Information to Inform your Decisions on When and How to Re-open your Congregation

California State Resilience Roadmap –

Contra Costa COVID-19 Updates –

Solano County COVID-19 Roadmap to Reopening –



Today California Governor Gavin Newsom issued guidelines for the re-opening of houses of worship (see link below). I participated on a Zoom call on Friday with his staff to review the text. Many of the recommended revisions were integrated into the final protocols. The guidelines are comprehensive and cover a broad range of considerations necessary for re-opening. The text is clear, from the outset, that these guidelines are not compulsory and online worship at this time continues to be encouraged. 
So as to allay any confusion, decisions regarding how and when houses of worship will re-open will be made through revisions to public health orders issued by County Public Heath Officers. I hope that this information will be helpful to you in advance of preparations your faith communities will need to make to be in compliance with the guidelines. 
Praying for your continued health and safety, I remain,
Michael G. Pappas, Executive Director
San Francisco Interfaith Council

The City of Concord recently updated it’s website to include COVID-19 tip sheets for people with disabilities, their families and caregivers. The downloadable materials are available in multiple languages. Please check out the following page on the City’s website:


Scroll to the bottom of the page for the IDD materials. Please note in particular that the downloadable Health Profile Template for People with IDD is applicable to any emergency and can be particularly useful to include in a ‘go-bag’ packed ready for an evacuation.


The most helpful articles for congregations:

The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them –

CDC Document Outlines Guidance for Reopening of Churches –

Wisconsin Council of Churches:  Returning to Church WI.  This downloadable document is very well considered – interesting links on the last page as well.


COVID-19 & Sacraments – A Roman Catholic specific guide for ministry during this season –

Message From The Unitarian Universalist Association President: Updated Guidance For Gathering –


The Presbytery of San Francisco created their Guidelines for Returning to Church based on the guidelines set forth in the Wisconsin Council of Churches (above). Includes PCUSA, CDC and other regional links – 



Be careful in reopening your buildings as the water in your pipes may have gotten stale:  East Bay MUD shared their “Recommendations for restaurants, businesses and other facilities restarting water use after shutdowns.” –

EBMUD Reopening Fact Sheet-050720

Dear Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County,

EBMUD asks your help in getting the word out about a very serious health and safety issue. Water is perishable just like any food or drink. With businesses and other establishments preparing to reopen, there is an essential task that must be performed to ensure safe water quality. If a building—office, restaurant, school, church, etc.—has been closed for any length time the water pipes must be flushed. Stagnant water in the pipes could cause major water quality issues and affect the plumbing. Attached is an instruction sheet on how to flush pipes, the procedure is simple but crucial. We ask that you please post this information on your websites and share it with your constituents.

Thank you for partnering with us on this important health and safety issue.

Kathryn A. Horn
Community Affairs Representative
East Bay Municipal Utility District
375 Eleventh Street, 8th Floor, Oakland, CA 94623-1055
Phone: (510) 287-2053   website:


Singing in an age of COVID-19

Singing, to a greater degree than talking, aerosolizes respiratory droplets extraordinarily well. Deep-breathing while singing facilitated those respiratory droplets getting deep into the lungs. Two and half hours of exposure ensured that people were exposed to enough virus over a long enough period of time for infection to take place. Over a period of 4 days, 45 of the 60 choir members developed symptoms, 2 died. The youngest infected was 31, but they averaged 67 years old. (Thanks to Cantor Korn and Terri Moss from Temple Isaiah)

NATS Panel of Experts Lays Out Sobering Future for Singers: “No Vaccine, No Safe Public Singing”

Wisconsin Council of Churches:  Church Music In The Age Of COVID-19



Resources from the San Francisco Interfaith Council:

San Francisco Workforce Development slides from the San Francisco Interfaith Council – helpful to see some of the things being asked of businesses as they seek to reopen –

SFIC recording of their conversation on Racism against the Chinese American community as the rhetoric of blaming China for the virus increases –


More Links on ways congregations, faith groups and others are thinking about this and other intersectionalities:


Synagogues begin sketching out plans for post-quarantine reopening –

At New York hospital, a friar watches over those dying: ‘The miracle is to let go’ –


How Jewish meditation is helping people silence the pandemic anxiety –



Needed: Religious Leaders who Play Along with Science –

The coronavirus pandemic is exposing the myth of self-reliance –



New Posters on Covid-19 Testing from the County.















COVID Testing Flyer English


COVID Testing Flyer Spanish