First Church H1N1 Policy
FIRST CHURCH IN BELMONT’S H1N1 PLAN
As the flu season approaches, we are taking precautions to protect First Church’s members and friends from H1N1. Recommended guidelines have been provided by the Center for Disease Control for faith-based organizations. We are conforming to their recommendations and will make further adjustments as warranted. We ask that all members and friends of the church adhere to the following:
Prevention is the best way to deal with H1N1. Good cough etiquette and frequent hand washing are essential at all times! Please wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer—provided throughout the church—when soap and water are not available; cough into your elbow or into a tissue so that bacteria and viruses do not get on your hands or spread into the air; stay home when you are sick; if you are eligible for a vaccine, please consult your primary care doctor; and get plenty of sleep, exercise and good nutrition. Since touching the face after the hands have been exposed to the virus is a primary way to spread the virus, we do not recommend handshaking or hugging others. The Parish Board asked David Bryce to greet congregants at the end of the worship services but not shake our hands.
The primary symptom of H1N1 is a fever plus at least coughing or a sore throat and possibly other symptoms like runny nose, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you are suffering from these symptoms, you may want to contact your physician. For additional information consult the government’s website for H1N1 flu: www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu
If the H1N1 flu is a pandemic, we will follow the Belmont Department of Public Health’s lead. If the schools and town buildings are closed, we will close the church as well. As long as the schools and town offices are open, we will be open, barring unforeseen circumstances. Any time we are closed, information about the church will be posted on the website, e-mails will be sent to all congregants signed up with the church office, and phone calls will be made to those who do not have e-mail access.