St. Andrew’s is in a time when we are as active as ever but in new ways. Our worship and ministry continues and is as important as it ever has been.
We too are taking steps to plan a safe regathering with guidance from national and local authorities in addition to our own diocese. We will provide updates and faith resources on this page.
- 03/18/22 – After careful consideration with the new CDC guidelines. Here are the most recent updates:
Effective last week, March 13, fellowship with coffee permitted in parish hall only.
Effective this week, March 20, Sunday School classrooms will be provided snacks.
Effective March 26/27, masks will be optional in church building, including for Saturday and Sunday worship.
The return of the wine in the form of the common cup is in consideration.
- 03/03/22 – We have much-updated guidance from health organizations and your church leadership is helping us to move forward intentionally at the right speed. Many are ready to take off the masks and move forward at pre-pandemic levels. Many have not yet returned to in-person worship. We will move forward together and intentionally, knowing that it will be too slow for some and too fast for others. Your church leadership is in discussion and changes will be made soon. We ask for your patience as we navigate this as a whole community.
In the coming weeks, we are considering all recommendations including the bringing back of wine for Eucharist (which would be optional as it always has been).
- 01/28/22 – The Omicron variant appears to have peaked and, while our numbers are down, our hospital and health systems are still seeing the result of the most recent COVID-19 wave.
According to the Brown School of Public Health, there are an average of 84.6 cases per 100k people over the past 7 days. According to the CDC, this is 625.08 total cases per 100k over the past 7 days. This continues to place us solidly in the red transmission zone for high transmission rates. However, it is a large decrease from the previous week (40.76%). The data from the CDC on the number of deaths remains “suppressed” indicating under 10 deaths in the county over the past 7 days.
In the past 7 days, there were 183 new hospital admissions which is a decrease of about 23%. 18.65% of hospital beds are in use for COVID-related purposes and 12.83% of ICU beds are being used for COVID-related purposes. This marks a decrease in all areas, however, it is still considered a high number. In consultation with the University of Minnesota’s COVID-19 data tracking project, NPR displayed the data in this tool showing that 22% of Fairfax Hospitals are occupied by COVID-19 related hospitalizations. This indicates the hospitals in our area are still under extreme stress (anything over 20%).
At this time, we will continue registration for our 10:00 a.m. service. This enables us to have better air flow and permits better social distancing at the service. We may also email those who registered should someone who tested positive attend services. Our Saturday evening service and our 8:00 a.m. service have had, on average, under 20 people at each service should you want to ensure a low number of people. We will also continue our Wednesday service and Bible study in the Sanctuary to permit better spacing.
12/23/21 – With the onset of the Omicron variant, we are seeing greater transmission rates in Fairfax. To stay further informed, here are the health metrics for Fairfax County.
As of today, December 23, 2021, the transmission rate according to the Brown School of Public Health is 51.1 cases per 100k. This is another significant jump from just last week. According to the CDC, there are 284.79 cases per 100k (3,268 total). The number of deaths in Fairfax is still labelled as “suppressed” indicating between 0 and 9 deaths.
There were 68 new hospital admissions this past 7 days which is 4.24 per 100 beds and 5.93 per 100k people. This is a 41.67% increase over the past 7 days. 8.39% of ICU beds are being used for COVID-related reasons which is a 3.05% increase. A new metric this week takes a look at the hospitals in our county’s capacity and strain. According to the University of Minnesota’s COVID-19 tracking project, our county’s hospitals show moderate strain with fewer than 10% of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. This does not mean that there is not increased strain because of COVID-19.
According to the CDC, 78.6% of the county five years of age and older is considered fully-vaccinated. The number continues to rise as those who are recently eligible continue to receive vaccines. There is not data on booster shots, however, there are indications that booster shots reduce the risk of severe illness for COVID-19. The latest variant is breaking through vaccines at a larger percentage, but is still showing good protection against severe illness.
Please do know if you are in a higher risk category and make informed decisions this Christmas and as we continue to navigate the pandemic.
12/17/21 – Globally and nationally, we see rates of Coronavirus transmission increasing. More than 800,000 deaths as we still endure the pandemic. At this time, the only change we will make is to lower the number of registrants for our 10:00 a.m. service on Christmas Eve to 200. This is about the number we had in the church for the Bishop’s visitation last week.
We will continue to do the best we can to navigate the pandemic. We do ask that you let us know if you test positive and were potentially contagious while present at church. We also ask that you continue to track risks and know your own risks. We will continue to have online worship and welcome you in-person and online.
According to the Brown School of Public Health, the Commonwealth of Virginia has 30.3 cases on average per 100k. Fairfax County has 19.3 cases per 100k places us in the orange zone (below red) in their metrics. According to the CDC, we are in the Red zone along with the rest of the Commonwealth with 136.29 total cases per 100k (1,564 total cases). This is a 17.86% increase from the previous week. The number of deaths in Fairfax County is labeled as “suppressed” again (between 0 and 9).
We saw a 20% increase in hospitalizations in the past 7 days with a total of 48 (2.99 per 100 beds and 4.18 per 100k people). We saw a slight increase in bed use for Covid-19 purposes with 4.28% of beds used and 5.34% of beds used in the ICU.
