Develop a method to track attendance at in-person worship and other gatherings. This is especially important in case someone develops COVID-19 and contact tracing is required.
(BWC Guidelines for Re-entering Well, p. 4)
Church leaders must keep track of every person attending in-person worship or other meetings so that if anyone at a gathering later tests positive for COVID-19, those who were present can be notified of a potential exposure. It is also a good practice for staying in better relationship with people so you can follow-up with people you haven’t seen in several consecutive weeks.
Planning and recruitment for attendance tracking will be an essential task in Phase 1 so that re-entering the building for in-person gatherings is possible in Phases 2 or 3. Additional volunteers to assist with this task may also be recruited during Phase 1. 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.
Assess whether or not your congregation can use an app for check-in. If everyone who attends your church brings a cell phone with them, this approach is possible. If not, different methodology is required. Regardless of approach, it needs to be tailored to your context and uphold all protocols.
It is essential that the tools (whether they be pen and paper, cell phones, or electronic tablets) be handled by only one person or be sanitized between uses by someone with gloves on.
Research the best methods available (whether electronic or by-hand) to record attendance and contact information when people begin to gather in Phases 2 and/or 3. 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 near the entrance(s). It is essential to maintain social distancing.
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 worship 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.
Pens, tablets, clipboards, and other items should be wiped down after every use.