Dear Foothills Stake Members, The Church continues to provide updates regarding the impact of the coronavirus, and the associated disease COVID-19, on Latter-day Saints. The latest update is entitled COVID-19 and Its Impact on Latter-day Saints Around the World. We encourage you to review this and future updates, which are available on the Church website.
We recognize the current risk of an outbreak in our area is low. However, this is an opportunity for us to address the basic hygiene and illness protocols in our buildings and at our meetings. As the Church has stated (which also aligns with advice from the World Health Organization):
For all Church members, there is wisdom in taking steps to remain healthy during this cold and flu season. These precautions include:
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick (this may include avoiding shaking hands or other customary greetings).
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Maintain at least three feet (one meter) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow public health agency recommendations for using a face mask.
Please visit the WHO website for further information and training videos. In addition, the Government of Canada has advised Canadians to consider their own preparedness in the event that the coronavirus becomes widespread in our community: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Being prepared. This includes considering actions such as avoiding crowded spaces, filling prescriptions, and shopping for basic supplies (but not panic buying).
We recognize that some members may wish to refrain from shaking hands for the time being. This is a personal decision and one we will respect and support. As with any infection or illness, if you or a family member is unwell, staying home is recommended. When needed, we also encourage members to bring their own supply of facial tissues to meetings as they are not available in every room of our buildings.
The Church has made it a priority to be a responsible global citizen and has made a number of changes to current procedures. All meetings requiring General Authorities and other local leaders to travel to the April 2020 General Conference have been postponed. The First Presidency is also discouraging members from travelling to the U.S. to attend General Conference. In addition, there have been changes to mission assignments in affected areas, cancellation or curtailments of some meetings and events, and several temple closures.
We pray for all those around the world who are affected by this illness, including the many healthcare professionals and front-line workers who are helping to fight it.
As a stake, we will continue to follow the information and recommendations provided by Alberta Health Services, the Government of Canada, and the Church.