We are nearly one-third of the way through the 225th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I am grateful for the countless hours of preparation (construction, technical, health, assembly planning) that has gone into making this productive and worshipful for all involved.
Our team worked closely with health officials to ensure we were taking the appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. We have required all participants to be vaccinated, wear appropriate masks, maintain social distancing, and numerous other measures to keep infection rates at a minimum. Our mitigation strategies and protocols have been working.
We believe that this week’s small outbreak of positive cases did not originate from the Presbyterian Center or during General Assembly meeting times. Rather, the source of this outbreak appears to have occurred outside of official General Assembly activities involving receptions and other hospitality events.
We have had reports of a total of 13 cases, including three commissioners and ten staff and entity board members, with all but two of the cases tied back to outside events and gatherings.
We are reminded that the safety protocols implemented at the General Assembly provide the safest environment for all commissioners, staff, and volunteers, and encourage everyone to continue safe practices when away from Presbyterian Center.
I want to assure all commissioners and advisory delegates that are currently here or who will be coming next week, that we are committed to keeping you safe and taking precautions we announced in advance to prevent the spread of COVID. Also we remind commissioners to take precautions in travel and after Assembly meeting hours such as wearing masks and avoiding crowded places where individuals are not engaging in COVID-safe strategies such as masking and distancing. We ask for your continued prayers and support as we navigate God’s work under different circumstances.
Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)