According to the CDC, 73% of Fairfax County’s population is fully vaccinated and 86.2% have received at least 1 dose. Of those eligible for the vaccination (5 and older) 77.9% are fully-vaccinated. This past week is when children ages 5-11 started becoming fully-vaccinated (2 weeks past second dose).
12/03/21 – This week, we see a slight increase in the health metrics for Fairfax County which is not surprising. With new variants that will likely continue to rise, we will listen to advice from national and local health officials and do the best we can to navigate the pandemic. Here are this week’s latest health metrics for Fairfax County:
According to the Brown School of Public Health, Fairfax County is in the Orange Zone with an average of 12.7 cases per 100k over the past 7 days. As a reminder the four zones are green (under 5 cases on average), yellow, (under 10 cases on average), orange (under 25 cases on average), and red (over 25 cases on average). According to the CDC, we remain in the Orange Zone with a total of 82.44 per 100k over the past 7 days. As a reminder, the color zones for the CDC are blue, yellow, orange, and red. Orange is under 100 and above 50 total cases. The death rate due to COVID in Fairfax over the past 7 days was labelled as “suppressed” meaning there were definitively under 10 deaths if any. While the transmission rates indicate a slight increase from the previous week, we are still at a lower rate of transmission than the national average.
Over the past 7 days, there were 31 new hospital admissions due to COVID with 2.13% of beds used for COVID reasons. This is a large increase in hospitalizations and a slight increase in the percentage of beds used. In our ICU’s, 2.55% of beds are being used for COVID-related reasons which also indicates a slight increase.
According to the CDC, 84.1% of residents of all residents have received at least 1 dose and 71.1% are fully vaccinated. 95.8% of residents 12 and older have received at least 1 dose and 83.3% of residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated. For those over 18, 96.1% have received at least one dose and 83.4% are fully-vaccinated. 99.9 percent of residents 65 and older have received at least 1 dose and 84.3% of residents over 65 are fully vaccinated. Beginning in about two weeks, children between 5 and 11 will start becoming fully-vaccinated. All adults 18 and older are now eligible for a booster shot if it has been more than 6 months since your second shot. If you have questions about the vaccination for you or others, we encourage you to speak to your doctor.
At this time, we will continue with our current COVID protocols which require masks indoors and refraining from our receptions and eating/drinking which may cause longer periods of time without a mask. This will also apply to our bishop’s visitation Sunday on December 12th.
- 11/12/21 – According to the Brown School of Public Health, Fairfax County has 5.2 cases on average per 100k people over the past 7 days. This is a continued improvement and is 0.2 away from the “Green Zone,” which indicates that we are on track for containment. According to the CDC, Fairfax County has 41.48 total cases per 100k over the past 7 days, which leaves us in the “moderate” transmission zone. This is the second lowest zone with “green” indicating “low” transmission rates. In the county, there were a total of 476 cases in the past 7 days out of our 1.4M person population which is about a 14% decrease from the prior 7 days.
Over the past 7 days there were 0 deaths recorded related to the Coronavirus in Fairfax County. There were a total of 26 new hospital admissions related to the pandemic. 2.43% (0% change from prior 7 days) of hospital beds were used this past week in the county for COVID-related admissions and 2.04% (1.08% decrease from past 7 days) of ICU beds were used this past week for COVID-related admissions.
According to the CDC, 79.5% of Fairfax County has received at least 1 dose of the coronavirus vaccine which is 69.7% of the total population. Of those over 65, 98.6% have received at least 1 dose (83% fully vaccinated). According to Fairfax County, 83.5% of people over 18 have received at least 1 dose (70.6% of total population) and 76.3% of adults 18 and older are fully vaccinated (64.3% of total population). Good data on those age 5 and older who have received the vaccine are not yet available.
At this time, we will not make changes to our procedures to do what we can to limit the spread of the virus.
- 10/15/21 – We continue to see country-wide decreases in transmission and hospitalization and Fairfax County is far below the national transmission rates and high on vaccination rates. As of Friday, October 15, 2021, the average number of cases per 100k residents in Fairfax County is 11.8 over the past 7 days. This shows a slight decrease this past week, however, we are still seeing some community transmission. According to the CDC, Fairfax County had 981 total cases over the last 7 days which is 85.49 cases per 100k residents. We remain below the previous “high” transmission level (which the country is in overall) and in the substantial transmission zone. This is another slight decrease this week.
Vaccination status remains high in the county and according to the CDC, 80.4% of eligible Fairfax County residents are fully vaccinated. According to Fairfax County, 75.1% of adults 18 and older in Fairfax are considered fully vaccinated and 63.3% of all residents are fully vaccinated. Please do consider if you are eligible for a booster shot and keep an eye out for when authorization of the vaccine will take place for children ages 5-11.
At this time, we will not adjust our current COVID safety precautions and thank you for your patience as we do the best we can to navigate the pandemic safely.
- 07/02/21 – This week, we lift most restrictions for worship, all of them, in fact, except the wearing of masks. You will no longer need to register nor will you be required to remain socially distant! We recognize that not all of us will be of the exact same level of comfort as we come back. We thank you for your patience as your vestry and regathering team work to make the best decisions on behalf of our whole community.
