COVID-19 Updates

9/2/22 COVID-19 UPDATE:

The following are the CDC's recent updated guidelines regarding exposure to and testing positive for COVID-19, which were provided to the congregation through the 9/2/22 "PoP Connections" email and Announcements:


UPDATE! COVID-19 Guidance: 

Exposed to COVID-19It is no longer recommended to quarantine after being exposed to someone with COVID-19 if you are not up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines. Regardless of vaccination status, if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19:

  • Watch for symptoms for 10 days.
  • Wear a mask around others inside your home and in public places for 10 days. Day 0 is the day of your last exposure, and day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure.
  • Get tested on day 6 after exposure, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you test negative, continue wearing a mask around others and taking precautions through day 10. If you test positive, isolate immediately. Click here for information on local testing sites and testing options.

Make sure to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and take extra precautions around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

REMINDER! COVID-19 Guidance:

Sick or Tested Positive for COVID-19: Regardless of vaccination status, if you are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19, isolate yourself from others:

  • Stay home for at least 5 days and isolate yourself away from others. If after 5 days you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication and your symptoms have largely resolved, you may end isolation after day 5.
  • After you end isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, restart your isolation at day 0.
  •  Wear a mask around others in your home and in public spaces for 10 days after the start of symptoms or the day you tested positive (if not experiencing symptoms).
  • If you have a moderate to severe illness (experiencing shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or were hospitalized) or have a weakened immune system, isolate through day 10.
9/2/2022

6/3/22 COVID-19 UPDATE:

The following is a NEW message from Council President, Mark Steine, available to the congregation through the 6/3/22 "PoP Connections" email and Announcements:

As communicated earlier, we are continuing to monitor Covid levels for Calumet and Outagamie counties. As of May 27th, our local community burden rate was 157 cases per 100,000 for the week. See additional comments below:
 

  1. Fully Vaccinated – Stay up to date with vaccinations. Masking and social distancing indoors will be optional.
  2. Unvaccinated – CDC has no recommendations in this category; PoP recommends N95 and KN94 masks.
  3. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask and self-isolate until symptom-free or a negative test.
  4. If you are immunocompromised, learn more about how to protect yourself.
  5. Singing – by congregation with and without masks
  6. Communion – during the service per “usual”
  7. Socializing – normal with coffee and food served
  8. Funerals and meetings – back to usual respecting items 1-4 above
Jan 2022 March 9 March 16 March 23 April 26 May 18 May 27
2282 45 38 30 124 157 157


COVID incidence in WI and locally is increasing but the CDC has us in the Low category. Here is the data:

  • Outagamie Co. – 147/100,000 new case incidence and low category.

  • Calumet Co. – 161/100,000 new case incidence and low category.

  • Winnebago Co. – 224/100,000 new case incidence and medium category.
     

Overall average is 157. CDC does not recommend any changes to what we are doing. If immunosuppressed, high risk or just want to minimize your risk, worship options are to view livestream or social distance and wear N95 or KN95 masks.

Please also read the updated PoP Worship Guidelines (as of 5/27/22) that provides more details and information, including links and information from the CDC website.

Blessings,
Mark Steine, Council President

6/3/2022


4/29/22 COVID-19 UPDATE:

The following is a NEW message from Council President, Mark Steine, available to the congregation through the 4/29/22 "PoP Connections" email and Announcements:

As communicated earlier, we are continuing to monitor Covid levels for Calumet and Outagamie counties. As of April 26th, our local community burden rate was 124 cases per 100,000 for the week. See additional comments below:
 

  1. Fully Vaccinated – Stay up to date with vaccinations. Masking and social distancing indoors will be optional.
  2. Unvaccinated – CDC has no recommendations in this category; PoP recommends N95 and KN94 masks.
  3. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask and self-isolate until symptom-free or a negative test.
  4. If you are immunocompromised, learn more about how to protect yourself.
  5. Singing – by congregation with and without masks
  6. Communion – during the service per “usual”
  7. Socializing – normal with coffee and food served
  8. Funerals and meetings – back to usual respecting items 1-4 above
Jan 2022 Feb 16 March 2 March 9 March 16 March 23 April 26
2282 193 81 45 38 30 124


COVID incidence in WI and locally is increasing but the CDC has us in the Low category. Here is the data:

  • WI – case incidence up 108% over last 14 days, but hospitalizations up only 8%, ICU admissions up 7% and deaths down 58%.

