating that is, but I understand why you’ve prioritized your son’s mental health by keeping him there. Lest anyone think all Christian schools are not handling Covid appropriately, I want to share a positive example.

My son also attends a Christian school and they’ve done a really good job of implementing Covid precautions. Teachers wear face masks and/or face shields and social distance. Students wear masks 100% of the time except for lunch or outside sports. Some classes have been moved to larger non-traditional spaces (like Spanish in the choir room, and choir outside, even in a Midwest winter!) They’ve been in class 5 days a week since August and had no cases until October. They’ve had a couple of dozen cases since then, but they are liberal in quarantining close contacts for two weeks and requiring negative Covid tests upon return. My son just spent the last week home with a mild cough because of their rightfully stringent sick policies and just returned to school today following another negative Covid test. Thankfully, they’ve also invested in the technology to allow students who are sick or quarantining keep up with their classes at home. We now have a statewide order that puts a pause on all youth sports, and nearly all public schools in the state are doing distance education. For my son to have been in school 5 days a week, aside from quarantines, has been a great blessing and has definitely benefitted him both academically and mentally. 

Edited by Gobblygook
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I just did the math on the difference in incidence rates between the school district where my husband teaches (with a mask mandate) and the two adjacent districts (without mandates), and the contrast is stark. In my husband's district the rate for schools is a little lower than in the county overall (to be clear, the county numbers are pretty terrible, so this doesn't mean there isn't a lot of covid in schools--and I would also guess school kids are tested and diagnosed at a lower rate because they're more likely to have mild or no symptoms); in the two counties right next door without a mandate, the incidence rate is about DOUBLE that of the counties as a whole (the overall numbers for all three counties are very similar). It's got to take some serious mental gymnastics to ignore evidence like that and just keep on going with your "masks recommended but not required" nonsense.

ETA: my math was very approximate/quick before, and it was bothering me. There's no way to get it completely apples to apples, but closest I can get for recent numbers is DH's county 142/100,000 over 7 days, next county over is 268/100,000 over 7 days. It's worse than that (424/100,000) for the other county with no mask mandate, but that's using the number of F2F only students + staff  instead of the total enrollment (because I can't find that for the other counties)--so the nearly double figure is for the county where I do have F2F numbers (numbers are in the 400s/100,000 over 14 days for all three counties). 

Edited by kokotg
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OP, I am sorry that your sons have been exposed and I hope you all stay well.

I am glad that my church's school (small, preschool and elementary only) is doing things well and has had very, very few cases among students or staff and no transmission at school. 

My son's terny-tiny, religious middle school takes even more precautions and has had no cases thus far. Because the local numbers are bad, they are moving to a different facility for January and February which will allow them to distance much more substantially. 

 

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40 minutes ago, kokotg said:

I just did the math on the difference in incidence rates between the school district where my husband teaches (with a mask mandate) and the two adjacent districts (without mandates), and the contrast is stark. In my husband's district the rate for schools is a little lower than in the county overall (to be clear, the county numbers are pretty terrible, so this doesn't mean there isn't a lot of covid in schools--and I would also guess school kids are tested and diagnosed at a lower rate because they're more likely to have mild or no symptoms); in the two counties right next door without a mandate, the incidence rate is about DOUBLE that of the counties as a whole (the overall numbers for all three counties are very similar). It's got to take some serious mental gymnastics to ignore evidence like that and just keep on going with your "masks recommended but not required" nonsense.

Not to be too controversial, but do you think the same thing would apply to churches? 

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47 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Not to be too controversial, but do you think the same thing would apply to churches? 

Probably, but that would be even harder to find out, since as spotty as reporting for schools is, it's pretty much nonexistent for churches, I imagine. I think things are further complicated by the likelihood that people who attend churches/live in school districts without mask mandates are probably less likely to get tested for mild cases.

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1 hour ago, Choirfarm3 said:

Yes, I agree. Because did the people get it at church, at the private school, at party they had for their teenage sweet 16 or from dining in a crowded restaurant? There is absolutely no way to tell when that happened the week before they got it. No way. 

Both of the members of our church who I know have covid definitely did NOT get it from church -- unless they got it through the screen. Neither one is coming on campus.

 

We had a pastor previously get it (And was just cleared to come back Sunday -- He got his second negative at 10:30 and rushed to come to church) but none of the other pastors got it nor anyone else he had been working with the days previously. (And he had been AT church the Sunday before he started feeling bad and got tested. He's basically our Senior Pastor while we are in Search since our previous pastor retired)

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1 hour ago, Choirfarm3 said:

Yes, I agree. Because did the people get it at church, at the private school, at party they had for their teenage sweet 16 or from dining in a crowded restaurant? There is absolutely no way to tell when that happened the week before they got it. No way. 

