Communities of Faith

Communities of Faith

worshippers, distanced and masked

For many traditions, gathering together is the heart of a faith-based community. Gatherings can increase the risk of spreading COVID-19, so it's important to follow public health guidelines to keep communities safe while keeping traditions alive. 

Religious facilities and places of worship can operate under health and safety requirements set by Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD). This includes limiting capacity, wearing face masks, maintaining physical distance, and keeping a log of all clergy, attendees, staff and guests to help contact tracing efforts.

Safe Holidays, Services and Events

What actions should congregants and attendees take?

Participating in a faith-based event or service can be done safely by following precautions, including:

  • keeping a 6-foot distance away from people outside of your household
  • wearing a face mask at all times, indoors and outdoors, even if you are physically separated from others 
  • avoiding physical contact with people outside of your household (for example, hugging or shaking hands)
  • frequent handwashing
  • staying home if you are sick or had close contact with someone with COVID-19 — join virtually if you have the option
  • people who are at increased risk for severe illness should consider staying home 

What actions should organization leaders and staff take?

Religious facilities and places of worship need to follow the health and safety requirements per the "Be Smart, Stay Safe" order to ensure holiday celebrations, services and events can be held safely:

  • limiting the amount of attendees to ensure physical distancing
  • keeping a log of clergy, staff and attendees with contact information to help support contact tracing efforts 
  • keeping a 6-foot distance between people outside of their household or family unit
  • ensuring that people wear face masks 

These precautions are also recommended:

  • encouraging people to avoid physical contact with people outside their household (for example, hugging or shaking hands)
  • setting up the space so it's easy for people to maintain a 6-foot distance from others outside their household
  • consider using recorded music instead of singing, when possible
  • encouraging frequent handwashing and other healthy hygiene practices 
  • intensified cleaning, disinfecting and ventilation
  • encouraging staff or congregants who are sick or who had close contact with someone with COVID-19 to not attend in-person. Consider options for gathering or celebrating virtually, especially for those who are at increased risk for severe illness

Learn more about considerations and precautions to take to keep your congregation safe.