NCDHHS shares COVID-19 resources for places of worship and faith communities

December 22, 2020

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released the following information for faith communities as you make decisions about the best way to keep your community and congregation members safe and well this winter. 

  • This one-page document - Resources for Places of Worship and Faith Communities - provides a list of all available resources in one convenient document.
  • The Faith Leader Toolkit is available in both English and Spanish. Here are the sample talking points and sample language that can be included in bulletins or newsletters.
  • The Places of Worship Guidance is available in both English and Spanish.
  • The No-Cost Community Testing Events website allows you to search by your county name and find upcoming testing events. Additional testing sites can be found through the Find My Testing Place tool (note: some of these locations may charge and/or require health insurance). We’ve developed a Testing Email Template that faith leaders like yourself can use to share information about upcoming testing sites.
  • New guidance for Safer Holiday Breaks and Winter Holidays was just developed to help North Carolinians gauge the risks, protect their friends and loved ones, and slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • You can request Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as disposable face masks, gloves, or face shields for your faith community. Please use the PPE Request Form;  under “Type of Partner” select “Clergy or Faith Based Entity.” 
  • Mental health helplines are available (Hope4NC and Hope4Healers).
    • Hope4NC Helpline (1-855-587-3463) is available 24/7 for all North Carolinians in all 100 counties. People can call to speak to get mental health and resilience supports that help them cope and build resilience during times of crisis. 
    • Hope4Healers Helpline (919-226-2002) is available 24/7 for our front line workers and their families, including health care professionals, emergency medical specialists, first responders, and other staff who work in health care settings – who may be experiencing stress from being on the front lines of the state’s COVID-19 response. This hotline provides mental health and resilience supports.
  • The SlowCOVIDNC app is available in the App store. You can download it, and you can get notifications if you have been in close contact with someone who shared a positive COVID-19 test result in the app.
  • We recently released a short video about our “Whatever Your Reason, Get Behind the Mask” (on Youtube) - please consider sharing this through e-newsletters or on your website! 

Also, please remember to check the COVID-19 County Alert System to understand the community spread in your county and to make decisions about actions to slow the spread of the virus.

The Bishop and Cabinet urge pastors and church leaders to use this system to monitor their county and to reconsider their decision to hold indoor worship, particularly if their county is “red."
Phase Three Extension - Guidelines for In-Person Worship and Ministry During COVID-19

Find more updates from the Western NC Conference and resources to help with your ministry during the time of COVID-19 here

Find up-to-date information on the spread of the virus in your area at the NC Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 Dashboard.

All local churches are asked to use extreme caution in response to the recent rapid spread of the virus.

We thank the United Methodists across Western North Carolina for “loving their neighbor” by doing all that they can do to limit the spread of COVID-19.  

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