Last updated: 9/9/20, 10:31am
With the continuous rise and spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), people are asking how to stay safe and asking if there are new protocols when attending worship services. This page will answer some of those questions and provide updates on upcoming conference sponsored and supported events.
Up-to-date information is a good solution for anxiety. Visit trustworthy websites for reliable information—a list of resources has been provided at the bottom of the page. During this time of uncertainty, trust God, and don’t be anxious, get plenty of rest, eat healthily and make conscious and thoughtful decisions about your health and the health of those around you.
We invite you to join us in prayer for the countless individuals around the world who are infected, their families, neighbors and colleagues. Pray also for the nurses and doctors assigned to care for the sick and the scientists who are searching for an effective vaccine.
Updates for State Re-Openings
Given the public health implications of the 2020 global pandemic, diverse faith communities have had to quickly adjust in response to this unprecedented crisis. Below is important information regarding religious services in Virginia and Maryland.
Many conference sponsored events schedule to take place in the upcoming months have been canceled or postponed. Please click the here to see a list.
Church Live Streams and Online Worship Resources
Click here for a list of churches in the Potomac Conference that provide live streaming and/or have archived services. This page also provides links to other Adventist resources like Faith for Today, Breath of Life and La Voz de la Esperanza.
Click the following links and check with the following organizations for the latest information on the CONVID -19:
The Potomac Conference Corporation is mindful of the desire, from both parents and students, for schools to re-open for in-class instruction for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Office of Education has been working diligently to ensure that schools are prepared to meet the needs of students. The following action was recently taken:
Voted: “The Potomac Conference Board of Education has voted to encourage the opening of schools for the 2020-2021 academic school year within the Potomac Conference Corporation following federal, state and local guidelines as well as follow the recommendations of the CDC. Ultimately, the individual schools will decide how they will move forward based on these guidelines.”
School board decisions varied based mostly on location. In Virginia, where the number of COVID-19 cases is low, all schools will fully reopen. Olney Preparatory School (Md.) will welcome students back into the classroom for in-person learning. A provisional option is available for parents who chose to have their children continue to learn virtually. Students will have the ability to join their classmates every day via live-stream, allowing for the asynchronous experience.
In Maryland, Takoma Academy, TA Prep and Beltsville Adventist School will begin classes online through the first-quarter, ending in October. These school boards voted to reassess the plan at the end of the quarter to determine if it will be feasible to return to in-school instruction or move to a hybrid system. Final decisions will be based on recommended guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and state and local governments.
In Virginia, Vienna Adventist Academy has decided to start with online classes on August 17, 2020, and will be following federal, state and local guidelines as well as the CDC guidelines. Richmond Academy is planning on opening their doors when schools start next month and there is great news to share on their enrollment numbers thus far. The academy has budgeted for 100 students and as of today, they are already at 115 students. The school is continuing to give regular campus tours to prospective families.
The other 13 Potomac Conference schools will be having school on their campuses with specific arrangements as to how this will be done and, they too, will be following federal, state and local guidelines as well as the CDC guidelines.
Steve Laing, Vice President for Education for Potomac Conference Corporation, says his department is working in collaboration with the local schools to provide the optimal environment for students to learn. “We’re looking at the holistic health of all the schools which includes the physical safety, the academic efficiency and ultimately, the opportunity for the students to experience the nurturing of their spiritual growth,” he stated. “That’s the unique component that makes our schools different from other learning institutions.”
Additionally, Potomac has provided $60,000 for schools to purchase materials and supplies for the safe reopening of their institutions.
- The best practice to prevent any illness is to wash your hands frequently using the proper technique: wet-lather-scrub-rinse-dry.
- Use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available. Keep a supply at your desk, in your car and your purse or briefcase.
- Avoid touching your face, specifically your eyes, nose, and mouth, as this is how germs enter your body.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Cough into your elbow, NOT your hand.
- Stay home if you’re feeling sick.
At Church (When it Resumes)
- Avoid handshakes, hugs, and kisses.
- Fist and elbow bumps are appropriate, and safer, greetings.
- Make sure hand sanitizer is available as people enter and exit the church.
- Wipe down and disinfected surfaces.
- Refrain from hosting potlucks.
- Develop a plan to ensure that members who are at high-risk have their medications, food, and water.
- Postpone evangelistic meetings.
- If circumstances require that you must stay at home for an extended period of time, here are several items you will want to have on hand:
- Plenty of paper products; toilet paper, tissue, and paper towels.
- Cleaning supplies.
- A 14-day supply of non-perishable food items.
- A 30-day supply of your prescription medicine.
Resources for Families to Stay Active and Busy
Below are some resources on how to keep yourself and your kids moving while maintaining a social distance during the coronavirus.
- “How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus”
- Talking to Children about COVID-19
- “How to keep yourself and your kids active during lockdown”
- “Crowded house: Keeping kids entertained at home during coronavirus lockdown”
- “10 Tips for Preparing to Stay at Home Due to the Coronavirus”
- “Free Resources to Keep the Kids Learning and Entertain During Coronavirus Shutdowns”
- “How to Stay Busy at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak”
- Scholastic Learn at Home
- 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours
- Online churches…what does that mean for children?
- 20 Virtual Field Trips to Take with Your Kids
- Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden