COVID-19 Checklist for Faith-Based and Community Organizations
Top Things You Can Do to Protect Against COVID-19
Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH strongly recommends that all faith-based and community organizations take the following actions:
- Hold remote/online meetings for gatherings, including regular religious services and holiday/special services.
- If any in-person services must be held, implement practices to keep all people, including staff and volunteers, 6 feet apart. Refrain from practices that involve the sharing/passing of common items or close contact with other individuals. Discourage people over 60 from attending. Ask members to refrain from shaking hands and hugging. Provide adequate supplies of soap and water, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.
- Postpone or cancel events, programs, services, retreats, and children’s activities as much as possible. This includes any off-site gatherings or gatherings in members’ homes.
- Consider suspending any required or suggested donations, offerings, dues, or other payments, especially from members who are out of work due to the pandemic. Offer mobile on online payment options.
- Engage other community and faith leaders and establish a process to help with grocery delivery and other household tasks, especially for members at high-risk of complications from COVID-19. Establish programs to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, isolation, and loneliness.
- Share messages about COVID-19 only from credible sources. Increase use of text and social media communication strategies.
- Engage with stigmatized groups and speak out against negative behaviors to help counter discrimination against people who are sick. Also watch out for potential language, cultural, and disability barriers when communicating with members or congregants.
- Continue to offer needed social services, using practices that reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Avoid providing services in group gatherings.
- Strive to advocate for the vulnerable and marginalized to help ensure they receive appropriate and available resources as needed.
- Help direct people to adequate social services. Reach out to people already receiving services but also those who might find themselves in need of assistance for the first time.
- Offer assistance and guidance to people who become sick and their families and friends, who may be unable to visit hospitalized loved ones due to restrictions.
- Ramp up environmental cleaning, especially after any events, if held.
- Allow as many employees as possible to work from home. If employees are on site, strive to ensure that they remain at least 6 feet apart. Use similar procedures to also distance any in-person volunteers.
For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available. Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 (1-800-846-8517 TTY); connect with a trained counselor through the Ohio Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741; or call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services help line at 1-877-275-6364 to find resources in your community.
Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by taking these precautions.
- Stay home
- Practice Social Distancing
- Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
- Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
- Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
- Clean and disinfect "High-Touch" surfaces often
- Call before visiting your doctor
- Practice good hygiene habits
If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 please call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)
CLEAN ALL "HIGH-TOUCH" SURFACES EVERY DAY
High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.