ATLANTA – The Center for Disease Control has released resources to help faith leaders prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic and any specific outbreak in their communities.
The checklist focuses on planning and preparation should the disease manifest in local communities. The CDC recommends updating emergency plans wit the help of public health officials. The CDC notes that “Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.”
The CDC adds that “People who are at higher risk are encouraged to avoid crowds as much as possible.” The CDC defines “higher risk” as older adults as well as individuals with a serious chronic medical condition which they list as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes.
The CDC advises individuals who are at a higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19 to take everyday precautions keeping space between yourself and others, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face, avoid crowds as much as possible, and avoid non-essential travel.
The CDC further notes to “Identify actions to take if you need to temporarily postpone or cancel events, programs, and services, especially for groups at greater risk such as older adults or people with chronic health conditions.”
The CDC provides guidance on a number of subjects related to COVID-19:
The CDC noted that while most healthy will experience few or no symptoms, that everyone be familiar with symptoms of COVID-19 that include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs include (1) Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; (2) Persistent pain or pressure in the chest; (3) New confusion or inability to arouse; and (4) Bluish lips or face. The CDC notes this list is not all-inclusive.
The CDC also noted that faith-practice locations, as well as ritual items and ritual clothing, should be frequently cleaned. The CDC provided recommendations for environmental cleaning and disinfection. There was no specific guidance on the communal sharing of items but it might be implied that caution should be taken and sanitary practices be employed.
The situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving. If you have additional information to share please contact us.
The Wild Hunt will be updating this page with information specific for faith communities as it becomes available.