COVID-19 has changed the way Yukoners live and work. This includes how we come together to share ceremony and ritual.
These guidelines will help ensure we keep people, families and communities safe. Faith-based services pose a risk for spreading COVID-19. The gathering size creates a risk on its own and some activities can also be risky:
- sharing of ceremonial objects, food and drink;
- singing; and
- playing wind instruments.
Follow these guidelines and the Safe 6 + 1 when planning or attending a faith-based service.
Gathering limits for services
To reduce attendance, encourage alternative forms of participation, such as online services.
- These are limited to 200 people with 2-metre (6-feet) physical distancing.
- Masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces.
Activities in separate rooms within a place of worship
If your place of worship has rooms within it, you can have different activities in the rooms if gathering limits are followed.
For example, a service with 200 people is held in the main place of worship, while Sunday school with 20 people is held in the basement.
People gathering in separate rooms must:
- wear masks;
- not intermingle with other groups; and
- use separate entrances and washrooms.
These are limited to 200 people with 2-metre (6-feet) physical distancing.
Faith-based organizations must complete an operational plan. But, they do not have to submit it for approval. The plan should be available if Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) staff visit the place of worship. A template is available online.
We encourage organizers to provide their congregation with specific rules for participating in faith-based activities based on these guidelines.
Staying home when sick
- Stay home if you’re sick, even if your symptoms are mild.
- Complete the online self-assessment or phone 811 to determine whether you should be tested for COVID-19.
- Faith-based organizations should post signs at entrances advising people who arrive with symptoms to return home.
Collecting personal information
Consider asking people to register upon arrival. This can help with contact tracing efforts if someone gets COVID-19. Discard attendance lists after 30 days. See the guidelines for collecting personal information.
- Physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) must be kept between people who are not in the same social bubble.
- Post signs and provide verbal reminders.
- Mark seating areas and directional flow of people through places of worship.
- We do not recommend gatherings before and after faith-based activities.
- Leave adequate time between events to allow people to exit and enter in a safe manner.
- You have to wear a mask if you’re attending an indoor service. See wearing a mask in Yukon during COVID-19 for more information.
- Practise proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, this includes:
- wash your hands;
- cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue;
- put used tissues into a lined garbage bin and wash your hands afterwards;
- use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content; and
- avoid touching your face.
- Do any ceremonial washing at home.
Cleaning and disinfection
Leave adequate time between events to clean and disinfect common, high-touch areas:
- door handles;
- light switches;
- elevator buttons; and
- ceremonial objects.
- Have warm running water, liquid soap and paper towels available.
- Have single-use hand towels or paper towels available for people to dry their hands.
- Do not have towels for people to share.
- Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting washrooms.
Refer to Yukon’s guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the workplace.
Here are some guidelines for high‑risk activities that often occur in places of worship.
Singing and live music
See the singing and live music guidelines.
Close contact and shared items
- No handshaking, hugging, touching or passing of objects between people who are not in the same social bubble.
- Donation collection plates or baskets must not be passed between people.
- We recommend online donations or a designated area to place offerings or donations.
- Microphones are difficult to clean and disinfect, and you should not share these between people.
- Limit the number of people providing readings or speeches who need a microphone. See the singing and music guidelines for more information.
- People should bring their own items. Books and prayer mats should not be shared.
If food or drink is part of a faith-based ritual, serve it in a pre-packaged or individual portion.
Do not share these items:
- food and drink utensils;
- coffee pots;
- water or milk pitchers;
- snack bowls;
- refill or condiment stations; and
- salt and pepper shakers.
There must be no physical contact between the people serving and those receiving food and drink. People who are serving must wash or sanitize their hands immediately before and after serving.
For more information about COVID-19, phone the COVID-19 toll-free InfoLine 1-877-374-0425 between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., 7 days a week.