That doesn't quite make sense. Many people (who do church + christian school + youth group) have pretty closed social circles. So if you see a locus of people getting it in that closed loop, it's not rocket science. 

The assistant pastor at our church came down, so we're just waiting for the fallout and to see how many others will get it. Could go either way, sure. But if it infects people in that closed loop because people were flagrant, that's really sad. And what I'm seeing in my friends' churches (around the country) is that they're really flagrant until it hits their church hard. 

I think our governor cried wolf SO early, when there were no cases and limited probably of getting it no matter what you did, that people just got sick of his warnings and restrictions. Now it's closing in, sigh. I'm just glad the vaccine is coming and that the numbers can start to go down. I heard on tv yesterday they hope to have every nursing home resident vaccinated before CHRISTMAS! I don't know if that includes someone like my dad in assisted living, but I'm psyched. These are people who don't care what the side effects might be (lose fertility? I'm 90!) and they just want to be with their families. Game changer.

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7 minutes ago, Choirfarm3 said:

True. I'm just saying contract tracing would be useless here. And that is if people would agree to participate anyway. 

I don't think there's any effective contract tracing going on any more.  The system has been overwhelmed.  We haven't been contacted at all despite my kids having at least two definite exposures in the past 14 days.

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34 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

 

I think our governor cried wolf SO early, when there were no cases and limited probably of getting it no matter what you did, that people just got sick of his warnings and restrictions. 

I'm so thankful he did react early and (in my opinion) wisely in the spring.  The only reason the hospitals are handling this current surge as well as they are is because they had time to prepare.  

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1 hour ago, vonfirmath said:

Both of the members of our church who I know have covid definitely did NOT get it from church -- unless they got it through the screen. Neither one is coming on campus.

 

We had a pastor previously get it (And was just cleared to come back Sunday -- He got his second negative at 10:30 and rushed to come to church) but none of the other pastors got it nor anyone else he had been working with the days previously. (And he had been AT church the Sunday before he started feeling bad and got tested. He's basically our Senior Pastor while we are in Search since our previous pastor retired)

We've had several people get covid in our congregation, but it was always caught at work and there hasn't been any spread. I'm getting a test on Friday before a medical test for my asthma and if I somehow do test positive, that will be the only case of spread at our church since March. Churches are pretty safe, at least in our experience, if people are masked and distanced.

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Our church has a Christian school.  We knew that when they opened the school up for face-to-face classes, it would be a long, long time before we would feel comfortable going to in-person church.  The bubble didn't really get bigger, but the amount of contact within the bubble became much less comfortable to me.

If everyone in the church bubble had an hour of contact each week, that would be much different than a large percentage of the bubble having contact for 40+ hours each week.

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Just now, Choirfarm3 said:

Ours in our area distance but do not wear masks. And there is tons of singing. Not safe.

Oh, yes, that's not safe then. We sing but wear masks and that's been fine but singing without a mask is bad even if people are distanced.

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3 minutes ago, Choirfarm3 said:

Ours in our area distance but do not wear masks. And there is tons of singing. Not safe.

See, that's what's been frustrating for me.  My teen did NOT sign up for choir but the school requires participation in choir and the Christmas cantata and didn't change their plans for a pandemic.  There is so much they could have done to keep this outbreak from happening and affecting so many families.  It seems like such an easy choice to me not to have a choir for one year especially when half the kids participating don't enjoy choir!

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It's possible to make churches safer than (most) schools. Ours is outside, masked, distanced, 50 person limit (you have to sign up in advance) right now. I wold be surprised if anyone managed to catch covid under those conditions--certainly a full scale outbreak would be surprising. But of course the opposite extreme is also possible and common--tons of people packed together much tighter than in any school, singing, shaking hands and hugging, no masks, etc. There's a lot more variability with churches than schools (though there's also plenty of variability with schools), and churches also tend to be more culturally homogenous, which affects the kind of precautions or lack thereof they're taking outside of church. 

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24 minutes ago, Choirfarm3 said:

Oh yes. We had drive-in church back in April. I don't understand why we couldn't continue that. I agree. they could make it safe. My area is not and it is frustrating. 

I have not been to church since March. I really miss it. Online services are not the same. I’m thankful that the sermons are podcast, I do listen, but feel very disconnected. I feel like my church is going to great lengths to continue to do things the old way, when they need to take a step backwards and reach out in more personal ways. All these months, they’ve certainly had the time. 
 

