Siblings in Christ,
After consultation with Bishop Kym Lucas, due to increased surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations across the state, if and when your county reaches a 12.00% seven-day moving average, (which should be under 5% of those being tested) all parish leaders need to ensure that virtual or outside worship becomes mandatory.
There are now 1,069 confirmed COVID patients in Colorado; 2,179 COVID confirmed deaths; and 3,975 new cases reported today. Additionally, the state seven-day moving average is 11.51%; up from yesterday’s moving average of 11.47%. Today’s average has surged again.
Given all these statistics, I, and other colleagues, have anticipated a stay-at-home order in the very near future. At this time, many counties have gone from Level 2 to Level 3, which is one step away from an order of Safer-at-Home.
I, like all of you, would like to keep us all safe, masked, and physically distanced. If we can do these things, we can assist our State, and our Diocese, to slow these rates down and return to a moving average of 5%, which is the figure that shows control of the spread of the virus.
The good news is that our fires are confined due to the snowfall and we have had limited loss of homes compared to California and Oregon. We currently have 300+ homes destroyed and most evacuation orders have been lifted. The Diocese is involved in active relief efforts through the use of gift cards throughout the fire regions.
Some thoughts I have borrowed from Alexis Perrotta: Idealist, 21 April 2020 (online) on what we can do now — “Check on neighbors; 2. Explore ways to connect and volunteer virtually; 3. Waste not, want not; 4. Give Blood; 5. Make a donation; 6. Be a leader (model behavior); 7. Find your local mutual aid network; 8. Remember those still out there on the front lines; 9. Take care of self.” Additionally, I would add our need to pray.
Thank you all for the incredibly hard work you do in ministry during these pandemic times. None of us signed up for this, but here we are and it can be one of the strangest God-given moments in our lives now to share the gospel of Jesus.
The Reverend Canon Carl M. Andrews
Disaster Response Director for the Episcopal Church in Colorado
Partner in Response and Resilience; US Disaster Program
Episcopal Relief and Development
Chaplain, Colonel, USAF (ret)