The CDC released updated guidelines relative to COVID-19 on yesterday, August 11, 2022. Per CDC officials, these changes are driven by a recognition that — more than 2 1/2 years since the start of the pandemic — an estimated 95% of Americans 16 and older have acquired some level of immunity, either from being vaccinated or infected. Another realization is that COVID-19 is here to stay.
Here is a summary of the new guidelines:
Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19 or if you are sick and suspect COVID-19, although it has not yet been confirmed. PLEASE DO NOT COME TO PGC IF YOU ARE SICK.
COVID-19 can affect anyone, and the disease can cause symptoms ranging from mild to very severe. For some other illnesses caused by respiratory viruses (such as influenza), some people may be more likely to have severe illness than others because they have characteristics or medical conditions that increase their risk. These are commonly called “risk factors.” Examples include older age or having certain underlying medical conditions.
N95 and KN95 masks are better for all variants of COVID-19 if worn and fitted well. They are often a bit more tight-fitting than a surgical mask, and the material also filters out more particles, so the air that goes through the material and not around the mask is filtered better.
The FDA describes surgical masks as a “loose-fitting disposable device” that acts as a barrier between the person wearing the mask and potential contaminants. Surgical masks may or may not meet fluid barrier or filtration efficiency levels. A surgical mask does not filter the size of particles transmitted by coughs or sneezes.
A cloth mask is better than no mask, but it is not as good as a three-layer surgical mask, KN95, or N95 respirator in protecting against any variants. When a cloth mask is used, it should be at least two (2) layers.
Visit www.cdc.gov for more detailed information on all topics contained in the COVID-19 Resource Center.
When selecting a mask, there are many choices. Here are some do’s and don’ts. Do choose masks that
Wear a gaiter with two layers, or fold it to make two layers
Find a mask that is made for children to help ensure proper fit. Check to be sure the mask fits snugly over the nose and mouth and under the chin and that there are no gaps around the sides. Do NOT put on children younger than 2 years old
Reusable masks should be washed regularly. Always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.
Key Details about Vaccines and Boosters
If you are fully vaccinated, booster shots are recommended if one of the following is true:
Which booster should you get?
Most adults 18+, regardless of which vaccine they first received, should get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA vaccines) for their booster dose. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only booster available to anyone ages 12-17. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
There’s still time to get a flu vaccine if you haven’t yet this season. You can get a flu vaccine at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. Find your flu vaccine.
Recently, the CDC changed its recommendations for when it is necessary to quarantine or isolate relative to COVID-19. We recognize that this is quite confusing in some regards, however, we want to keep you abreast of what to do should you or a member of your household have COVID-19 or be exposed to it. Please consult your healthcare provider should you have any questions related to your particular situation.
The Word tells us that The Lord would not have us ignorant. In an effort to continue to educate ourselves at PGC, the Health & Wellness Ministry Team have compiled this information on the Omicron variant.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
We are delighted to begin welcoming you back to in person worship and can’t wait to begin seeing you all!
We are continuing to follow CDC Guidelines as we return, so we will ask all attendees to sign in upon arrival, and your temperature will also be taken.
For your continued safety and protection, there are important guidelines and expectations that have been established that we would ask everyone to adhere to as we begin the process of coming back to in-person worship on Sunday, May 2, 2021.