Your church may have found it is time to open up your building. It is important your space feels extra clean, safe, and welcoming. Preparing well and communicating to your congregation how you have prepared your space will be very important as you move forward. Here are questions to consider as you prepare your space:
- What am I not seeing? Your over familiarity with the space may create blind spots. Invite a friend who doesn’t attend your church to walk through the facility with you, sharing his/her observations regarding cleanliness and safety.
- Have we done more than vacuum? You’ll want to establish a rhythm of more frequent steam cleaning throughout your space. Especially in kids’ ministry area where children will be sitting or playing on carpets and rugs. To accomplish this, you may need to advocate for additional human and budgetary resources.
- Speaking of vacuums, what vacuum do we use in our nursery? If the same vacuum is used on high traffic, high use areas, you may want to invest in a dedicated vacuum specifically for the nursery.
- Have I secured a sustainable source for cleaning and personal protection supplies? The hand sanitizer hunt is real! Do a Google search for hand sanitizer complaints and you’ll discover a world of vendors using questionable ingredients with questionable results. Do your homework and be cautious of generic or off brand supplies. Opening with “just enough” masks, wipes, surface disinfectant and hand sanitizer is unwise. If you can’t secure a reliable vendor, you may need to enlist the help of shopping volunteers to purchase quantities of specified brands of sanitizer, wipes and cleaners.
- Have I read the labels of the surface disinfectant we are using? The EPA designates a range of product toxicity levels and a “kill time”—the number of minutes the product needs to remain on the surface to be effective. Throughout the church, and especially in children’s areas, consider kids interacting with surfaces disinfected with your current products. Are you comfortable with the product’s toxicity rating? Peroxide based cleaners tend to be less toxic than ammonia based cleaners. While more expensive, food grade surface disinfectants tend to be safer.
- What is in the air? Change the HVAC filters and ensure a replacement schedule is created and followed. Inspect the air intake and outflow vents—they are easy to overlook and can get grungy fast!
During this time of Covid-19 it is essential to keep cleanliness and safety top of mind. Think through what your church’s systems are and ensure your space is in tip top shape before re-opening your doors to your community.