  • Outagamie Co. – 119/100,000 new case incidence and low category.

  • Calumet Co. – 98/100,000 new case incidence and low category.

  • Winnebago Co. – 154/100,000 new case incidence and low category.
     

Overall average is 124. CDC does not recommend any changes to what we are doing. If immunosuppressed, high risk or just want to minimize your risk, worship options are to view livestream or social distance and wear N95 or KN95 masks.

Please also read the updated PoP Worship Guidelines (as of 4/26/22) that provides more details and information, including links and information from the CDC website.

Blessings,
Mark Steine, Council President

4/29/2022


3/18/22 COVID-19 UPDATE:

The following is a NEW message from Council President, Mark Steine, available to the congregation through the 3/18/22 "PoP Connections" email:

As communicated earlier, we are continuing to monitor Covid levels for Calumet and Outagamie counties. As of March 16th, our local community burden rate was 38 cases per 100,000 for the week, compared to 45 last week, which places our congregation in the low category. We will continue with the changes to our worship practices announced last week, which went into effect on March 9th:
 

  1. Fully Vaccinated – Stay up to date with vaccinations. Masking and social distancing indoors will be optional.
  2. Unvaccinated – CDC has no recommendations in this category; PoP recommends N95 and KN94 masks.
  3. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask and self-isolate until symptom-free or a negative test.
  4. If you are immunocompromised, learn more about how to protect yourself.
  5. Singing – by congregation with and without masks
  6. Communion – during the service per “usual”
  7. Socializing – normal with coffee and food served
  8. Funerals and meetings – back to usual respecting items 1-4 above
Jan 2022 Feb 16 March 2 March 9 March 16
2282 193 81 45 38


We will continue to monitor the Covid community burden rate on an ongoing basis. Should the burden rate increase to an unacceptable level or new Covid variants emerge, we will review our worship practices and make adjustments to protect the health and safety of our staff, congregation and visitors.

Blessings,
Mark Steine, Council President

3/18/2022


3/11/22 COVID-19 UPDATE:

The following is a NEW message from Council President, Mark Steine, available to the congregation through the 3/11/22 "PoP Connections" email:

As communicated earlier, we are continuing to monitor Covid levels for Calumet and Outagamie counties. As of March 9th, our local community burden rate was 45 cases per 100,000 for the week, compared to 81 last week, which places our congregation in the low category. We will continue with the changes to our worship practices announced last week, which went into effect on March 9th:
 

  1. Fully Vaccinated – Stay up to date with vaccinations. Masking and social distancing indoors will be optional.
  2. Unvaccinated – CDC has no recommendations in this category; PoP recommends N95 and KN94 masks.
  3. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask and self-isolate until symptom-free or a negative test.
  4. If you are immunocompromised, learn more about how to protect yourself.
  5. Singing – by congregation with and without masks
  6. Communion – during the service per “usual”
  7. Socializing – normal with coffee and food served
  8. Funerals and meetings – back to usual respecting items 1-4 above

 
We will continue to monitor the Covid community burden rate on an ongoing basis. Should the burden rate increase to an unacceptable level or new Covid variants emerge, we will review our worship practices and make adjustments to protect the health and safety of our staff, congregation and visitors.
 
Blessings,
Mark Steine, Council President


Please also read the updated PoP Worship Guidelines (as of 3/9/22) that provides more details and information, including links and information from the CDC website.

3/11/2022


3/4/22 COVID-19 UPDATE:

The following is a NEW message from Council President, Mark Steine, sent to the congregation on 3/4/22:

After two years of lock downs, social distancing, masking, no singing, no coffee…WE ARE BACK!!!! With the drop in the COVID-19 burden rate to the “low” category for Outagamie and Calumet counties, we will be implementing the following changes to our worship practices beginning THIS WEDNESDAY, March 9th at our Midweek Lenten Worship service:
 

  1. Masks will be optional; social distancing will be optional
  2. Congregation can sing without masks
  3. We will return to regular communion
  4. We can return to socializing between and after the services
  5. We can return to serving coffee & food (as soon as we have volunteers to set-up coffee & clean-up)


Worship services THIS Sunday, March 6th will still implement the same COVID-19 protocol we’ve been using: the use of masks and social distancing. But, take heart—Wednesday is not too far away!!
 
