Public Health Update for Christmas Eve 2022

Dear Church,

A blessed Advent and Christmas to you all!

We wanted to send a brief note with a couple of reminders from our public health contacts with Christmas Eve approaching. As you are all aware, we are facing a “tripledemic” of Covid, flu, and RSV across the country. NH is no exception. Hospitals are facing shortages of staff, long wait times, and a lack of beds. Additionally, the majority of counties in NH are at high, or substantial transmission for Covid.

We have received strong recommendation that congregations consider a mask requirement (ideally KN95 or higher) for Christmas Eve. It is the easiest tool we have to stop the transmission of flu, Covid, and RSV. All current strains are highly transmissible, and masking is likely to make a real impact in crowded gatherings. We know this is not the news any of us hoped for two years in, but it is what loving our neighbor looks like, and how we can best care for the vulnerable.

Additionally, a reminder that good ventilation is one of our best tools as well. Where windows can be open, or air regularly exchanged? We recommend doing so throughout the evening on Christmas Eve.

We share these recommendations with you as you consider any final guidance ahead of Christmas Eve next weekend. As always, please defer first to your denominational leaders. Stay healthy and well. We look forward to continued unity and connection in the new year.

Rev. Heidi