Bishop Poulson's COVID-19 Update 11/19/20

Bishop Poulson's COVID-19 Update 11/19/20

Mayor David Holt of Oklahoma City has asked this afternoon that residents of the city make a renewed and extraordinary effort over the next 10 days to limit higher-risk activities, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. This comes in response to an alarming rise in COVID cases, and related hospitalizations and deaths. The Mayor’s request especially involves holiday gatherings, but he has also asked religious leaders to join with him by doing what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 during this 10 day period...

COVID Update from Bishop Poulson – November 19, 2020

Mayor David Holt of Oklahoma City has asked this afternoon that residents of the city make a renewed and extraordinary effort over the next 10 days to limit higher-risk activities, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. This comes in response to an alarming rise in COVID cases, and related hospitalizations and deaths. The Mayor’s request especially involves holiday gatherings, but he has also asked religious leaders to join with him by doing what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 during this 10 day period.

As I shared with our clergy from around the diocese on a Zoom call this Wednesday, I am not at this time closing all of our congregations across the diocese for in-person worship. For now, I continue to believe that this is a decision best left to our clergy and lay leaders in congregations, based on local data and other local circumstances and contexts. With our COVID protocols for in-person gatherings, including mandatory masks, social distancing, sanitizing, and our limitations around at risk activities like singing and food and beverages, I feel confident that our Episcopal gatherings are safer than many other activities.

However, we will continue to be responsive to our governmental leaders in their decisions and requests. Given Mayor Holt’s statement today, I am asking our congregations in the Oklahoma City area to share the Mayor’s request with our members. I am also urging our Oklahoma City congregations to consider moving to exclusively virtual worship for the next 10 days. That would involve this Sunday, Thanksgiving services, and perhaps also November 29th, the first Sunday in Advent. I am not mandating this, but hope that all of us will prayerfully assess how we might do all in our power to limit in-person activities and help slow the pandemic’s dramatic rise in our area at this critical time.

My prayers are with us all as we battle this virus, and do what we can to protect the vulnerable among us.


Blessings,

Bishop Poulson

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