The COVID pandemic is not over – not in countries across the globe, and not here in Travis County. As much as we all hoped we were moving toward health and a sense of normalcy again in our community, this is sadly not the case. One month ago, on June 19, we were just a breath away from dropping into Stage 1 protocols, with the rolling average of new hospitalizations at only 6.6 (the upper threshold for Stage 1 is an average of 5). Now, just one month later, on July 21, the rolling average of new hospitalizations is 32.6, which is above the lower limit for re-entering Stage 4 protocols. If the numbers stay at this level or continue to increase for more than a week, Austin/Travis County will declare Stage 4 – this means that even those who are fully vaccinated will need to wear masks again when in public spaces, like the grocery store or church.
Your Session is monitoring the recommendations and will respond accordingly. We may need to limit worship attendance again, or we may need to go back to online-only worship if things get much worse.
This is not a political issue – it is a matter of life and death! Please urge those you love to get fully vaccinated. If you have not yet been vaccinated and it is at all possible for you to do so, please make an appointment immediately, or just walk into a CVS or a Walgreens or a Randall’s or an HEB and get vaccinated. If you cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons, please take every precaution, wear a mask when in public, and observe social distancing.
We want to be able to gather safely to worship God together and serve our community. I urge all of us to consider how we can tailor our personal behavior to reflect the concern and care we have for all of our family, friends, and neighbors.