Staying Safe During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Dear Friends,

There is much concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak.  We are monitoring the situation closely, and offer the following information and suggestions for our UUSP congregation.

Facts about the coronavirus:

  • Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure and may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • There are two primary ways COVID 19 is transmitted: from droplets created by others who cough, sneeze, or even talk within 6 feet of you; or by touching something that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose. It can survive on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours.
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

We suggest that you follow the precautions below even if you are not at risk, as other members of the church and our neighors may be at higher risk.

Specifically, when we gather for services and meetings, instead of hugs and handshakes, let’s bow, or use “elbow bumps” to greet one another!

You may also consider making your gift or pledge offering using our online contribution page or the Give+ app in lieu of passing the plate.


  • If you do get sick, please stay home, rest, and take care of yourself. Health officials recommend staying home until at least 24 hours after all symptoms have subsided. Please check with your healthcare professional to determine when it's safe to be with other people.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Scrub with soap and water, warm or hot water is best,  for at least 20 seconds and rinse thoroughly with clean water, warm or hot water is best. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when handwashing is not an option.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue or, if necessary, the crook of your elbow, but not your hands. Wash your hands immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, especially your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces including handles, doorknobs, work surfaces, sinks, etc.
  • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others, NOT as protection against the virus.
  • Avoid close contact with someone who is sick.
  • Greet others in non-physical or low-contact ways, like bowing, or elbow bumping.

Public health officials and medical experts have been working hard to evaluate this virus.  But uncertainty still exists, and misinformation is being spread on social media. Please continue to refer to reputable medical sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization for updated, accurate information about the coronavirus and necessary precautions. 


Stay well. Be healthy,

Steve Benton & Pastor Jack Donovan

Posted on March 7, 2020, at 8:10pm