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Church: We will continue to support masking

Posted on March 1, 2022 by Maple Creek

As of 12.01am on Monday, Saskatchewan dropped its COVID-19 health restrictions, including the requirement to wear a mask.
The Ministry of Health, however, has recommended that masks should still be worn if needed and asked that decisions be respected.
In advance of the removal of COVID public health orders, Maple Creek United Church said it would continue backing measures like mask-wearing that help to keep people safe.
“As health mandates lapse on February 28th, we recognize that keeping one another safe is an individual and community initiative in a way it hasn’t been before now,” said Rev. Michele Rowe, the church’s minister.
“While we will not mandate masking in church, we continue to support measures such as masking, social distancing, and other ways of keeping one another safe.”
The Rev. Rowe said online streaming of services would continue since the church recognizes that not everyone will feel comfortable yet about returning.
It is not the first time that the province has lifted mandatory indoor masking. It happened on July 11, 2021, when Saskatchewan entered Phase 3 of its reopening plan. At the time, Saskatchewan Health Authority reminded residents that the pandemic was not over.
The mask policy was reinstated on September 17 when the fourth wave swept the province.
Although mandatory masking has again been removed, the Ministry of Health has urged public to remain guarded.
“Public health continues to encourage residents to take the preventative measures that have proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the ministry said.
These measures include: wearing a mask if needed; taking advantage of free rapid testing; regular hand-washing; staying home when ill, which may include cold or flu-like symptoms; and getting vaccinated, including a third dose/booster shot. Booster/third dose eligibility now includes everyone 12 years and older.
The province continues to recommend that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate either for five days from the test date, or for 24 hours since any fever has resolved, without medications, and all other symptoms are improving for at least 48 hours, whichever is later. Contacts should be notified so that they may self-monitor or test.
People who test positive but have no symptoms should stay home for five days; those who test negative but still display symptoms should stay home until they feel better for at least 48 hours.
Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Health Authority is easing rules in long-term care homes. From 8am on Monday, family presence in long-term care homes moved to open family presence, which means family members are welcome according to the residents’ preference, and there are no limits on the number of visitors at one time. Masks will still be required in common areas, but don’t need to be worn in residents’ rooms unless the resident is COVID=19 positive and on precautions. Residents can also resume visits in the community.
A small number of homes will keep enhanced precautions if considered necessary by local medical health officers.
• The Rev. Rowe has disclosed upcoming Lenten events at Maple Creek United Church, including an Ash Wednesday Service at 7pm on March 7. Prayer stations will be available through Lent for individual reflection. They will be accessible in the in the Hall, Prayer Room, and Sanctuary. People are asked to ensure that the Music School is not in session before entering, (usually Tuesdays 5.30-7.30, Wednesdays 1.30-7.30, and Thursdays 1.30-7.30).
Other activities include “Coffee Row” (an informal social gathering); Small Group Study “Practices of Releasing” – Fridays at 10 am on March 4, 11, 18, 25, and April 1; Sunday, March 6 – Coffee resumes after church and our Annual Meeting follows the service; Thursday, March 17 – Irish Stew Takeout Supper.

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