6 March 2020 | Stephen H.
The threat posed by Coronavirus/COVID-19 has been assessed by the Chief Medical Officer as ‘moderate’. The risk to individuals remains low.
Hope Church and the Hope Centre are a thriving part of the community of Nottingham, and while the overall threat remains low we are mindful that there may be a number of people more vulnerable to this type of infection within our church and the Hope Centre. As such we felt it prudent to put this page together to explain what Hope is doing and how we can all help.
It is important to balance the need to take sensible precautions and plan for a possible increase in the outbreak, yet not to cause panic. At present there is no significant community transmission of the disease. Nevertheless, it is prudent to ensure our practices and plans are in place should the outbreak get worse.
What is Coronavirus/COVID-19
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world.
The symptoms of this new coronavirus (now known as COVID-19) include fever and respiratory symptoms including coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. However, this can progress in to more a more serious pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
Our response to COVID-19
Hope will be following the guidance published by the UK Government and other bodies such as Nottingham City Council and Public Health England.
Currently there are no plans to suspend or change services, meetings or close our buildings but we will be monitoring the situation closely and will communicate any change in this stance.
We will be taking precautionary measures, including the following:
- Ensure everyone maintains good hygiene at all gatherings, whether services or other occasions. This includes those who prepare or serve food, those handing out welcome materials etc or having other direct physical contact with numbers of people.
- Sharing guidance on good hygiene practices (e.g. hand washing) with all members of staff
- Advising staff to self-isolate in the event of any potential infection and under guidance from the NHS
- In the event of any volunteer feeling unwell – we will be asking them to refrain from duties where there is interaction with congregations and public (e.g. the preparation and distribution of communion)
- Ensuring that Hand Sanitiser is available at common points, such as entrances to the Hope Centre and in the toilets etc
- Ensuring that frequently touched objects and surfaces are regularly cleaned
How You Can Help?
The best way of protecting us all from spread is for everyone to use universal good hygiene- this means everyone, all the time, which will effectively disrupt spread of the virus. You should wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean. Follow the good hand washing and gel use technique from the NHS website or the poster below
If you are feeling unwell then please think of the well being of others and do not attend our Church Services – Guidance on self isolation is available here. As always, you will be able to listen back to the preach online on our Website.
If you do become infected with COVID-19, or have direct contact with anyone who has, then please let us know! We will need to communicate to the congregation (anonymously) that there is a chance of infection and advise on next steps.