As school begins and the fall closes in on us, and the numbers continue to be concerning in our state, I just wanted to remind you of our policies around testing positive for covid.
First: I know sometimes people feel embarrassed when they have tested positive, even if it is a breakthrough case (a case after vaccination). Please do not worry about being embarrassed, and please don’t let this stop you from sharing it with me! Part of what’s troubling about this virus is that even when we are very careful, we can still catch it. And sharing the positive test with me is your way of helping keep people safe.
Second: The staff of the church is required to keep positive tests confidential–we will not give out the names of people who tested positive no matter how many times we are asked. So please do not let concerns about privacy stop you from sharing your positive test.
Here below is our policy, proposed by our Regathering Committee and approved by the Vestry. If you have tested positive and have been at the church in the 14 days prior to the test, the only thing you need to do is tell a church staff member. Everything else is up to us, and we will ask you for the info we need.
If COR staff is notified by a member of the congregation, an employee of the church, a visitor or a member of a rental group, that there has been a diagnosis/positive test result for Covid-19 the following should occur:
1. The staff person receiving the report should collect contact information about the infected individual: i.e. name, address, phone/email, most recent date and time in church.
If the infected person was a member of an AA group, the leader of the group may keep the member’s identity confidential. In this case the leader is responsible for notifying COR of the details of the infected person’s visit to the church. The leader must also make sure the Lexington Board of Health is notified.
2. The staff person receiving the report should promptly notify the clergy and the church administrator.
3. The clergy or church administrator should check the Covid-19 visitor logbook to verify date/individual/location within the building.
4. The clergy should notify the Lexington, MA Board of Health Office, Public Health Nurse, David Neylon at 781-698-4509, and provide contact tracing information to BOH as requested.
5. The clergy or the parish administrator should notify by e-mail any staff members, renters, volunteers, or members of the congregation who may have been in the same space as the covid-positive person. They should not name the individual for privacy reasons, but they can provide the context/date of possible exposure. The time period requiring notification (after the infected person was in the building) will be based on recommendations by the Board of Health.
6. Individuals who are notified that they may have been exposed should either quarantine for 14 days or be tested.
7. The parish administrator should schedule cleaning of any room/area visited by the infected individual according to CDC guidelines.