Parish Covid-19 Update (12/17/2020)

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Following is an email update from Fr. Gary and your St. Demetrios Covid Response Team (Michael Metropoulos- Chairman, Dr. Bob Gonzalez, and Mandee Sanderson, PC President)

Since December 5, 2020, Ventura County has been under a Stay-At-Home Order from the State of California’s Public Health Department. This order requires 100% masking, social distancing (6 feet) and hand washing or hand sanitizer on arrival to church. It prohibits our Church from holding indoor services.

Our only options are Outdoor services or Internet only services. We will always favor holding Outdoor Services. Weather may, at times, represent a challenge, so we encourage you to bring coats and blankets for your comfort.

On Sunday, December 6, 2020, a potential Covid-19 exposure occurred at the St. Demetrios Liturgy and General Assembly Meeting. Late on the following Tuesday (12/8/20), an attendee developed fatigue and aching. On the following day, Wednesday (12/9/20), this individual was tested, and results returned positive for Covid-19 infection on Friday (12/11/20)

This person had no symptoms of Covid-19 infection at the time of services and underwent our screening process which included the documentation of a normal temperature. During services, our parishioner maintained social distancing and wore a mask the entire time. The person did not receive Communion. Parishioners who were present at the December 6th services were called and informed of the potential exposure by Fr. Gary and a member of our Committee on Friday, 12/11/20.

Dr. Bob Gonzalez, as our Parish Health Officer, contacted the Ventura County Public Health Department’s Physician Covid Consultation Line. A doctor-to-doctor discussion took place, and our Covid-19 exposure was deemed low risk. The following are important facts and directions from the Public Health Department:

  1. Low risk does not mean no risk. If you develop symptoms of Covid-19, you should contact your doctor and be tested. We will attach a list of Covid-19 symptoms for you to monitor.
  2. If you develop symptoms, you should self-quarantine until you receive a negative Covid-19 test
  3. Attendees of the Diving Liturgy and General Assembly do not need to be tested unless they develop symptoms
  4. Everyone should continue to wear an approved mask, maintain 6 feet of social distancing and use hand sanitizer or wash your hands on arrival to Church

Please notify Fr. Gary if you develop symptoms.

We have worked hard to ensure everyone’s safety but sometimes things happen which cannot be predicted. Under Fr. Gary’s leadership, the Covid Response Team has made the following interventions:

  • Parking Lot reconfiguration to ensure appropriate distancing
  • Symptom screening and temperature checks at cars prior to seating under arbor
  • Physical distancing guidelines and seating
  • Control of elevator and bathroom use to prevent crowding
  • Adoption of no touch Communion
  • Individual microphone use
  • Suspension of choir worship
  • Suspension of Coffee Hour
  • Cleaning and disinfection protocols consistent with State Guidelines were implemented
  • Reservation system utilization

We all look forward to a return to normalcy. In the meantime, please work with us to ensure the safety of those most vulnerable. Stay home if you feel ill. Be patient as we go through our screening process and most of all wear proper masks, maintain social distancing and use hand sanitizer upon arriving at Church.

Here are the symptoms of Covid-19. A person should watch for these symptoms and if they occur, consider being tested for Covid-19 viral exposure.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

Thank you