IBC Coronavirus Response
Ironbridge Church Response to the Coronavirus
March 12, 2020
To Our Ironbridge Community,
We are actively tracking the news regarding COVID-19, also known as the Novel Coronavirus. We have been monitoring the situation both globally and locally, and we recognize the growing concern regarding this illness. Further, we know that it has the potential to impact everyone in the church community.
There have been many different reactions regarding this emerging health crisis. Some have responded with indifference while others have reacted with fear and anxiety. At Ironbridge we are choosing to respond in a different way – with trust in the Lord and preparation for what may come. The Lord tells us to “cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:7) and “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:6) In addition to these words encouraging us not to worry, we also have Scripture that encourages us to prepare, “the prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” (Prov. 22:3) Also, “The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.” (Matt. 25:1-4)
Here are the precautions, drawn from multiple sources, that we are putting into place.
Infection Prevention Practices
- Wash your hands. Often. With soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs. If using soap and water wash for 20 seconds (sing the ABC song through while washing!)
- WASH YOUR HANDS. According the CDC, it is the primary preventive measure a person can take. Wash your hands after touching high use objects like: doorknobs, elevator buttons, money, phones, chair arms, etc. In addition, if possible, wipe down these surfaces before touching them.
- Practice Respiratory Etiquette by covering your cough or sneeze with your hands or the inside of your elbow. If using a tissue, dispose of the tissue after each use.
- Stay at home when you are sick and isolate yourself from others, especially those whose immune systems are fragile including the elderly and very young children. Please know that we are livestreaming our 10:45 a.m. Sunday services if you need to participate from home.
- Avoid shaking hands, and other contact when possible, instead smile often, nod your head, or even use “virtual” handshakes and fist bumps. If you have children, make it a game to use these types of greetings.
What to do if you are sick
In the event of an emergency call 911. If it is not an emergency, and you are beginning to feel ill, call your healthcare professional. Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 mimic the flu, others do not. If there is any question, err on the side of caution and call your medical professional. They will work with the health department and/or the CDC to determine if your symptoms warrant testing for COVID-19.
We will be operating under a staged response system as further developments warrant. We are currently unaware of anyone in our Ironbridge Community who has contracted the virus or been in contact with a person who has contracted the virus. For this reason, we will continue ministry operations as normal, with the additional Infection Prevention Practices described above.
That said, this is an evolving situation which may require an escalated response if the virus spreads into our community. We will attempt to communicate any changes in our operating policy as soon as the situation allows. Please, rest assured that whatever additional steps we may take, including a possible worst-case scenario of temporarily closing the facilities, will be for your protection and safety. Of course, in such an instance we will give broad notification of any adjusted plans.
Finally, please join us in prayer for those impacted by this virus, for those serving the sick, for God’s protection and provision, and that the spread of the gospel will increase during this time. Most importantly, we know that the Lord is our strength and protector, our strong shield. While we will not act in fear, we do want to be prepared and wise during this time. We take the health and safety of everyone very seriously.
We love you, and we thank you for being part of the Ironbridge Community.