covid-19 update (1/14/2022)

HP Family, 

You probably noticed that as the Pandemic cooled during the Fall, we were able to do more things, and we did not need to give many updates or cautions. We believe it’s prudent to give an update now. The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is prevalent in our community and causing major staffing shortages in places like schools. It’s once again stressing hospitals. It’s impacted HP folks in multiple ways just this past week.

Like you, we are fatigued by all of this, but we’ll press on with faith, hope, and love. We don’t share any of this to raise your emotions. We just want to be on the same page, and we ask that you express grace to all. Our Pandemic Response Team has encouraged us to share a few things we need to know and a few recommendations.

What you need to know:
  1. Omicron has increased transmissibility. It’s why almost 1 in every 50 Oklahomans currently has Covid (as of 1/13), and that’s only the cases they know about. Thankfully, we expect this season of increasing spread to not last too long.
  2. Omicron is usually less severe than Delta but is still causing problems.
  3. Omicron is not as easily detected with rapid testing. Testing is still an important step, but people with symptoms should exercise caution even if they’ve had a negative rapid test.  
  4. Vaccines drastically reduce the threat of severe symptoms but they don’t mean you can’t get Covid and pass it to others.
  5. Natural immunity protects you (and those around you) for a little while but not forever. 

Recommendations specific to church gatherings:
  1. Do not assume “it’s just allergies or a cold,” and carry on as normal. Even if it is a cold, passing it to others is not good, especially when it may require them to go get tested.
  2. If you aren’t sure how to access our online worship, don’t hesitate to text 918-228-5718. We can help.
  3. We’ll continue in-person gatherings, but let’s be thoughtful of others who may be more concerned for their health, those around them, or their ability to work.
  4. We recommend wearing a disposable mask on Sunday mornings, especially while singing and mingling. If you can’t wear one or just got over Covid a few weeks ago, it’s up to you on how to proceed. 

Do you know what’s worse than going through a Pandemic? Going through a Pandemic alone.  

We’re glad to get through this together.

Blessings,
HP Elders