While we have welcomed our AA groups during the pandemic, we are beginning to welcome some other groups back into the building. Our Vestry and Priest-in-Charge supports the return of some groups we have hosted in the past including welcoming back the Peace Islamic Center into the parish hall on Friday afternoons. This is also a reminder that as we re-gather our ministries, we will need to coordinate with the church office to ensure we do not double-book space. Thank you for your help!
- 06/04/21 – This weekend, June 5th and 6th, we will regather for indoor worship at all three of our services. We will continue to follow guidance provided for congregate settings of mixed vaccination status which includes:
Communion – Bread Only (considered full Eucharistic participation)
Guided foot traffic patterns
As our health metrics continue to improve, we will adjust these precautions. As of June 3rd, the 7-day average for new Covid-19 cases in Fairfax county was 1.8 per 100,000, which keeps us in the low yellow level (medium risk). This is about 20 cases in a population of about 1.4 million. The “green zone” is 1 case and under per 100,000. While we continue to take precautions, we are also able to do so much more in our worship such as singing, partaking in the Eucharist, some fellowship after services, and more!
- 05/14/21 – The CDC provided guidance on May 13, 2021, which limited times for wearing masks both indoors and outdoors. Governor Northam has kept indoor mask wearing mandates and lifted much of outdoor mask wearing. Our Bishop provided communication today which lifts mask requirements outdoors. Indoors, we will still be in masks.
While there has been guidance that you may resume more activities once you are vaccinated, we will not include vaccination status for worship attendance.
This Sunday, May 16, 2021, we will not require masks at outdoor worship. However, we will continue to remain at 6 feet of distance from each other. We will also welcome singing back to the church and I pray that we are ready to sing loudly for all of Burke to hear!
- 05/07/21 – This week, we will open our 8:00 a.m. service up, which will still be in the 10:00 a.m. format, slightly for 25 people. In addition to the 25 people, we will have about 10 ministry volunteers. We especially encourage you to attend if you are interested in volunteering.
Also, the Bishops have provided new guidance in the Diocese which we will begin incorporating into our worship and community life. Here are some of the highlights:
- We will still wear masks and physically distance outdoors and indoors
- We may sing in masks outdoors as a congregation. We may also have a soloist or small ensemble and other instruments with appropriate protections. At this time we may not sing as a congregation indoors, but we may hold choir rehearsal.
- We may have Eucharist in one kind (the bread) and we are working on these logistics.
- There is some loosening of pastoral visitation requirements with fully vaccinated individuals.
- We may return Bibles and Prayer Books to the sanctuary (we did remove them for our return).
- For Educational and non-worship activities, we may follow the same guidelines for worship, which means we may offer some indoor formation activity if we desire.
- Given the low risk of surface transmission, we are not required to sanitize as thoroughly if sufficient time has passed in an occupied space.
- 03/19/21 – This Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021, we will begin our outdoor worship services again. These services will follow the same procedures as they did this past fall with each group remaining in their designated parking spot and following all safe procedures such as remaining six feet apart and wearing masks. We continue to prepare for an eventual re-gathering indoors following a careful plan approved by the diocese. We will be able to consider returning indoors once Fairfax County is consistently under a 7 day average of 10 cases (or fewer) per 100,000. As of today, Friday, March 19, we are slightly up from last week to 12.1 cases per 100,000. When we return, we will continue to offer online worship opportunities.
- 02/23/21 – The Diocese has released new guidelines for when we can regather under certain circumstances. When cases reach an average of 25 (or fewer) cases per 100,000 in Fairfax County, we may resume outdoor services under our approved plans. When cases reach 10 cases (or fewer) per 100,000, we may consider regathering indoors with our approved plans. Once we meet health markers, we may decide as a parish whether we should regather. As of February 23, 2021, Fairfax County had 17.5 cases per 100,000.
- 01/15/21 – Diocese of Virginia has asked that we pause all outdoor and indoor worship throughout the diocese until further notice.
- 12/18/20 – Bishop Susan issues directive to refrain from outdoor worship except for Christmas.
- 12/04/20 – Our plan for regathering indoors (once we meet health metrics) approved by the Diocese of Virginia.
- 11/18/20 – Renewed approval to record or have live worship streamed from the Sanctuary with up to 10 participants.
- 11/16/20 – AA limited to 25 people Indoors.
- 10/21/20 – Vestry approves indoor gatherings for AA (with strict guidelines)
- 08/25/20 – Permission from the Diocese to hold worship services outside with up to 83 participants
- 07/13/20 – Vestry Approved Preschool plan for re-opening in full support
We are back to meeting inside for all of our services. Masks are required for everyone age two and over while inside the building. Sunday School classes and Adult Forum are back to meeting every Sunday after the 10:00 a.m. service.
We ask that if you are feeling unwell, to follow our services online at home.
- Sundays @ 9:00 a.m.
- Wednesdays @ 10:30 a.m.
Please reach out to Father Will Packard (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or email prayer requests to email@example.com.