In light of the skyrocketing COVID cases in Allegheny County (over 2,000 yesterday alone), and for the safety of our more vulnerable members, I'm going to cancel choir for the next couple of weeks while we wait this surge out. I'm hearing that those "in the know" seem to think this will just be for a few weeks and then things should level off and be back to where we were a few months ago.
We know from past practice that the safest thing for our worship services is for me to sing alone masked with Sunny 6 feet away and behind me at the piano as we did prior to bringing the choir back to our service. We're going to ask our guest pastors to consider wearing masks while they lead the service as well.
This Omicron variant is considerably more transmissible and can even pass through regular cloth masks easier than the original COVID-19 virus. I'm sure just about all of us have heard of people testing positive in the past 2 weeks. And vaccination status doesn't seem to matter to this variant.
As long as people are masked in the congregation (as we've been practicing), singing of hymns and responses should still be ok given the number of people attending, the social distancing, and the size of the space and high ceilings.
Hopefully this will just be for a couple of weeks and then we can get back to what we've been doing making music in praise of our Creator during worship. But for now, health and safety of all first! We'll skip doing Emerging Worship this month also to keep things consistent with who is leading worship.
minister of music