March 1st – Vestry Rescinds Mask Mandate
The vestry has voted to make masks optional for worship services, effective March 1st. This decision was based on COVID-19 transmission/infection rates for New Castle County – which have quickly dropped to levels that do not threaten to overwhelm the healthcare system. The decision to wait until March 1st also gives planning time for those who desire or require an environment with masks. Please note that this decision does NOT cover Day School operations – whose COVID plans are being administered separately.
With this policy change comes an opportunity for us to recommit ourselves to the ideal of “no judgementalism” for those whose personal mask practices differ from our own. If someone wears a mask, fine. If someone does not wear a mask, fine. No judgement.
This decision will bring questions. Yes, we intend to allow singing in worship without masks. Yes, we realize that mask wearing is more about keeping others safe than keeping the mask wearer safe (this is why we continue to push the point to stay home if you feel unwell). Yes, we realize that transmission rates may rise again and require a re-thinking of this decision. Yes, we realize that there are some among us who are not vaccinated (including younger children). And, yes, we realize that there are some among us who cannot ‘afford’ to catch covid because of individual health circumstances. These all were a part of our considerations. Keep in mind, we dropped mask requirements for a brief period of time last year before the delta variant arose in August. That is when we returned to mask requirements and we kept them as the omicron variant raged. We believe that with omicron waning, we can remove the mandate.
Please accept our heartfelt gratitude for all the support you have given as we have sought to keep the parish as safe as possible. We also thank everyone for practicing patience as we have and continue to make decisions that will not please everyone!
Thank God for guarding and guiding us!