We will monitor the Covid community burden rate on an ongoing basis. Should the burden rate increase to an unacceptable level or new Covid variants emerge, we will review our worship practices and make adjustments to protect the health and safety of our staff, congregation and visitors.

Please also read the updated PoP Worship Guidelines (as of 2/28/22) that provides more details and information, including links and information from the CDC website.


Blessings,
Mark Steine, Council President

3/4/2022


2/25/22 COVID-19 UPDATE:

The following is a NEW message from Council President, Mark Steine, written on 2/23/22:

For some months, we have been tracking the COVID-19 case rate for Outagamie and Calumet counties. Last year we developed a Worship Practices matrix in accordance with information from the CDC to have consistent guidelines for worship practices.
 
We have positive news to communicate! Results for the COVID-19 case rate for Outagamie and Calumet counties for the week of 2/23/2022 dropped to a rate of 161 cases per 100,000 residents. We remain in the “High” category, so no change in worship practices. Recall that the case rate for the week of January 15th only a month ago was at 2,282 per 100,000. Our current case rate is slightly below what we experienced in August of last year. With the reduced case rate, we will follow our Worship Practices matrix (i.e. Worship Policies & Building Usage chart). We have returned to masked singing by the congregation. While forecasting the future case rate for the COVID-19 virus is very unpredictable, we anticipate a continued decrease in the case rate for our area. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 case rate on a weekly basis. We will review the new information with the pastors and Church Council and adapt our worship practices to meet the changing conditions. It has been a very long haul for our congregation and the community at-large. We ask for your continued patience as we navigate our path forward.

 
Blessings,
Mark Steine, Council President

2/25/2022


2/18/22 COVID-19 UPDATE:

In Outagamie and Calumet counties, the new incidence case rate/100,000 has dropped significantly since the peak on January 15th and was at 193 on Wednesday, Feb. 16th, which is the lowest level since Sept. 13, 2021. The transmission rates are still “high” like they were last week, but down from what had been “critically high” for many weeks. This allows us to continue singing with masks at worship services THIS Sunday, Feb. 20th!

2/18/2022


2/11/22 COVID-19 UPDATE:

The following is a message that was partially crafted by Dean Gruner and was first included in the weekly "PoP Connections" announcements email sent on 2/11/2022:

Outstanding COVID-19 news! In Outagamie and Calumet counties, the new incidence case rate/100,000 has dropped 85% since the peak on January 15th and is at 357, which is the lowest level since Sept. 13th of last year. The transmission rates are now “high,” down from what has been “critically high” for weeks. The immediate implication of this information is that at worship services this Sunday, Feb. 13th, WE CAN RESUME SINGING WITH MASKSHOORAY!!!

As a review, on Nov. 2, 2021, a group of PoP leaders and the Pastors met via Zoom to discuss singing during worship. They developed recommendations for our congregation, which were reviewed by Church Council on Nov. 16th. Masked singing was again allowed. Then, on Jan. 7, 2022, it was decided that community transmission rates were too high to safely allow for singing, and masked singing was temporarily suspended. Based on the findings from Feb. 10, 2022 (see updated Worship Policies & Building Usage chart), we can again safely return to masked singing at our worship services!

Stay tuned, as the COVID-19 virus has changed many times during the past two years (Alpha, Delta, Omicron…what is next?). Following local trends (trends vary significantly within Wisconsin and across the country), staying flexible, and making changes as local circumstances change will continue to be important.

2/11/2022


1/7/22 COVID-19 UPDATE:

The following is a message that was included in the weekly "PoP Connections" announcements email sent on 1/7/2022:

The Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services (DHS) reports activity of COVID-19 for Outagamie County as currently critically high.

Due to the rise in cases of the Omicron Variant of COVID-19, this Sunday's (Jan. 9th) in-person Worship services will implement a few changes. Of course, masks are still required, but the congregation will not be singing. In addition, we will be further socially distancing in the sanctuary by utilizing every other pew. Please sit in the pews marked with a yellow piece of paper at the end of them. We also ask that you leave immediately following the worship services.

This coming Tuesday, January 11th, Council will meet and discuss potentially new procedures for building usage by member and non-member small groups that meet at the church. Stay tuned next week for information on those changes and recommendations.

