After two months of suspended services, meetings and Masses, we are ready to begin resuming Location activities in a limited capacity. In some places that will mean only drop off and pick up curbside service. In others, we will be able to gather in limited numbers with a few precautions to ensure safety.
We are relying on the expertise of our doctors and nurses for practical guidance and also are closely following national, state and local authorities to make sure we comply with any applicable restrictions. The protocol below is subject to change.
Here’s what you can expect in the coming months:
Safety comes first
Every one of us is accountable to ensuring we hold to these standards.
Anyone is empowered and expected to speak up if they spot an issue or have a concern. We’re making sure our teams are empowered with the knowledge and training they need to serve the poor and sick and to worship in community while meeting these health and safety requirements.
Protective personal equipment (PPE)
All knights and dames, provisional and auxiliary members, and volunteers must wear face coverings at all indoor gatherings of the Order, while serving others and attending Mass or meetings. Certain jobs will require use of disposable gloves. Gloves will be available to all persons who choose to use them.
Implementing social distancing standards
We’re limiting the number of people allowed at any given time and place. Advance reservations will be mandatory for the foreseeable future to attend events so that we can minimize risk and trace illness if it occurs. We’ll be gathering in smaller groups than before the outbreak.
We will employ socially distancing. Six feet of separation is the standard, and event coordinators will have the authority to suspend or terminate an event if social distancing is not observed or becomes impossible to follow.
Enhancing cleaning procedures
We will implement enhanced cleaning procedures (including thorough, frequent cleanings of high-touch surface areas), before and after every gathering and event.
Stepping up health screenings and policies
All members must check for COVID symptoms before each gathering or event and must stay home if they feel unwell. Anyone at a gathering or event who exhibits symptoms will be sent home immediately.
We will use temperature check devices at all locations as they become available. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will be required to go home.
1. For Masses we follow the Diocesan Rules
2. For third-party charities, we follow their rules, but not less stringent than our rules
3. For meetings, we follow our rules
4. For signature works, we follow our rules
It is also necessary that each location appoints a “Coordinator” to ensure availability and compliance with the latest standards, especially as standards continue to evolve. The coordinator can ensure that any Order of Malta sanctioned activity has a designated responsible person to make sure that the Covid-19 Health and Safety Standards are being followed. For ease of communication, it is suggested that the “Coordinator” be the location Hospitaller.
Other than safety, our primary concern is for member engagement in any signature work. For those members who are not comfortable working in community, all efforts should be made for those members to participate from home. Member participation hours will be the primary consideration for approval of Covid-19 funds.