UPDATE: May 20 2022 and Impact on Annual Conference
On Thursday May 19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control moved the COVID-19 Community Risk Level from Medium to High for four counties in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference: Peoria, Tazewell, Ford, and Champaign Counties. The CDC has three community risk levels, with High as most severe. You can see the data tracking and read more about the metrics here: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker.
Our IGRC Bishop and Cabinet recommend that our churches consider the recommendations of our local, state, and federal public health officials, and your local church health safety team and leaders will need to meet and discuss what makes the most sense for your church in keeping your congregation and community safe while fulfilling your mission. This change in the community risk levels results in changes to the masking recommendations for some of IGRC region. In counties with "high" levels, the CDC continues to advise wearing a mask in public indoor settings, such as churches.
Because the location of our 2022 Annual Conference Session is within Peoria County, this will result in changes to our safety practices at Annual Conference. If the COVID community risk level for Peoria County remains High on June 9-11, then the Committee on Annual Conference Sessions will be asking all of our in-person participants to wear a well-fitted face mask while indoors. If this change in risk level or masking recommendations results in you deciding to change from in-person to online participation, please follow the following guidelines prior to May 27 to make this change in registration:
Persons wishing to switch their registration from being on-site to virtual as a result of the possibility of masks needing to be worn: Go back to your confirmation email that came upon registering for Annual Conference. There is a link that says VIEW CONFIRMATION where you can view or manage your registration. Click it on, select Edit Form at the top, go to the question dealing with Conference location, make your change and hit the Submit Registration button at the bottom of the screen. Any changes need to be made prior to the May 27 cutoff. Otherwise, you are locked in to your selection. Contact Paul Black if you have any difficulties in making the change.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is recommending that Illinois residents follow the CDC guidelines on prevention for COVID as well as any additional local, state, or federal public health guidance. The CDC recommends the following prevention measures in areas of High COVID community risk:
You can read more about COVID community risk levels here: https://www.cdc.gov/.../your-health/covid-by-county.html