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Health Guidelines for the Heavenly Valley SDA Church Reopening on June 20, 2020


After remaining closed for three full months due to the COVID-19 virus, Heavenly Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church is reopening according to California state and El Dorado county safety guidelines. Our priority is to worship and fellowship together while protecting each other from infection, with heightened concern for protecting our vulnerable members. We do so while affirming that asymptomatic spread of the virus is very real and that we can take sensible measures to help prevent our gatherings from being super-spreader events. Physical distancing is still encouraged. That means we will not be shaking hands or hugging one another. Potlucks are suspended for the time being.


Masks are required for all attendees while in the building, with the temporary exception of the main speaker while preaching. The church will supply masks upon entry to the building, but please bring your own if you can. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.


Vulnerable People: Those aged 65 or older and those with serious underlying medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, are at higher risk of hospitalization and serious complications. On the one hand, we want to allow people to make their own determination how much risk to take on. On the other hand, if you’re older and you’re not in the best of health, please stay home.


Environment and Sanitation:

  • To prevent mingling in close quarters with one another indoors, conversations should be taken outside, physically distanced in the fresh air.

  • The church foyer should only be used by one family at a time to sign in at the deacon’s station before proceeding directly to class or the sanctuary. Guidelines will be taped to the floor to direct people into and out of the foyer to the classroom or sanctuary.

  • Hand sanitizer will be present throughout the church building.  All attendees are encouraged to use the sanitizer when necessary or wash hands with soap and water.

  • Sabbath School class will meet in the Library at 10:00am. 

  • Worship services will meet in the sanctuary at 11:15am, as usual, but our time in the same room will be shorter, devoted to prayer and a devotional message.

  • Windows and doors to the church will be kept open for ventilation.

  • Pews will be marked off for seating at appropriate physical distances. Only family members should sit together. If you come in the same car, by all means, sit together.

  • To prevent infection while using the restrooms, sanitizing wipes will be available for users to wipe off surfaces, toilets, faucets, and door handles before use. Restrooms should be used by only one person at a time.

  • Each attendee will sign-in with the deacon in the foyer with name and contact info.  This screening process asks you to verify that you’re healthy and have had no known recent contact with a COVID-19-infected person. This sign-in record will enable contact tracing if necessary and be discarded after two weeks. We’ve decided not to take temperatures at the door, as this only catches those who are symptomatic. If you have any symptoms of sickness, stay home.

  • Offerings will be collected at the end of the service with only one person receiving the church gifts.  No contact will be necessary otherwise. Online giving is still encouraged at

  • Water dispensers will not be used. Bottled water will be available.


Attention: If you experience symptoms after attending that make you suspect COVID-19, please contact the church at 530-288-4410.


These measures will be in place through July, 2020 and reevaluated or modified after the first few weeks. Because we want to minimize risk of transmitting virus from out of the area, we are limiting attendance to our local members. If you are vacationing in Tahoe from out of the area, please hold off on visiting our church gatherings for now.



Operational Plan


Following is a detailed plan for church leadership. You’re welcome to read on, but it is not necessary.


Employee and Volunteer Training

  • Screener – A deacon or other volunteer whose main job is to communicate physical distancing and safety guidelines to all guests and to maintain the attendee log for use in case of an infection where contact tracing is needed.

  • Speaker – Reinforces physical distancing guidelines and encourages expeditious movement into or outside the building before and after services.

  • Custodian – Sanitizes and disinfects all surfaces that are subject to frequent touching or contact.



  • Signage at the outside entrances will remind congregants/guests that they should use face coverings and practice physical distancing whenever possible.

  • These safety plans will be posted on our web site with a link posted on our Facebook page and the link sent out to our members.

  • A deacon or volunteer will be present in the foyer throughout the time of sabbath school and worship services to record names of those entering the building and to recap masking, sanitary and physical distancing practices.


Personal Protective Equipment

Masks for deacon screeners


Cleaning Supplies Provided

Clorox wipes, spray disinfectant and reusable cleaning cloths

Sanitation Plan

After services the following cleaning will be performed by the church custodian or deacon using disinfectant solution for cleaning the following surfaces:

  • All doorknobs and handles

  • Handrails to stairs/ramps

  • Top edge of each pew

  • Pew armrests

  • Lecterns and microphones

  • AV equipment and booth

  • Bathroom sinks and faucets

  • Bathroom toilet seats and flush handles


Limiting Shared Contact

  • Offering plates will not be passed. A deacon will hold an offering plate for donations at the end of the service.

  • Pews will be marked for seating in every other pew.

  • Bulletins will not be produced as services will be shorter and simpler.

  • There will be no congregational singing until recognized as safe from the State of California guidelines. No part of the program will involve the use of shared books.



Capacity for the sanctuary is 120 persons. State guidelines limit us to 25% of capacity or 100, whichever is less, so our COVID capacity is 30 persons in the sanctuary.

Updated 6/18/2020

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