COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
Buffalo Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
Participants will be asked to wear masks. Ushers will have masks available for those who
forget to bring one. Doors into the sanctuary will be propped open so that participants need
not touch them while entering or exiting worship.
Seating will be staggered, keeping every other pew in each section empty. Physical distancing
of at least 6 feet maintained between people of different households. The Narthex, hallways,
and the Fellowship Hall will be marked by tape in six foot segments to assist with social
distancing. The sanctuary capacity at 50% is 112 people, including worship leaders. To allow
for unexpected visitors we will publish our capacity as 100, giving us flexibility if unexpected
Disinfecting activities will not be required during a normal week since the Sanctuary is not used
except on Sunday mornings for Worship. Normal pre-Worship cleaning will be conducted by
the Volunteer Cleaning Teams as scheduled. In the event of a funeral or other service during
the week a volunteer cleaner will apply a diluted Quat solution in a pesticide sprayer on the
pews following the service and prior to any further activities in the sanctuary. The Pulpit, lectern
and sound board will also be disinfected. The sound board will be treated by spraying a cloth
and wiping it down. It is not to be sprayed directly.
There will be nothing passed out from one person to another, nor will items be passed through
the pews. There will be no greetings involving touch or close physical proximity between
persons of different households. Ushers will not collect offerings. A box will be strategically
placed so worshippers may drop their gifts into the box on their way out of the Sanctuary. A
large hand sanitizer will be placed at both entrances to the Sanctuary for use entering and
leaving. There will be no processing or recessing during the services. Ushers will help guide
participants into and out of the sanctuary to ensure physical distancing. All Bibles and hymnals
have been removed from the pews, all worship materials will be printed in the bulletin. Bulletins
will be emailed out beforehand for those who wish to view them on a mobile device, paper
copies will be placed in the pews where seating is allowed by an office worker. The worker will
wash their hands before folding and distributing the bulletins and will wear a mask while folding
There will be no congregational or group singing. A single cantor/soloist will be allowed so long
as they are at least 12 feet from the congregation and other worship leaders. Pre-recorded
music and instrumental music (such as piano, organ, and guitar) is allowed. No microphones
will be shared during any service or event and all microphones will be disinfected following use.
When Communion is a part of worship it will be served using prepackaged elements that will
be placed in the pews prior to the service. Trash cans will be available at the sanctuary exits for
participants to dispose of the communion packaging. In the case that pre-packed elements are
not used participants will be lead to the front of the sanctuary by ushers, ensuring 6 foot
physical distancing. The elements will be distributed by servers wearing masks and gloves and
placed into the hand(s) of the participants. Tongs will be used to distribute the bread and the
juice will be served in disposable cups. Trash cans for the cups will be available as participants
go back to their pews.
Prerecorded services will continue until we begin in person services, at which time a recording
of the service will be made available to those who are unable to attend in person.
Definition: Worker refers to both staff and volunteers.
Staff Protections and Protocols:
All staff who are able will work from home as much as possible to reduce possible chances of
exposure. Staff members will maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet between one
another as well as members and visitors. When workers are using a shared workspace they will
wear face masks. Face masks are provided by the church for any worker who does not have
If workers test positive for COVID19 or are exhibiting symptoms they should stay home and
isolate until all three of these are true:
● You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better.
● It has been 10 days since you first felt sick.
● You have had no fever for the last three days, without using medicine that lowers
Communicate to the Pastor (Head of Staff) and or the chair of the Personnel Committee that
you are isolating, when you started showing symptoms and/or when you tested positive for
COVID19. The Pastor or chair of Personnel will make sure to communicate to appropriate
parties to make sure there is coverage for the sick employee and that any workers who have
come in contact with that staff member are aware of potential exposure.
Workers are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their workday,
prior to any mealtimes and after using the restroom. All workers are required to wash or
sanitize their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the building.
Deliveries will be left outside when the office is closed and will be brought inside and left of the
office counter when the office is open. Staff will maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet
from delivery personnel. As much as possible the staff will avoid sharing tools with delivery
Hygiene and Source Controls:
Hand-sanitizer (that consists of greater than 60% alcohol) is available at entrances and other
frequently used locations in the building so they can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap
and water, as long as hands are not visibly soiled. Source controls are being implemented at
our workplaces at all times. Single use gloves are available for workers when cleaning or
completing other tasks. A cloud based supply chart, to which all Building and Grounds
Committee members have access, is used to keep a running Inventory of all spray
disinfectants, wipes, and all other chemical materials used in keeping the building clean and
Signs have been posted at building entrances addressing all of the recommended warnings
about wearing masks, covering coughs and sneezes, and checking health warnings before
entering the building. Signs are also posted at every hand sanitizer dispenser and hand
washing sink detailing proper hand sanitation methods.
All members and visitors to BPC are required to wash or sanitize their hands immediately upon
entering the facility. Workers, members and visitors are being instructed to cover their mouth
and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Respiratory etiquette will be
demonstrated on posters and supported by making tissues and trash receptacles along with
hand sanitizer available to all workers and other persons entering the workplace
They are also instructed to avoid touching their face, particularly their mouth, nose and eyes
with their hands. Our restrooms have trash receptacles located by the door to ensure a paper
towel can be readily disposed of when operating the door.
As much as possible doors are to be propped open to allowing for minimal surface contact.
The water fountain has been made unavailable during the course of the pandemic and no
communal food or beverages are allowed.
Following the meeting of any group in the building they are to use the provided clorox wipes to
wipe down chairs, tables, door handles, light switches, and any other surfaces they touched
while using the space.
The church has assessed the status and capacities of its utility-systems within the building
(e.g. ventilation, water-supply, sewer, and gas) and deemed it satisfactory for re-opening. The
sanctuary furnace/AC unit will be turned off to minimize air-flow from blowing across people
during services. Furnace air filters will be checked monthly and replaced as needed to maintain
BPC has a contract with a professional service to assess the building for indications of pest
and vermin infestation at least on a Quarterly basis.
Communication and Training:
These protocols and procedures will be made available on the church website, by email to all
participants and staff, and there will be a printed copy available in the church office.
All workers will be informed of and trained on all applicable portions of this plan by a staff
member or member of the appropriate committee.