On Wednesday, May 19th, Bishop Hughes issued a revision to the Journey Forward guidelines for the Diocese of Newark, in response to the improvement in risk levels across the diocese. On Covid ActNow (covidactnow.org), all counties in the diocese had dropped to Medium Risk, coded with the color yellow. Risk levels could increase, returning to High Risk (Orange) or Very High (Red). These guidelines provide information for each of these risk levels.
In this revision, High Risk (Orange) guidelines were updated, should they become necessary again, and more relaxed guidelines for Medium Risk (Yellow) were provided. Yellow level guidelines include an increase in attendance capacity and also provides for choral and/or congregational singing, provided all singers are masked and at least 6 feet from others. Congregational singing is more limited for indoor in-person gatherings. Guidance on masks from civil authorities continues to shift. These guidelines currently require masks for indoor in-person gatherings, and for anyone singing. The guidelines encourage them for outdoor gatherings, but congregations may determine whether they are required. Outdoor simple coffee hour offerings are available at the Yellow level as well.
More details may be found on our general COVID-19 web page (dioceseofnewark.org/covid-19) and our Journey Forward web page (dioceseofnewark.org/covid-19/journey-forward). Here are links to the revised guidelines [PDF] and to the revised Quick Reference Card [PDF].
If your congregation is planning to resume in-person worship, they need to notify the Bishop’s Office using this form (dioceseofnewark.org/form/notice-in-person-worship).
Please contact Canon Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or for more information.