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

I think our governor cried wolf SO early, when there were no cases and limited probably of getting it no matter what you did, that people just got sick of his warnings and restrictions. Now it's closing in, sigh. I'm just glad the vaccine is coming and that the numbers can start to go down. I heard on tv yesterday they hope to have every nursing home resident vaccinated before CHRISTMAS! I don't know if that includes someone like my dad in assisted living, but I'm psyched. These are people who don't care what the side effects might be (lose fertility? I'm 90!) and they just want to be with their families. Game changer.

I think it's a bit harsh to say he cried wolf. He erred on the side of caution with a LOT of unknowns that were beyond his ability to remedy. I think his move emboldened governors in other states that did have more cases to do likewise. 

The fertility thing is not true. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/12/14/fact-check-no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-causes-infertility-women/3884328001/ 

39 minutes ago, JanOH said:

I'm so thankful he did react early and (in my opinion) wisely in the spring.  The only reason the hospitals are handling this current surge as well as they are is because they had time to prepare.  

Yes! 

39 minutes ago, MoyaPechal said:

We've had several people get covid in our congregation, but it was always caught at work and there hasn't been any spread. I'm getting a test on Friday before a medical test for my asthma and if I somehow do test positive, that will be the only case of spread at our church since March. Churches are pretty safe, at least in our experience, if people are masked and distanced.

I suspect there are a LOT of variables for safe(r) church services. I am super uncomfortable with broad statements. And all of it relies on people staying home for the least little sniffle, TBH. 

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5 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

I have not been to church since March. I really miss it. Online services are not the same. I’m thankful that the sermons are podcast, I do listen, but feel very disconnected. I feel like my church is going to great lengths to continue to do things the old way, when they need to take a step backwards and reach out in more personal ways. All these months, they’ve certainly had the time. 
 

Ours too! We have no idea what is going on most of the time. I don't understand why we don't have Zoom options for small groups and Bible study. Our church records a special sermon for online. Pre-pandemic, all sermons online were recorded during a live service (and they feel very different as a result). 

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8 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

I have not been to church since March. I really miss it. Online services are not the same. I’m thankful that the sermons are podcast, I do listen, but feel very disconnected. I feel like my church is going to great lengths to continuing to do things the old way, when they need to take a step backwards and reach out in more personal ways. All these months, they’ve certainly had the time. 
 

Our church hasn't had in-person services since March either, but its been live on Zoom, not podcast. I probably wouldn't even bother with a podcast. 

One thing that's been tried a couple of times now that I thought was great was using the Zoom breakout rooms after the sermon, during what IRL would be coffee hour time.  They just sorted us randomly into small rooms. It made such a huge difference - it did really feel like bumping into someone familiar on the way to the coffee pot and you have time to catch up. So different than speaking up in a wall of Zoom faces.  I'm voiced my opinion that we should do this at least bi-weekly. 

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1 minute ago, Matryoshka said:

Our church hasn't had in-person services since March either, but its been Zoom, not podcast. I probably wouldn't even bother with a podcast. 

One thing thats been tried a couple of times now that I thought was great was using the Zoom breakout rooms after the sermon, during what IRL would be coffee hour time.  They just sorted us randomly into small rooms. It made such a huge difference- it did really feel like bumping into someone familiar on the way to the coffee pot and you have time to catch up. So different than speaking up in a wall of Zoom faces.  I'm voiced my opinion that we should do this at least bi-weekly. 

Love the coffee rooms idea!

I enjoyed the streamed service at first. But they’ve gone to a conglomerate service that includes short segments for each demographic, which (to me) lessens the quality of each portion. Our teaching for adults has shrunk to a little over half the time it used to get, and since now the “audience” is the whole wide web, it’s more geared to newer believers. Which is a terrific ministry in itself, it just doesn’t satisfy the same, iykwim. I was already struggling with the  performance feel of worship, watching that online has exacerbated that. 
 

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, or if my expectations are too high, but honestly, if covid had happened ten years ago, and lasted 9 months, I feel very sure that during that time our family would have received at least one personal phone call from a pastor. Instead I have been solicited one time by someone wanting me to come into the building to babysit. Anticipating someone will ask if we have reached out to our pastor instead, yes, but just get group messaging in return. Oh, we do get a lot of messages in the sermons about continuing to give. 
 

Wow sorry to be a Debbie Downer today. I’m just still camped on the thought that churches (and private Christian schools!) shouldn’t blindly force the old norms, but should look for more out of the box ways to stay connected and foster connections. Really shepherd people, not simply continue to offer a consumer product. Gosh y’all, that’s another thread indeed. 

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