Deans' Note July 17, 2022

Thursday, Los Angeles County director of public Health Barbara Ferrer noted that due to the rise in cases of the new Covid variant BA-5, an indoor mask mandate is scheduled to return on July 29. This is not a cause for panic, but a reasonable and cautious response to the current health situation. "We are not closing anything down. We are not asking people not to gather with the people they love...We're asking you to take a sensible step, when there's this much transmission with a highly transmissible variant, to go ahead and put back on a well fitting high-filtration mask when you're indoors around others," Ferrer noted.

At St. John's we will follow all city protocols to ensure our health and safety when we gather indoors. We already have a vaccine mandate, but as we know, the new variant may elude the measures we have already put in place. Since the mask mandate is not yet in place, we will not require masks in doors at St. John's, but we encourage you to wear a mask when you come to church. Please note, that the public health director specifically states that our current situation should not stop us from gathering, but to use a precaution that has proven to be highly effective in stopping transmission of the virus.

During the service, Eucharistic ministers will wear masks and will sanitize their hands before distributing communion. As always, you have the option not to take the cup and receive only bread. Outdoor gatherings do not require masks as the risk of transmission in outdoor areas is much less.

We continue to pray for an end to this pandemic, for wisdom to live our lives abundantly in the midst of it, for protection from it, for healing for those who are sick, for comfort for the families of those who have died, and for God's ongoing care and blessing for all those in the medical and public health professions who care for us.