COVID-19 Integrated County View:
Here are the weekly COVID-19 statistics for Beaver County, PA as of September 30, 2022, showing Beaver County continuing in the HIGH category.
The Incidence Rate decreased from 142.1 to 125.6 (a decrease of 16.5, or 11.6%) in the HIGH category for the seventeenth consecutive week.
- The PCR Positivity Rate decreased from 16.4 to 14.1, in the HIGH category.
(Allegheny County’s figures decreased in the HIGH category during the past week, moving from 103.8 to 87.3 and from 16.1% to 15.0).
The new “COVID-19 COMMUNITY LEVEL” index:
Starting on March 3, 2022, for hospitals and healthcare systems, the CDC is also issuing a new “COVID-19 Community Level“ index that measures the “current potential for strain on the health system” (in other words, the ability of hospitals to take in and treat additional folks with COVID-19.)
This new index is in addition to the CDC’s “COVID-19 Integrated County View” which they continue to publish each week.
The CDC currently reports that current “COVID-19 Community Level” moved up into the LOW category. This metric was adopted on March 3, 2022, reflecting on the potential availability of hospital beds for new COVID-19 cases.
CDC-Recommended actions when in the HIGH level:
- At Central Church, in order to look out for our older folks, as well as the unvaccinated or immunocompromised, we are continuing to look to the CDC’s“COVID-19 Integrated County View” to evaluate which protective measures and protocols that we should observe to protect all of the folks who come through our doors for in-person worship or for other reasons, such as to participate in our community feeding ministry outreach.
- Small Group Meetings (Sunday School, AA, other meetings):
The current guidance on when and how gatherings can take place is based upon the threshold of infection rate.
For Indoor meetings/Sunday School to resume, the 7-day average of daily cases for gatherings that include unvaccinated folks should be:
- 1.5-2.0 – for everyone except those at high risk; and
- Less than 1.0 for those at high risk.
- Our current level is 17.9, so resuming small group meetings may not be feasible for the immediate future.
As the pandemic continues, we are continuing our efforts to:
Disinfect Central Church prior to every worship service and feeding ministry event using EPA-registered products in compliance with CDC standards to kill germs and reduce the risk of spreading infection, and in compliance with EPA criteria for use against SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19; and
Air Filtering at Central Church – The Latest Measurements
Here is some good news!
We have had our Sanctuary air filters in place for some time now to reduce our potential COVID-19 exposure during worship services.
Our Trustees have been curious about how effectively they are scrubbing the Sanctuary air for us, so they placed an air filter meter it in the Sanctuary last week to see what our readings would be.
The actual COVID-19 virus measures about 1.5 microns in size, but it usually hitchhikes on air-borne droplets exhaled from infected humans to spread throughout a room. The size of those droplets (classified as fine particulates) is 2.5 microns, so I measured for that level of particulates.
Our Sanctuary is disinfected prior to every worship service, so the 20 ppm (parts per million) particulates that are floating around are mainly harmless dust and pollen. (The Medify air filtration equipment that we have in place are rated to remove air-borne contaminants down to 1 micron.)
- During the week, the air filters are not in use, and the Sanctuary air reading averaged around 20 ppm (parts per million). When we opened the Church up early last Sunday morning, the level was still at a relatively low . We turned on the Sanctuary air filters, and then watched that level steadily decrease, except for when we were singing hymns, when it briefly increased a few points before resuming its steady decrease down to 1 ppm.
- At the end of the worship service, the reading was just 1 ppm, so our air filters are definitely doing their job of effectively scrubbing our air!
It’s always nice to get a confirmation that we are on the right track!
Since our objective is to reduce any air-borne COVID-19 virus (or cold or flu viruses) exhaled by an infected person during a worship service, we are definitely protecting our folks as best we can.
Our thanks to our dedicated Trustees for tirelessly working during the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect anyone who comes through our doors.