Tri-County Health Department Issues Indoor Mask Mandate

Rationale from John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) from November 22, 2021:

“Hospital capacity remains extremely tight, with ICU bed utilization at 93% in Adams County and 100% in Arapahoe County…While getting vaccinated is still the best way to prevent transmission of COVID-19, we could still breach hospital capacity if we do not take additional prevention measures. Masking indoors provides us another tool to keep ICU beds available for people coming in for a range of conditions such as heart attacks and auto accidents that need those beds.”

Brief summary from Tri-County Health Department

Full text of the order

Our understanding of how this impacts FPCL

  • Masks are required indoors for everyone age 2+ unless a person “cannot medically tolerate a face covering”
  • Temporary removal of the mask for Communion is fine as “the temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service”
  • Speaking without a mask from the pulpit or lectern is fine since it provides “12-foot distance from non-household members”
  • Masks are still required for singing, though we could have singers up front without masks as long as they “maintain 12-foot distance from non-household members”
  • “Order remains in effect at least until 1/3/22 and thereafter until Staffed ICU Bed Capacity in the North Central Emergency Preparedness Region reaches 10% or greater
    for 14 consecutive days.”

A Note from Pastor Cody

Trust me when I say that I understand how frustrating this will be for some of our congregation. I also know that others in our congregation are glad for the masking mandate in the name of safety. One of our stated values is to “demonstrate the love of Christ at all times – even when politics or theology might divide us.” This is another opportunity to choose to live into our values for the sake of relationships and for the sake of our community.

Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 20:28, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Our community has asked us to wear masks indoors to serve those who need critical care when ICU’s are over capacity. I also see this as an opportunity to serve tired healthcare workers by reducing their load during this surge. It’s OK to be frustrated – David vented his frustration frequently in the Psalms. But I do believe this is a time for us to demonstrate the spirit of Christ by answering our community’s call to serve.

In Christ’s Service Together,

Pastor Cody