02.09.22 | Wellness and Missions
Develop a method to track attendance at in-person worship and other gatherings. This is especially important in case someone develops COVID-19 so that you might notify those who have been exposed.(BWC Guidelines for Re-entering Well, p. 3)
Until further notice, church leaders must keep track of every person attending in-person worship or other meetings. This practice facilitates the process whereby individuals at a particular gathering may be notified of potential exposure if anyone present later tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. It is also a good practice for follow-up and staying in relationships with people you haven’t seen in several consecutive weeks.
The church’s task force will follow local and state directives to determine when the threat of the virus has sufficiently passed and attendance monitoring is no longer required.
- Various methods are available for documenting attendance (pen/paper, tablets, an APP using cell phones). Regardless of approach, tailor the method to your context and uphold all protocols.
- It is important that the selected tool (be it pen and paper, cell phone APP, or electronic tablets) not contribute to spreading the virus by making hand sanitizer available for people to use before and after contact. If a tablet is used, it should be wiped off frequently.
- Research the best methods to record attendance and contact information. Here are some examples:
- Prepare in advance an alphabetized list of all church members and their contact information to streamline the process for checking off names. Be sure the date of the gathering is also captured.
- Establish a welcome station for visitors with clear signage that enables up to two people to complete information cards while maintaining six feet of distance between them. The attendance monitor will guide the process. Completed information cards are placed in a designated container. After each guest leaves the station, the greeter wipes down the tablet, table pen, and any other touched surfaces.
- If you incorporate an RSVP process for everyone planning to attend a gathering, those who RSVP will constitute the master list for recording actual attendance.
- Train attendance monitors to capture the names, phone numbers and/or email addresses of attendees.
- Attendance monitors will agree to be present before doors open for the gathering.
- Attendance monitors will be stationed by the entrance(s). It is essential to maintain physical distancing in either location.
- Monitors should be instructed in the “why” of tracking attendance and be able to assure people that the information is being gathered as a precaution to ensure the safety and well-being of all who are gathered. It will not be used for any other purpose and will not be shared with anyone other than health officials as needed. Task force members need to ensure this understanding is maintained.
- While the risk of spreading the virus is reduced in outdoor settings, attendance recording is still encouraged. Attendance information should be kept in the church office in a place known to the pastor and task force members.
- Participants should be provided with hand sanitizer to use before and after handling pens, clipboards, tablets, etc. Pens, tablets, clipboards, and other items should be wiped down after every use.