We will continue to keep you up-to-date with any changes to our Worship and Building Usage Policies and Guidelines as they relate to COVID-19 and the Omicron Variant through social media, on the PoP website, through email and during Worship service announcements. Please stay tuned, and thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this ever-evolving and seemingly relentless disease and pandemic. We WILL get through this—together and through the love and strength of our Lord!

1/7/2022


11/19/21 COVID-19 UPDATE:

The following is a NEW message from Council President, Mark Steine:

Singing is an integral part of Lutheran worship. The COVID pandemic has prevented our congregation from participating in this vital portion of worship. On Wednesday, November 2nd, a group consisting of Dean Gruner, Cindy Czarnik-Neimeyer, Council Vice President, Pastor Jennifer, Pastor Roger and Mark Steine, Council President met via Zoom to discuss singing during worship. The group has developed recommendations (see Worship Policies & Buildage Usage Chart) for our congregation. The recommendations were reviewed by Church Council at their meeting on November 16th. The proposals have been adopted and we will return to masked singing at our worship service starting THIS SUNDAY—Christ the King Sunday—Nov. 21st! As communicated earlier, masking will still be required at Prince of Peace. We are still recommending social distancing and you should feel free to move about in the sanctuary to meet your level of comfort.
 
Blessings, Mark Steine, Council President

11/16/2021


8/20/21 COVID-19 UPDATE:

After Council’s meeting this week (on 8/17/21), the following guidelines and discussion points, discussed and agreed upon with the Reopening Task Force last week, are now available to you.

To reiterate what was stated in last Friday's "PoP Connections" e-blast, after the PoP Reopening Task Force’s meeting last week, the Reopening Task Force and Council are asking that all who enter Prince of Peace wear a mask. This includes all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. At this time, singing at worship services will be limited solely to worship leaders.

We understand this is very disappointing, but our first priority is the safety of all who enter our doors and to help stop the spread of this deadly virus in our community. As we all do our part in Christian love and love our neighbor as we love ourselves, hopefully we will be back to normal soon!
 
Please read the Worship Policies & Building Usage Chart, last updated on August 10, 2021, for more information. Note that we are currently in the RED status. 
 
In the meantime, we will continue Livestreaming our worship services for you to participate in that capacity if you so choose.
 
We will continue to keep you updated with any changes to our Worship and Building Usage Policies and guidelines as they relate to COVID-19 and the Delta variant through social media, on the PoP website, through email and in worship announcements. 

8/20/2021


8/13/21 COVID-19 UPDATE:

After the PoP Reopening Task Force’s meeting this week, the Reopening Task Force and Council are asking that all who enter Prince of Peace wear a mask. This includes all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. At this time, singing at worship services will be limited solely to worship leaders.

We understand this is very disappointing, but our first priority is the safety of all who enter our doors and to help stop the spread of this deadly virus in our community. As we all do our part in Christian love and love our neighbor as we love ourselves, hopefully we will be back to normal soon!
 
Please read the Worship Policies & Building Usage Chartlast updated on August 10, 2021, for more information. Note that we are currently in the RED status. In the meantime, we will continue Livestreaming our worship services, and we will keep you updated through social media and worship announcements on any changes as they arise. 


8/13/2021


8/6/21 COVID-19 UPDATE:

In light of the rapidly spreading Delta variant and the guidance of the Appleton Health Dept. and other health officials to limit indoor gatherings, we are strongly recommending that all worshippers on Sunday, Aug. 8th wear a face mask and observe distancing and handwashing practices. This is encouraged even if one is vaccinated. We will be modifying our hymn-singing too. As Christians, our first priority is to love and care for our neighbors, as we care for ourselves and in that spirit we must lovingly proceed.

This upcoming week, our faith leaders will gather to determine our future plans. We will post our recommendations, as soon as they are determined, on our social media platforms and website. Let us continue in prayer for all those who are working to keep us safe and struggling with this highly contagious virus.

In Christ's Love,
Mark Steine, Council President
Pastor Jennifer and Pastor Roger

8/6/2021


Quick Links
- PoP Worship Policies & Building Usage Chart (last updated 2/10/2022)
CDC Revised COVID-19 Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated People (updated 5/28/21)
PoP Reopening FAQs sheet (updated 5/20/21)
CDC "Choosing Safer Activities" Guide
WI Department of Health Services COVID-19 Data Pages
Guidance for Implementing COVID-19 Prevention Strategies in the Context of Varying Community Transmission Levels and Vaccination Coverage