Many of you may be wondering about the safety of singing inside our building with masks and social distancing. Our Indoor Worship Planning Team recently discussed this issue and wanted to issue the following statement:
The current policy for indoor worship services at Peace Church is to follow the recommendations of the CDC and NC State Department of Health and Human Services to Wash hands, Wait 6 feet apart ("Social Distance") and Wear face coverings. In addition, we currently are asking congregants to avoid singing, in order to minimize the spread of coronavirus particles from infected individuals to uninfected worshippers. This is based on the best advice available at this time and may change as we learn more. Our current understanding of this virus, the SARS-CoV-2 virus or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which gives rise to the respiratory illness referred to as the COVID-19 disease, is that the major route of spreading this virus is through particles and droplets in the air, resulting from the expulsion of air with virus from the lungs of infected individuals, with or without symptoms. Whether or not an individual becomes infected is thought to be a combination of the amount of virus one is exposed to over time and the general health status of the individual. Current information suggests that a major concern for infecting others is exposure to small aerosol droplets containing virus that hang in the air for long periods of time. It is believed that cloth face coverings can reduce the amount of virus spread from an infected individual, with or without COVID-19 symptoms, to those close to that individual. It is understood that speaking softly results in low levels of droplets with virus to come from the speaker but that sneezing, coughing, shouting or singing loudly and greatly increases the number of virus-containing droplets generated by infected individuals. The use of cloth face coverings appears to reduce those droplets in most cases. However, there is still concern that sneezing, coughing, shouting or singing generates enough force to send amounts of virus-containing particles through and out the edges (leakage with no filtration) of the cloth face coverings that could cause infection of a close bystander.
Therefore, we are asking members of Peace Church at this time, out of love and concern for their brothers and sisters in Christ, to stay home if they are sneezing or coughing and not to shout or sing in the indoor worship service. This recommendation may change as we learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 illness.
Members of the Indoor Worship Planning Team